We know that drinking green tea each day can help reduce our hypertension. Green tea is not, however, to everyone's taste. Can black tea help lower our high blood pressure?

In theory it bought to as both black and green tea are made from the leaves of the same plant. So far, black tea has not received the good press it describes for the beneficial effects it can have on our condition.

Recent research has shown that drinking three or more cups of black tea a day has positive health benefits for us. Drinking black tea helps us in two ways:

  • It reduces our hypertension; and
  • minimizes the variability of blood pressure readings taken at night.

The benefits of tea

The benefits of tea are large due to the flavonoid content. These are antioxidant ingredients that counteract cardio-vascular disease.

It has long been known that hypertension can significantly increase the risk of heart disease. Now, wide variations in blood pressure are also recognized as an important risk factor compared with readings that show little difference over a 24-hour period.

What are the new finds ?

There is already mounting evidence that tea is good for your heart health and the research has demonstrated a link between tea and reducing a major risk factor for heart disease.

This recent research is the first time that the consumption of black tea has been shown to lower rates of blood pressure variation at night-time.

The research

A high blood pressure reading is one that exceeds 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

The first figure, the systolic pressure, corresponds to the “surge” that occurs with each heartbeat. The lower figure is when our heart is resting between beats.

In the research study 111 men and women consumed three cups of black tea daily or a flavonoid free, caffeine containing beverage for six months. They all had hypertension and their systolic blood pressures were between 115 and 150 mm Hg.

The rate of blood pressure variation was estimated at three time-points, on day one and after three and six months.

At these three time-points, black tea consumption directed in 10 per cent lower rates of hypertensive variability at night-time than the flavonoid free drink.

These effects were seen immediately on the first day of tea drinking and maintained over the six months.

Although black tea was drunk in the study, other research suggests adding milk does not affect the benefits.

Drinking tea is a convenient, refreshing way to help lower your high blood pressure. What this study demonstrates is that drinking black tea helps reduce the variability of our hypertension at night-time. What better reason is there than that for a bedtime cup of Rosy Lea?