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12 Health Benefit of Hibiscus Flower You Should Know

Olidhealth.com – If you have seen crimson red-colored tea, it is a kind of unique tea that came from red flowers. This flower is called roselle or hibiscus and it is also popular for improving body health and mind. Furthermore, the plant also can be used as an ornament on a pot with colorful flowers. Some people purchase this dried flower to make healthy tea. Well, are you curious about this magnificent tea for your body? Read this article to know more about the health benefit of the hibiscus flower.

What Is The Hibiscus Plant?

Hibiscus (a.k.a Hibiscus genus) is a type of plant that is native to tropical and subtropical places like China, Hawaii, Africa, Madagascar, America, and Indonesia. If you know the rosella flower, it also has the same genus as Hibiscus. Even though all rosella flowers are hibiscus, all hibiscus are not rosella. There are some types of hibiscus that are popular in some regions of the world.

the type of hibiscus flower
  • Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis – Originally native in China or India. Easy to grow and used to be an ornament or ayurvedic medication.
  • Hibiscus kokio – Hawaiian type of hibiscus. Commonly used for ornament with small-sized flowers and red color.
  • Hibiscus liliiflorus – Native on Africa and Mauritius island. Used to make herbal tea with its flower or leaves.
  • Hibiscus storckii – This plant is found in Fiji, Japan, and become an endemic flower. It has a distinctive pinkish color and is nearly extinct
  • Hibiscus sabdariffa – known as roselle flower. Natively on central Africa, but it spread across the world.

Moreover, some parts of the hibiscus are edible such as calyxes, leaves, and flowers. Calyxes on this plant are believed to have vitamin C and antioxidants. However, it is not all hibiscus plants are edible. So, make sure you know the type of hibiscus that is usually found in your garden and identify it first before consuming it.

Nutrition Value of Hibiscus Plant

If hibiscus for healthy is the real thing, it should have abundant nutrition right. So, we summarize the nutrition value of 100 gram serving hibiscus both fresh and brewed. We also compare the nutrition amount with the daily value (DV) of adults (19 to 50 years old) according to the dietary supplementary fact sheet [1].

Type of NutrientHibiscus Raw [2]Hibiscus Brewed [3]
Total Protein960 mgr0 mgr
Total Lipid640 mgr0 mgr
Total Carb11.3 gr0 gr
Calcium (Ca)215.0 mgr (21.5% DV)8.0 mgr (<1% DV)
Magnesium (Mg)51.0 mgr (13% DV)3.0 mgr (<1% DV)
Phosphorus (P)37.0 mgr (5% DV)1.0 mgr (<1% DV)
Iron (Fe)1480 µgr (14% DV for Male)(10% DV for Female)80.0 µgr (<1% DV)
Manganese (Mn)447 µgr (19% DV)
Zinc (Zn)40 µgr (<1% DV)
Vitamin C12 mgr (13% DV)0 mgr
Vitamin A287 IU (10% DV)0 IU
Niacin (Vit B3)310 µgr (19% DV)40 µgr (3% DV)

Other nutrition that is excluded from this table is anthocyanin, flavonoid, and organic acid also presented on this plant since the red color represents the anthocyanin compound. In these data, We conclude that hibiscus has more nutrition while it is still fresh and decreased in brewing. It is a fact that heat can denature protein and lower nutrition amount. However, if you want to consume hibiscus fresh, be mindful to know the type of hibiscus you eat first since some types of these plants are barely edible. The flower, especially with its nectar is considered safe to eat raw, but sanitize your hand first before eating this.

Health Benefits of The Hibiscus Plant

Hibiscus has many benefits for health according to its nutritional value. Moreover, it also serves as herbal tea to calm your mind and improve mental health as well. So, that is just the tip of the hibiscus feature. We show you why hibiscus is beneficial for health.

Hibiscus Tea Is Rich In Antioxidants

hibiscus tea is full of antioxidant

Well, that is ultimately true since the red color of hibiscus tea contains an antioxidant called anthocyanin. This compound contributes to protecting cells against free radical scavengers and oxidative stress. In some research, dye on this plant, especially the extract of hibiscus calyxes is used to reduce nephrotoxicity with antioxidants [4]. Other research also finds that hibiscus extract has antioxidants to reduce the scavenging effect significantly [5]. Despite both studies being performed on rats, they show magnificent benefits to keeping our body stay healthy. It still needs further medical studies to claim antioxidants on hibiscus are great to reduce the risk of certain diseases that are caused by oxidation stress.

