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M.Sc. Biotechnology, B.Sc. Biotechnology
Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
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Last updated on:
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Hibiscus

Hibiscus
Hibiscus or Gudhal, commonly known as China rose is an attractive red flower.
External application of Hibiscus powder or the flower paste with coconut oil on the scalp helps in promoting hair growth and prevents greying of hair.
Drinking Hibiscus tea might help in the management of menorrhagia, bleeding piles, diarrhea and high blood pressure. It also has good aphrodisiac and laxative properties[2].

What are the synonyms of Hibiscus?

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Gudahal, Jawa, Mondaro, Odophulo, Dasnigae, Dasavala, Jasud, Jasuva, Dasani, Dasanamu, Sevarattai, Sembaruthi, Oru, Joba, Japa Kusum, Garden Hibiscus, China rose, Angharaehindi, Shoeblackplant[1]

What is the source of Hibiscus?

Plant Based

Benefits of Hibiscus

Menorrhagia
Heavy menstrual bleeding is known as Raktapradar or excessive secretion of menstrual blood. This is due to an aggravated Pitta dosha. Hibiscus helps control heavy menstrual bleeding by balancing Pitta dosha. This is due to its Sita (cold) and Kashaya (astringent) properties.
Tip:
1. Make 1-2 cup of Hibiscus tea.
2. Add honey to enhance the taste.
3. Have it once or twice a day to control heavy menstrual bleeding.

Bleeding Piles
Hibiscus helps to control bleeding in piles. According to Ayurveda, bleeding in piles is due to an aggravation of Pitta dosha. Hibiscus reduces bleeding and gives cooling effect in case of bleeding piles. This is due to its Pitta balancing and Kashaya (astringent) properties.
Tip:
1. Make 1-2 cup of Hibiscus tea.
2. Add honey to enhance the taste.
3. Have it once or twice a day to manage bleeding piles.

Diarrhea
Diarrhea is known as Atisar in Ayurveda. It is due to improper food, water, environmental toxins, mental stress and Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). All these factors are responsible for aggravating Vata. This aggravated Vata brings fluid in the intestine from various tissues from the body and mixes with the stool. This leads to loose, watery motions or diarrhea. Include Hibiscus tea in your diet if you are suffering from diarrhea. Hibiscus may help your body absorb more nutrients and control diarrhea due to its Grahi (absorbent) property.
Tip:
1. Make 1-2 cup of Hibiscus tea.
2. Add honey to enhance the taste.
3. Have it once or twice a day to control diarrhea.

Precautions when using Hibiscus

Allergy
scientific
Scientific View
People who are allergic to the members of the Malvaceae family may be allergic to Hibiscus. In such cases, consult your doctor before taking Hibiscus or its supplements[7].
Breastfeeding
Important
scientific
Scientific View
Not enough scientific evidence is available on the use of Hibiscus or its supplements during breastfeeding. So it is advisable to avoid Hibiscus.
Minor Medicine Interaction
scientific
Scientific View
Although it is safe to consume Hibiscus in food amounts, the supplements may interfere with the activity of analgesic and antipyretic drugs. So it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Hibiscus supplements along with analgesics and antipyretics[3].
Patients with diabetes
scientific
Scientific View
Hibiscus may lower blood glucose level. So it is generally advisable to monitor the blood glucose level regularly if you are taking Hibiscus supplements along with anti-diabetic drugs[4].
Patients with heart disease
scientific
Scientific View
Hibiscus may lower blood pressure. So it is generally advisable to monitor the blood pressure regularly if you are taking Hibiscus supplements along with anti-hypertensive drugs[5].
Pregnancy
Important
scientific
Scientific View
Avoid Hibiscus or its supplements during pregnancy. Hibiscus has anti-implantation property due to which it may cause miscarriage[6].
Side Effects
scientific
Scientific View
1. Skin rash
2. Hives[7].

Recommended Dosage of Hibiscus

  • Hibiscus Capsule - 1 capsule twice a day or as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Hibiscus Syrup - 3-4 teaspoon twice a day or as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Hibiscus Powder - 1/4-1/2 teaspoon twice a day or as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Hibiscus Tea - 1-2 cups in a day.

How to use Hibiscus

1. Hibiscus Capsule
a. Take 1 Hibiscus capsule or as prescribed by the doctor.
b. Swallow with water after lunch and dinner.

2. Hibiscus Syrup
a. Take 3-4 teaspoons Hibiscus syrup or as prescribed by the doctor.
b. Mix with water and have it after lunch and dinner.

