Also know as red-sorrel and Roselle
Composition of Hibiscus
Hibiscus is rich in vitamin C, minerals and various antioxidants. The flowers of Hibiscus are rich in mucilage, a complex mixture of polysaccharides that form a soothing gelatinous fiber when water is added. Hibiscus also contains Beta-Carotene and Quercetin.
Health Benefits of Hibiscus
The health benefits of hibiscus include relief from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as digestive, immune system, and inflammatory problems. It helps to cure liver disease and reduces the risk of cancer. It can also speed up the metabolism and help in healthy, gradual weight loss.
It is recommended to alleviate urinary tract problems, which may be attributed to the action of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.
Hibiscus is also a mild laxative and can sooth gastric diseases.
The health benefits of hibiscus tea include lowering blood pressure. Therefore, it is not recommended for people that already have low blood pressure, a condition called hypotension. It may cause faintness, dizziness and can even damage the heart or brain if it is consumed by an individual with low blood pressure.
History of Hibiscus
The exact origin of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is unknown, although it has been cultivated in China, Japan and the Pacific islands for a long time.
Two white-flowered species, Hibiscus arnottianus and Hibiscus waimeae, are believed to be native to Hawaii.
The Hibiscus is also the national symbol of Haiti and the national flower of nations including the Solomon Islands and Niue. Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea, and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Puerto Rico and Malaysia.
The hibiscus flower is traditionally worn by Tahitian and Hawaiian girls. If the flower is worn behind the left ear, the woman is married or in a relationship. If the flower is worn on the right, she is single or openly available for a relationship.