Other compounds like vitamin C and beta-carotene as vitamin A also existed in this plant, but brewing it at a high temperature could destroy it. We highly recommended to watch out for the temperature while you brew it. There is also other food that contains antioxidants besides this plant. If you are interested in it, we also write another article about antioxidant food and its beneficial feature for health improvement.

Anti Inflammation On Hibiscus Flower

hibiscus manihot for anti inflammation

Like antioxidants, hibiscus may have an anti-inflammation effect. In ayurvedic medication, this plant, especially Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis (a.k.a Chinese hibiscus) is popular as medicine for the common cold as well as reduce swelling and inflammation. The pigment color on hibiscus or anthocyanidin is the main compound that offers an anti-inflammation effect to prevent certain diseases and conditions such as rash and redness on the skin. Moreover, vitamin C and A also serve as inflammation prevention to reduce disease development in certain areas.

According to a study in 2022, Hibiscus manihot has an anti-inflammation effect that is expected to become a new medication [6]. If you want to consume this beneficial plant, you can harvest its flower and calyxes since the reddish color of hibiscus are good to be consumed.

Reduce Bad Cholesterol

hibiscus may reduce bad cholesterol

Cholesterol is a silent killer and one of the heart attacks causes so far. Everyone naturally has it since this compound is used on the liver. To begin with, there are good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. So, to maintain your heart and artery, you should increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.

Hibiscus actually have some properties to reduce bad cholesterol since active compound such as antioxidant. Furthermore, this plant also has a good expectation to treat people with hypercholesterolemia conditions. According to research in 2007, the extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa could reduce cholesterol levels [7]. Consuming at least one cup a day of hibiscus tea may balance your cholesterol level day by day.

Consuming Hibiscus Tea Could Lose Some Weight By Several Pounds

the benefit of hibiscus to losing weight instantly

Is it that true hibiscus tea could reduce your weight? Yes, that is true. There also come study about hibiscus benefit to fight obesity. Research in 2017 found that hibiscus contains polyphenol as well as flavonoid and anthocyanin to regulate metabolism and prevent obesity [8]. On top of that, the extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa has a potent effect to reduce fat in the liver and prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver to grow [9]. This plant is unbelievably great for people who have overweight and intend to lose weight effectively. If you want to consume this healthy flower, make it herbal tea with a moderate dosage since it could be toxic in high dosage [10]. Moreover, increase the effectiveness of losing weight with cardio or workout because drinking tea is not enough to lose belly fat naturally.

Balance Liver Function By Drinking Hibiscus Tea

preserve liver health by drinking hibiscus tea

Since the compound on the hibiscus could regulate fat within the liver, we can say that this plant has beneficial effects on liver health as well. Moreover, managing fatty acids is also related to blood sugar levels because of obesity concerns and liver toxicity. In some cases, consuming hibiscus tea could treat people with a diabetic condition. Research in 2014 showed anti-hepatotoxic hibiscus to treat damaged liver by diabetes mellitus [11]. The flavonoid on the hibiscus plays a role to support the liver by protecting against free radical scavengers. However, excessive consuming hibiscus tea has a negative effect on the liver instead. So, be careful before drinking this tea to gain its benefit and avoid its downside.

Strengthening Hair Health With Hibiscus Paste

create hair mask with hibiscus paste

Using hibiscus as a healthy flower is not only by consuming it but this plant can be applied to your external body. Some people believe that a mixture of paste of hibiscus leaves, flowers, and added coconut oil could stimulate hair growth as well as treat dandruff and prevent grey color in later years. In Ayurveda medication, the hibiscus flower could treat alopecia by creating a hair mask with this plant. In some studies in 2003, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis actually promote hair growth even though it is in animal case [12].