3. Hibiscus Powder
a. Take ¼-½ teaspoon Hibiscus powder or as prescribed by the doctor.
b. Mix with honey or water and have it twice a day after taking food.

4. Hibiscus Tea
a. Take 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
b. Add 1-2 teaspoon Hibiscus tea to the pan.
c. Once brought to a boil, switch off the flame and cover the pan.
d. Add some Tulsi leaves.
e. Add 1/2 teaspoon honey and 1-2 teaspoon fresh lime juice and mix well.
f. Strain the tea and serve hot.
g. You can skip honey if you are diabetic.

5. Hibiscus fresh juice
a. In a pan, add 1½ cup dried Hibiscus flower or ¼-½ Hibiscus powder.
b. Add 6 cups of water and 3-inch piece of fresh ginger to it.
c. Bring to a simmer on medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes.
d. Add 1-2 teaspoon honey and stir till it dissolves completely.
e. Strain the juice and let it cool.
f. Refrigerate for some time and serve cold.
g. You can skip honey if you are diabetic.

Benefits of Hibiscus

Hair loss
Hibiscus helps to control hair fall and promote hair growth by providing nourishment to the scalp. Hibiscus leaves also prevents premature greying of hair due to its Sita (cold) nature.
Tip:
1. Take a handful of Hibiscus leaves and grind it to make a paste by adding little water to it.
2. Apply the paste on the scalp.
3. Leave it for 1-2 hours and wash with lukewarm water.
4. Repeat this atleast once a week to control hair fall.

Sunburn
Sunburn occurs when the sun rays increase the Pitta present in the skin and reduce the Rasa Dhatu. Rasa Dhatu is the nourishing fluid which gives color, complexion and glow to the skin. Applying a paste of Hibiscus leaves gives a cooling effect and reduces the burning sensation. This is due to its Sita (cold) and Ropan (healing) nature.
Tip:
1. Take a handful of Hibiscus leaves or as per your requirement and grind it by adding little water to it to make a paste.
2. Apply the paste on the affected area.
3. Leave it for 2-3 hours and wash with lukewarm water.
4. Repeat it once or twice a day to manage sunburn.

Precautions when using Hibiscus

Allergy
scientific
Scientific View
Hibiscus may cause allergic reactions in hypersensitive people. Apply Hibiscus paste or juice to a small area first to test for possible allergic reactions[7].

Recommended Dosage of Hibiscus

  • Hibiscus Powder - ½ -1 teaspoon a day or as per your requirement.
  • Hibiscus Oil - 4-5 teaspoons or as per your requirement.

How to use Hibiscus

1. Hibiscus Powder Face Mask
a. Take 1-2 teaspoons of dried Hibiscus powder.
b. Add ¼ cup of ground brown rice.
c. Add 1-2 teaspoons aloe vera gel and 1-2 teaspoons yogurt.
d. Add water and mix well to make a fine paste.
e. Apply this pack on your face and neck.
f. Leave it for 10-15 minutes till it dries.
g. Wash it off with warm water.

2. Hibiscus Infused Hair Oil
a. Grind 5-6 Hibiscus flowers and 5-6 Hibiscus leaves into a fine paste.
b. Add 1 cup of warm coconut oil to this paste and mix well.
c. Apply this paste on the scalp and through the entire length of your hair.
d. Massage gently and leave for about 30 minutes.
f. Wash your hair with shampoo.
g. Repeat this process to control premature greying of hair and hair fall.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can Hibiscus leaves be eaten?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Hibiscus leaves are edible. They contain important nutrients and minerals required by the body. You can consume dried Hibiscus leaves or its extract.

Q. Can Hibiscus be grown indoors?

scientific
Scientific View
Although Hibiscus is an outdoor plant and tends to bloom big,
you can grow them indoors as well with smaller flowers. With proper environmental conditions such as humidity and light, Hibiscus plant can thrive indoors.

Q. How do you take care of a Hibiscus plant?

scientific
Scientific View
1. Hibiscus is a tropical plant that requires at least 3-4 hours of sunlight along with a warm and humid environment.
2. Hibiscus can tolerate a temperature of 16-32℃. So make sure to shift the plant indoors during winters.
3. During summer, a large amount of water is required to keep the plant healthy. However, during winters, water it only when the soil dries. Excess water may kill the plant. Make sure to have proper drainage.

