A new study from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that black tea won’t raise blood pressure in people with hypertension, and may even be able to help to lower it. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, examined the effects of drinking three cups a day of black tea over a six-month period. Researchers found that the tea consumption was linked with a decrease of 2 to 3 millimeters of mercury (better known as blood pressure points) for both systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a reading).
High blood pressure affects about 31 percent of all adults in the U.S. and even though the drop in blood pressure levels is small, it still provides some benefit. Black tea might have a small benefit on blood pressure because it helps make sure the thin layer of cells that lines the inner parts of blood vessels is not injured. When this layer is injured, cholesterol can get into the wall of the blood vessel, leading to build-up and more serious conditions like coronary disease and stroke.
There are also other teas, such as hibiscus tea, that may also provide the same health benefit. While researchers are not suggesting those suffering from high blood pressure stop taking their medications, they do feel that there are natural methods that can also help decrease blood pressure. In addition to teas researchers for the study also suggest that pure cocoa and relaxation techniques like yoga can aid people with high blood pressure.