Creating a hibiscus hair mask is simple. The first one is to grind the leave and flowers into semi-pasta. Next is to add oil to dilute it (coconut oil or olive oil is good). After the ingredient is completely mixed, apply it to your hair and leave it for at least 60 minutes. Wash with warm water and rinse it to clean the hair mask.

Maintain Skin Health By Using Hibiscus Flower

hibiscus paste for skin care

Hibiscus flowers also have a good effect on skin health. Is that true? In the previous sections, this plant has proven to have beneficial features to promote hair, so it is not strange if the hibiscus is also good for the skin. Some research on the hibiscus plant finds that it has a protective effect against ultraviolet rays [13]. Moreover, hibiscus extract also has flavonoids and antioxidants that can be used as anti-aging agents in skin care products [14]. Besides, it can protect the skin, this flower also could promote the healing of skin wounds in some cases [15]. So, this flower actually beneficial as food and paste for skin health naturally.

Are hibiscus could heal a sunburn? Well, there is no evidence about using hibiscus paste to reduce sunburn. However, we write another article about treating sunburn with some tips and tricks. You can read it to know more about it.

Ease Depression and Improve Cognitive Health With Hibiscus Tea

reduce depression by consuming hibiscus flower

As an herbal tea, hibiscus has an impressive protective effect against cognitive disease and multiple sclerosis. A study in 2022 suggests that Hibiscus sabdariffa could prevent neurodegeneration caused by iron toxicity in the brain [16]. On top of that, this plant has a secret weapon to fight neurological diseases. Yes, Delphinidin (Anthocyanin derivative) exists on the hibiscus as a pH indicator. However, it also has neurological benefits. Based on a study in 2018, this compound has a great antioxidant and anti-inflammation effect in protecting glial cells, one that plays a support role in the nervous system [17].

To improve cognitive function against ages and amnesia, hibiscus tea can be the optional solution for that. This flower is rich in antioxidants that could preserve brain function [18]. As for antidepressant properties, Hibiscus tiliaceus have a promising compound that could reduce depression, even though this study is based on an animal model [19].

Promote Better Sleeping And Good Mood After Consume Hibiscus Tea

hibiscus tea have power to improve sleep quality

Some herbal tea like green tea or chamomile tea is proven to have a good sedative effect for improving sleep quality and better mood. However, Hibiscus, a.k.a sour tea or roselle tea also have these feature to calm the mind. Moreover, mugunghwa (or hibiscus syriacus) actually could induce better sleep. Saponarin is presented within this plant that has a therapeutic effect to enhance mood and sleep quality [20]. So, try to consume this beneficial flower by brewing it into herbal tea at least one cup a day to relieve stress as well as promote sleep.

Using Hibiscus Tea For Lowering Blood Pressure

Maintain blood pressure by consuming hibiscus flower

We know high blood pressure is kind of common disease that happens to an adult. Even though there are food and drink that could reduce high blood pressure, they still lack the power to completely cure this disease. If you couldn’t manage high blood pressure well, it could affect other cardiovascular diseases and rupture the artery. To reduce blood pressure, Hibiscus tea surprisingly has the power to do that.

A study in 2015 found that hibiscus consumption can reduce systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure [21]. Another study in 2019 suggests that consuming hibiscus tea twice a day with a controlled diet could lower hypertension and prevent it in later cases [22]. Anthocyanin and certain compounds like quercetin within the hibiscus are believed to have an antihypertension effect. This means this herbal tea is good for treating people with blood pressure and cardiovascular problem.

Improve Bone Health By Consuming Hibiscus Tea

benefit of hibiscus for improving bone health

Maintaining bone health is also important because without them we barely get moved. To improve bone health, adequate calcium may help it, but other trace minerals are also needed to balance the nutrition. Manganese in small amounts is used to reconnect bone cell and strengthen it. Moreover, anthocyanin like delphinidin also important to prevent osteoporosis and enhance bone health [23]. Both of these nutrients are inside the hibiscus flower and can be an alternative choice to promote bone health. However, just eating herbal food is not enough to prevent osteoporosis at a later time. Exercise and balanced daily life are also good to strengthen bones and muscles. Check our article about tips to maintain bone health if you are interested in it.

