Hibiscus (Latin Name: Hibiscus Sbdariffa) belongs to the Malvaceae family. It probably originated in Northern Africa, but since it has been tended for so long, nowadays it is growing throughout tropical and subtropical climates. Its calyces and leaves are mostly used. Hibiscus has a sour taste and because of that in the summer heat, it quenches thirst.
Health Benefits and Uses
It has been used mainly for its heart-related benefits. Studies have shown that it contains certain polyphenols that benefit mitochondrial function and protects the cardiovascular system. Both hibiscus tea and green tea were shown to significantly decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure in individuals who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and were mildly hypertensive. In addition, hibiscus extracts have been shown to positively affect blood lipids by reducing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Furthermore, due to its consistency, it has high antioxidant activities.
Hibiscus is also rich in anthocyanins and flavonoids that offer anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a significant number of polysaccharides. Lastly, the calyces also contain vitamin C, β-carotene, calcium, and iron. In folk medicine, the calyces were used as a treatment of anemia.
In vitro research is being done on the anti-cancer effects of the herb for its use in pharmaceuticals. Hibiscus shows that it inhibits the survival of cancer cells and increases apoptosis.
However, the American Botanical Council recommends caution when used concomitantly with the consumption of hibiscus and anti-hypertensive drugs.
Caution! The American Botanical Council recommends caution when simultaneously using Hibiscus and antihypertensive drugs. Herbs should not be consumed uncontrollably. Consult your doctor before consumption. They are not substitutes for drugs and can cause side effects and allergies.