Hibiscus is a flowering plant from the mallow family. It is commonly known as rose mallow, hardy hibiscus, rose of sharon, and tropical hibiscus. The hibiscus plant is recognized for its vibrant and attractive flowers. The flowers come in various colors such as red, pink, white, and yellow. Hibiscus is cultivated for leaves, seeds, roots, flowers, and stems. Besides its visual appeal, hibiscus has gained attention for its potential health benefits and nutritional value as well.
Flowers and seed oils are widely used in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical formulations. One Hibiscus species called kenaf is extensively used in paper-making. While tea made from hibiscus flowers is known by many names worldwide. It is served both hot and cold. The beverage is known for its red color, tart flavor, and vitamin C content.
Nutritional Profile OF Hibiscus
100 grams of hibiscus flower contains the following nutrients value:
- Calories: 15 kcal
- Protein: 2.60 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.85 g
- Calcium: 65 mg
- Irom: 1.20 mg
- Sodium: 375 mg
Use Of Hibiscus
- Various parts of hibiscus are used in the following ways:
- Hibiscus flowers are mostly used as organic herbal tea.
- Its seeds are often a coffee substitute.
- Hibiscus seed oil is used as a substitute for castor oil and to produce scrubs and soaps.
- This plant’s raw eaves are considered a vegetable.
- Red calyces are used as food colorants and dyes.
- Dried or fresh calyces are even used to prepare herbal drinks, fermented drinks, wine, jam, jellies, ice cream, chocolates, flavoring agents, puddings, and cakes.
Health Benefits Of Hibiscus
1. Blood Pressure Regulation
According to research hibiscus beverages and supplements can decrease blood pressure. The plant contains compounds that act as natural diuretics, promoting urine production and reducing fluid retention. While this effect combined with the plant’s ability to relax blood vessels can contribute to the management of high blood pressure.
2. Promoting Healthy Digestion
Hibiscus contains such properties that can aid digestion. It helps stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes, enhancing nutrient absorption and promoting overall digestive health. As per studies, hibiscus has been traditionally used to alleviate gastrointestinal issues such as stomach aches and indigestion.
3. Immune System Support
Hibiscus is loaded with vitamin C. It is a potent antioxidant known for its role in supporting immune function. According to research adequate intake of vitamin C is essential for maintaining a robust immune system and defending against infections and illnesses. However, including hibiscus in your diet can provide a natural boost to your immune system.
4. Improves Skin Health
Hibiscus plants are loaded with mucilages, which are complex polysaccharides. As per research, the leaves of this plant were traditionally used to manage burning sensations and skin diseases. It can have a skin-soothing and moisturizing effect.
5. Promotes Hair Health
Hibiscus flowers and leaves have beneficial properties for hair health. It contains natural pigments, antioxidants, and vitamins that can be useful for hair health. Its properties can be helpful in circulating the blood to hair follicles. Appling the extract of leaves and gently rubbing on the skin can enhance blood circulation. However, hibiscus flowers and leaves can improve hair condition.
Side Effects of Hibiscus
Before consuming herbs or anything one should consult a doctor because they can have specific side effects which we arent aware of. The side effects of hibiscus are as follows:
- Consuming excessive hibiscus seeds can have anti-nutritional factors that can minimize food digestion, reduce nutrient uptake, and produce flatulence.
- An individual suffering from digestion problems should avoid eating or consult a doctor before using hibiscus.
- According to studies consuming hibiscus at high doses for an extended period can cause liver injury.
- An individual suffering from kidney problems should consult a doctor before consuming hibiscus extract as it can increase plasma creatinine levels leading to muscular dysfunction and loss of kidney function.