Can you drink hibiscus tea while pregnant?

In this article, we will answer the question “can you drink hibiscus tea while pregnant?” and discuss the recommendations regarding hibiscus tea during pregnancy. Moreover, we will also discuss the benefits and risks of drinking hibiscus teas.

Can you drink hibiscus tea while pregnant?

No, you should not drink hibiscus tea while pregnant. In fact, it is recommended to avoid hibiscus tea as well as other teas and herbal treatments during pregnancy, unless prescribed by a physician or healthcare provider (1,2,3).

Although some herbal teas are considered safe to be consumed during pregnancy, due to the unknown risks they may present, and due to the lack of sufficient and specific studies on the use of herbal teas during pregnancy, their use is not advised.

Is drinking hibiscus tea safe in pregnancy?

Drinking hibiscus tea is not considered safe during pregnancy or lactation. There are only a few animal studies available in the scientific literature investigating the use of hibiscus tea during pregnancy, namely realized with Wistar rat models (1). 

The results show effects on the hormonal profile of the pregnant rats, such as the reduction of the high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in the blood, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Another study showed that, although hibiscus tea has been traditionally used in some countries, due to its effect in increasing the lactation in breastfeeding women, it should not be used by pregnants or lactating women, as hibiscus tea can alter many metabolic responses in the body (2).

More effort should be given in order to understand the effects of consuming hibiscus tea and other herbal teas during pregnancy. However, due to the deficient information available, all herbal teas should be avoided during pregnancy, unless prescribed by a medical specialist (3).

What are other risks of drinking hibiscus tea?

Other risks of drinking hibiscus tea is the potential that this tea can have to interfere with the action of other medications, especially related to the treatment of cancer.

Hibiscus has been increasingly being used as a complementary medical aid to cancer patients due to the anticancer effects of this plant, which is rich in anthocyanins (plant pigments), considered to be powerful antioxidants (5).

However, hibiscus tea can interact with other drugs, as it has the property to inhibit the action of some enzymes. 

It was reported in the medical literature that a patient using an antineoplastic drug for the treatment of cancer had adverse skin reactions after drinking hibiscus tea due to the inhibitory effect of the tea to the drug (4).

Therefore, it is recommended to consult a physician before taking medicinal plants or using plant extracts, especially if you are taking other medications.

What are the benefits of drinking hibiscus tea?

The possible benefits of drinking hibiscus tea are (1,5):

  • Hibiscus have strong antioxidant properties and can reduce the concentration of oxygen reactive species in the body, which help prevent metabolic diseases, due to the presence of phenolics, flavonols, tannins, anthocyanins and other bioactive compounds.
  • Hibiscus induce lowering lipid levels in the blood and can be used to treat increased cholesterol
  • HIbiscus has a hypoglycemic effect, help reduce the glucose levels in the blood and can be used to treat diabetes
  • The ingestion of hibiscus tea could attenuate the high blood pressure in patients, as reported in studies
  • Hibiscus has been reported to possess antibacterial and wound healing properties

What teas are safe during pregnancy?

No tea is considered totally safe during pregnancy, and therefore all types of tea should be avoided in this life phase (3).

However, some herbal teas are commonly used during pregnancy, including (6):

  • Peppermint tea: peppermint tea is one of the most consumed tea during pregnancy due to its properties of reducing nausea and vomiting in the first trimester of pregnancy, as reported by studies. In addition, it eases digestion and relieves flatulence. However, it should be taken with moderation, as it can cause bleeding.
  • Ginger tea: ginger has been of use during pregnancy also due to the digestive effects and reduction of nausea and vomiting. However, its use has been reported to cause bleeding and other complications, such as premature birth. Therefore it should not be ingested during pregnancy.
  • Chamomile tea: although less often used, chamomile is commonly used to treat insomnia and irritation during pregnancy. However, it has been related to preterm birth and miscarriage.

Other FAQs about Tea that you may be interested in.

Can you drink expired tea?

Can kombucha give you a yeast infection?

What is the best way to drink tea?

Can you freeze tea?


In this article, we answered the question “can you drink hibiscus tea while pregnant?” and discussed the recommendations regarding hibiscus tea during pregnancy. Moreover, we also discussed the benefits and risks of drinking hibiscus teas.


  1. Afiune, Luana Alves Freitas, et al. Beneficial effects of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. flower aqueous extract in pregnant rats with diabetes. PLoS One, 2017, 12, e0179785.
  2. Enwerem, N., S. Amos, and M. Azuine. Hibiscus sabdariffa l: Safety and efficacy during pregnancy and lactation. Nurse Care Open Access J, 2016, 1, 69-73.
  3. Louik C, Gardiner P, Kelley K, Mitchell AA. Use of herbal treatments in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010, 202, 439.e1-439.e10.
  4. Jacquin-Porretaz, Claire, et al. Cutaneous toxicity induced by hibiscus tea in a patient treated with Erlotinib. J Thoracic Oncol, 2017, 12, e47-e48.
  5. Guardiola, Soledad, and Núria Mach. Therapeutic potential of Hibiscus sabdariffa: A review of the scientific evidence. Endocrinol Nutr, 2014, 61, 274-295.
  6. Bebitoglu, Berna Terzioglu. Frequently used herbal teas during pregnancy-short update. Medeniyet med j, 2020, 35, 55.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!