Q. Do Hibiscus like sun or shade?

scientific
Scientific View
Although Hibiscus will thrive in fully sunny areas, it does not necessarily need direct sunlight if the surrounding temperature is high. Hibiscus should be kept in the shade if the temperature goes beyond 33℃.

Q. Is Hibiscus tea caffeine-free?

scientific
Scientific View
No, Hibiscus tea does not contain caffeine as it does not come from Camellia sinensis (shrub/small tree whose leaves or buds are used to produce tea).

Q. How do you make a Hibiscus mask?

scientific
Scientific View
1. Take 1-2 teaspoons of Hibiscus flower powder.
2. Add ¼ cup of ground brown rice.
3. Add 1-2 teaspoons aloe vera gel and 1-2 teaspoons yogurt.
4. Add water and mix well to make a fine paste.
5. Apply this pack on your face and neck.
6. Leave it for 10-15 minutes till it dries.
7. Wash it off with warm water.

Q. How to use Hibiscus powder for skin?

scientific
Scientific View
1. Take 1-2 teaspoons of dried Hibiscus powder.
2. Add ¼ cup of ground brown rice.
3. Add 1-2 teaspoons aloe vera gel and 1-2 teaspoons yogurt.
4. Add water and mix well to make a fine paste.
5. Apply this pack on your face and neck.
6. Leave it for 10-15 minutes till it dries.
7. Wash it off with warm water.

Q. How to use Hibiscus flower and leaves for hair?

scientific
Scientific View
1. Take 2-3 Hibiscus flowers and 5-6 Hibiscus leaves.
2. Grind to make a smooth paste.
3. Add 2-3 drops of Coconut/Olive oil to it.
4. Add 1-2 tablespoon of curd.
5. Mix well and apply this paste on the scalp and hair.
6. Keep for 1-2 hours and rinse well with shampoo.
7. Repeat this once a week to control hair fall and premature greying of hair.

Q. Which Hibiscus flower is good for hair?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
There is no specific variety of Hibiscus flower for promoting hair growth. You can use any type of Hibiscus flower but it is better to use the petals for better result.
Tip:
1. Take a few petals of Hibiscus.
2. Wash under running tap water to remove any dust.
3. Grind them and apply directly on the scalp.
4. Keep for 1-2 hours and then rinse with shampoo.
5. Repeat atleast once a week for better results.

Q. Does Hibiscus cause infertility?

scientific
Scientific View
Although consuming Hibiscus in food amounts is safe, prolonged intake of high doses of Hibiscus may have antifertility effects[7-9].

Q. Can Hibiscus tea upset the stomach?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Drinking Hibiscus tea is relatively safe but it can cause gas or constipation if taken in excess amount. This is due to its Kashaya (astringent) property. It might also cause constipation by absorbing water from the intestine.

Q. Does Hibiscus cause impotence?

scientific
Scientific View
Although consuming Hibiscus in food amounts is safe, high doses of Hibiscus may kill sperms causing impotence temporarily[10].

Q. Does Hibiscus tea lower blood pressure?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, drinking a cup of Hibiscus tea might help lower high blood pressure. This is due to the presence of anthocyanins in Hibiscus. It lowers the concentration of angiotensin-converting enzyme and sodium in the blood. This causes a drop in blood pressure[5][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Hibiscus tea can reduce blood pressure level by increasing urination. This is due to its Mutral (diuretic ) property.

Q. Is Hibiscus good for heart?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Hibiscus has cardioprotective effects. Quercetin in Hibiscus lowers blood pressure and promotes dilation of the blood vessels. Hibiscus also protects cardiac muscle cells with its anti-oxidant property[8][9].

Q. Does Hibiscus have a role in controlling abnormal lipid levels in the body?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Hibiscus has hypolipidemic effect and helps in controlling high lipid levels in the body.

Q. Does Hibiscus tea help you sleep?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Hibiscus tea might help improve sleep. Drinking Hibiscus tea reduces anxiety by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body. This is due to the presence of flavanoids in Hibiscus tea[13].

Q. Does Hibiscus tea lower cholesterol?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Hibiscus tea helps to lower the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases. One of the studies states that consumption of Hibiscus tea helps lower the level of LDL and improves the level of HDL (good cholesterol)[14].

Q. Is Hibiscus good for UTI?

scientific
Scientific View
Hibiscus is said to reduce the symptoms of UTI due to its antibacterial activity. It acts against Pseudomonas sp, the primary pathogen causing urinary tract infections[12].

