Hibiscus: Overview

Alternative names: Roselle

Hibiscus has been reported to have mild hypotensive activity although more studies need to be done to show its effectiveness in humans.  Other activities attributed to hibiscus are uterine and intestinal antispasmodic, bactericidal, appetite suppressant, diuretic and mild laxative.  Most of these claims come from various traditional sources are have not been tested rigorously.  The safety and pleasant nature of this herb make it a friendly addition to teas, tinctures, as well as a variety of products to traditionally address the conditions listed above.

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Hibiscus is the dried red sepals of the plant Hibiscus sabdariffa.  Grown in the subtropics of Sudan, China, Thailand, Mexico and the West Indies; hibiscus is a very popular ingredient in herbal teas.


Hibiscus contains between 1 and 2% anthocyanins (better known from grapes), large amounts (23%) of hibiscic acid and fruit acids (mainly citric acid) at about 12 to 17%.  These properties give hibiscus a reddish color and a tart flavor, properties that would enhance many tea blends.

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