Hibiscus Benefits & Information

Latin Name

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Also Known As

Ambashthaki, Bissap, Gongura, Groseille de Guinée, Guinea Sorrel, Hibisco, Hibiscus Calyx, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Jamaica Sorrel, Karkade, Karkadé, Oseille de Guinée, Oseille Rouge, Pulicha Keerai, Red Sorrel, Red Tea, Rosa de Jamaica, Roselle, Sour Tea, Sudanese Tea, Thé Rose d’Abyssinie, Thé Rouge, Zobo, Zobo Tea.

Origin

Some sources say Hawaii while others say Polynesia or Asia.

Parts Used

Flower

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

From Hawaii to Egypt and China, the Hibiscus flower has been incorporated into cultural, medicinal and magical areas of life. Since this flower has stretched far and wide, with possible origins being difficult to pin down, there are many different traditional medical applications within Africa, India and China. The Egyptians and Sudanese used Hibiscus flowers, most notably the calyx, to make a red tea that would have been used for treating problems of the nervous system and heart. In other parts of Africa the same tea concoction was used to treat coughs, colds, sore throats, increase appetite and to heal wounds and abscesses. Ayurvedic medicine concludes that the flower can be made up into a paste that will help keep the scalp moist, stop hair falling out and give hair a healthy lustre. While this is the most common use of Hibiscus in Ayurvedic medicine, another prominent Hibiscus remedy is to help regulate the menstrual cycle and in anti-fertility treatments. 

  

HEALTH BENEFITS:

Several studies have found that Hibiscus flowers have high vitamin C as well as possessing chemicals that lower blood pressure. In blind tests hibiscus flower tea worked just as well as prescription drugs in about 4 weeks for those with moderate to high blood pressure. The fruit acids present in the Hibiscus flower have proven to be a mild laxative decreasing spams in the stomach whilst also having an antibiotic action that helps rid the intestine of worms and foreign bacteria. Other tests have revealed that Hibiscus could have the ability to reduce the absorption of alcohol and help with alcohol poisoning. 

Typical Use

The Flower is mostly used to make a tea. Medical leaf and root concoctions are also common in India.

Folklore and History

There seems to be a correlation throughout the world with the Hibiscus flower and feminine energy. In Hawaii/Polynesia if the woman wears a Hibiscus flower over her left ear then it means that she is in a relationship while wearing the flower over the right ear means that she is available or open to a relationship. In India the Hibiscus Flower is traditionally used as an offering to goddesses and traditional Southern Indian iconography of the Goddess Kali features Hibiscus flowers heavily. A variation in Greek mythology shows Hibiscus being a potent symbol of beauty where the god Adonis is transformed into a Hibiscus flower and then fought over by the goddesses Aphrodite and Persephone. This may be why Hibiscus also features in early magic to incur lust or love in others. Overall the Hibiscus is seen as a very beautiful tropical flower and has resulted in many different hybrids and variants continually being bred all over the world. 

Hibiscus
Constituents

delphinidin, esculetin, cyaniding, gossypetin, anthocyanin, glycoside hibiscin. Flvones: quercetin-3-diglucoside, quercetin-3,7-diglucoside, cyaniding-3,5-diglucoside, quercetin-3-sophorotrioside, kaempferol-3xylosylglucoside, cyaniding-3-sophoroside-5-glucoside. Other constituents are cyclopeptide alkaloid, cyanidin chloride, hentriacontane, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, thiamine, taraxeryl acetate, β-sitosterol , cyclicacids sterculic and malvalic acids.