Q. Can Hibiscus tea help you in case of a headache?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
A headache can be mild, moderate or severe that affects the whole head, a part of the head, forehead or the eyes. According to Ayurveda, a headache is caused because of two primary reasons Vata and Pitta imbalance. In Vata type of headache, the pain is intermittent and symptoms are insomnia, depression and constipation. Second is a Pitta type of headache in which the pain is usually felt on one side of the head. Use of Hibiscus powder or tea helps in Pitta type headache due to its Pitta balancing property and Sita (cold) potency.

Q. Can Hibiscus cause skin rashes?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
No, in fact, Hibiscus can make the skin firm and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It has a mild exfoliating effect and helps remove dead cells. This is due to it's Kashaya (astringent) and Rasayana (rejuvenating) properties. But it is advisable to consult a doctor before applying on the face if you have hypersensitive skin.

Q. Is Hibiscus good for acne?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, Hibiscus can help manage acne due to its antibacterial activity. It inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria S.aureus and reduces pain and redness around acne[12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Hibiscus helps to control acne when applied on the skin. It reduces swelling around acne and helps in the healing of acne scar. This is due to its Sita (cold) and Ropan (healing) properties.

Q. Can Hibiscus help in wound healing?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, studies state that Hibiscus flower helps in wound healing by increasing collagen synthesis and cellular proliferation. It also has the ability to promote keratinocyte (outermost layer of the skin) proliferation[15].

Q. Can Hibiscus extract cure baldness?

scientific
Scientific View
Hibiscus cannot completely cure baldness. Studies state that Hibsicus leaves extract can help promote hair growth. This is due to the presence of phytoconstituents in it[16].

Q. What does Hibiscus do for your skin?

scientific
Scientific View
Application of a paste of Hibiscus powder helps control acne. This is due to its antibacterial activity against S. aureus[12].

References

  1. Balkrishnan A.Gudhal.Ayurved jadi buti rehsya. Danik Bhaskar.2017.
  2. Upadhyay P, Upadhyay S.Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis:Pharmacological review. Int J Pharm Biomed Res. 2011; 2(4):1449-1450.
  3. WebMD.Hibiscus: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
  4. Venkatesh S, Thilagavathi J, Shyam sundar D.Antidiabetic activity of flowers of Hibiscus rosasinensis.Fitoterapia.2008;79(2):79-81.
  5. McKay DL, Chen C-YO, Saltzman E et al.Hibiscus sabdariffa L. tea (tisane) lowers blood pressure in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults.J Nutr.2010;140(2):298-303.
  6. Vasudeva N, Sharma SK.Post-coital antifertility activity of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. roots.Evidence-based Complement Altern Med.2008;5(1):91-94.
  7. Ulbricht CE.Natural Standard:Herb and Supplement Guide, An Evidence Based Reference.Elsevier;2010.
  8. Kholkute SD, Mudgal V, Deshpande PJ.Screening of indigenous medicinal plants for antifertility potentiality.Planta Med.1976;29(2):151-155.
  9. Singh MP, Singh RH, Udupa KN.Antifertility activity of a benzene extract of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers on female albino rats.Planta Med.1982;44(3):171-174.
  10. Orisakwe OE, Husaini DC, Afonne OJ.Testicular effects of sub-chronic administration of Hibiscus sabdariffa calyx aqueous extract in rats.Reprod Toxicol.2004;18(2):295-298.
  11. Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Jalali-Khanabadi BA, Afkhami-Ardekani M et al.The effects of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on hypertension in patients with type II diabetes.J Hum Hypertens.2009;23:48-54.
  12. Ruban P, Gajalakshmi K.In vitro antibacterial activity of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower extract against human pathogens.Asian Pac J Trop Biomed.2012;2(5):399–403.
  13. Shewale PB, Patil RA, Hiray YA.Antidepressant-like activity of anthocyanidins from Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers in tail suspension test and forced swim test.Indian J Pharmacol.2012;44(4):454-7.
  14. Kumar V, Singh P, Chander R, et al.Hypolipidemic activity of Hibiscus rosa sinensis root in rats.Indian J Biochem Biophys.2009;46(6):507-10.
  15. Martino O, Tito A, Lucia A, et al.Hibiscus syriacus Extract from an established cell culture stimulates skin wound healing.Biomed Res Int.2017: 7932019.
  16. Agrawal A, Pal VK, Sharma S, et al.Phytochemical investigation and hair growth promoting activity of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis.Chronother Drug Deliv.2016;7(1): 31-39.
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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