Hibiscus Flower Contain Anti-cancer Properties

hibiscus tea as anti-cancer agent

This plant surely has huge benefits for health especially in reducing fat and balancing blood pressure. However, Are hibiscus also contain compounds that could serve as an anti-cancer? Well, some studies proved its compatibility for treating cancer and preventing it. For instance, Hibiscus sabdariffa has good anticancer properties to reduce breast tumors and cancer based to a study in 2022 [24]. Moreover, the hibiscus might reduce melanoma or skin cancer by applying its flower to the skin [25]. Another study in 2015 also find that this plant could lower the risk of prostate cancer invasion [26]. Anthocyanin and flavonoids within the hibiscus plant are the main compounds that could be the potential medication to treat other cancer. Hopefully, there are more studies about hibiscus benefits for treating cancer in clinical research.

The Side Effect of The Hibiscus Plant

the side effect of hibiscus flower

Children can drink hibiscus tea since they are not harmful to them. And this crimson tea is good to start out a new day. Even though hibiscus plants are beneficial for health, it also has downside effect. Some people believe that this plant has a contraceptive effect on women that could prohibit fertilization. Moreover, high dose consumption can’t make you more healthy instead, it could be toxic and accumulate in the liver in the end [10]. Other symptoms that cause by overuse of this plant are lower blood pressure, irregular menstrual period, or reducing some medicine effectiveness. So, be careful before consuming hibiscus, but external uses are fine as long as it is used for hair or skin.

Conclusion

Overall, hibiscus has many types and the one that usually we consume is rosella tea. Well, both hibiscus and rosella are the same plants that have abundant benefits for health. If you consume it as herbal tea, it can maintain blood pressure as well as reduce bad cholesterol. Moreover, applying hibiscus paste to your hair and skin could improve hair growth and skin health. Despite it also having side effects, it is completely safe for children and adults. Are you know about other herbal tea that is good to make a good mood? We also create some articles for that. You can check it out to increase your herbal tea collection with beneficial effects on the mind and body as well.

Reference

[1] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all/ – Dietary value according to the nutritionist.

[2] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168170/nutrients – Nutrition value of hibiscus raw.

[3] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171946/nutrients – Nutrition value of brewed hibiscus.

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3884795/ – Antioxidant on hibiscus used to reduce nephrotoxicity.

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21314460/ – Reducing scavenging effect by using antioxidants on hibiscus.

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878535221005189 – Hibiscus manihot contains the antioxidant and anti-inflammation effect to improve immunity.

[7] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0271531707000280 – A study about hibiscus extract successfully reduce cholesterol level.

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579700/ – Using hibiscus to prevent obesity.

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24549255/ – Reducing fat on the liver by using hibiscus extract.

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6337177/ – Hibiscus usage on treat obesity and toxicity concern.

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4131030/ – Protective feature on hibiscus against diabetic disease.

[12] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874103002319 – Hibiscus could improve hair growth.

[13] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003986118305472 – Ultraviolet protection with hibiscus extract based on research.

[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8000889/ – Hibiscus skin care could serve as an anti-aging product.

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5733167/ – A study about the relation between hibiscus and skin wounds.

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8834068/ – Prevent multiple sclerosis with hibiscus extract based on research.

[17] https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/454/1/012061 – Delphinidin effect to reduce oxidative stress on the nervous system.

[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3081450/ – Research about preventing cognitive disorder by hibiscus extract.

[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407014/ – Antidepressant property on hibiscus extract.

[20] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332221010854 – Therapeutic effect of hibiscus syriacus to improve sleep quality.

[21] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25875025/ – A study about high blood pressure treatment with hibiscus tea.

[22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6621350/ – Level 1 hypertension treatment with herbal remedies like hibiscus.

[23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4019566/ – Delphinidin is used to prevent bone loss.

[24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9056213/ – Lowering breast tumor risk by consuming hibiscus.

[25] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198834/ – Hibiscus could reduce melanoma aggression.

[26] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516987/ – A study about treating prostate cancer invasion by hibiscus extract.

Dr. James Stunt Sp. PDhttps://olidhealth.com
You can call me Dr. James. I have been a doctor for almost 10 years. Experience in Siloam hospital.
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