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Can Drinking Black Tea Lower Blood Pressure?

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High blood pressure is a common ailment in society. This silent disorder if not treated can lead to devastating complications.

Changing one's lifestyle and losing weight is the first choice in trying to lower high blood pressure. If that doesn't work, medication is the only remaining option.

However, many consumers do not want to take expensive blood pressure pills for the rest of their life. These individuals have now been turning to alternative health care for their illness.

Many herbs, lotions, potions and minerals are hyped up to lower blood pressure, but the majority are without any merit.

Now there is a study claiming that drinking black tea can help lower high blood pressure. Black tea is known to be rich in flavonoids and it is believed that these chemicals may lower the blood pressure.

In the present study, drinking three cups of black tea everyday for six months, lowered blood pressure by 2-3 mmHg. (1)

How black tea lowers blood pressure is speculative. These researchers claim that black tea lowers the tone of blood vessels or perhaps increases levels of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator.

Other means of lowering blood pressure may be related to lowering of body weight and visceral fat. Unfortunately laboratory work does not support all of these theories. In this study, none of the patients claimed to have lost weight or body mass.

This study only looked at effects of black tea on people whose blood pressure was normal, and not people who already had hypertension. The blood pressure lowering was very modest.

However, other studies on black tea have shown the exact opposite -- no effect on blood pressure or on cholesterol. (2)

Black tea has been consumed for hundreds of years by the Orientals, and there is no evidence that they have a lower incidence of hypertension compared to Westerners. In fact these populations often have far more resistant hypertension.

For the time being, all consumers should know that black tea is not a substitute for the treatment of high blood pressure. The present treatment of high blood pressure requires medications. Black tea is a great social beverage and is meant to be enjoyed as such.


1. Hodgson J, et al "Effects of black tea on blood pressure: A randomized controlled trial"
Abstract: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/172/2/186

2. Trautwein EA Purified black tea theaflavins and theaflavins/catechin supplements did not affect serum lipids in healthy individuals with mildly to moderately elevated cholesterol concentrations.
Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19639377

Reviewed January 25, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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