Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn is commonly called either Hibiscus, China Rose, Shoe flower or in some places it is locally called Gumamela.
Gumamela is cultivated as an ornamental plant and is one of the prettiest flower in the world that comes in many colors such as yellow, red, pink, white, orange, purple or an intermixture color.
The most common variety of this is the Hibiscus sabdariffa, in which the red flower on its variety is used for medical purposes and is present in some dietary supplements.
Gumamela’s flower, leaves and roots are used as herbal medicine, it’s an all way in utilization. Its common medicinal characteristics are expectorant, diuretic, emollient, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antipyretic, anodyne, and refrigerant.
Extracted hibiscus or hibiscus tea are used in countries throughout the world to cure, to prevent and to protect the body from unpredictable diseases. Hibiscus are used as herbal tea in Middle East and Okinawa to cure high blood pressure or to lower blood sugar. In Costa Rica, it’s used as purgative. In Venezuela, it’s used to treat tumors. In the Caribbean, it used as analgesic and anti-inflammatory. In the Dominican Republic, it’s used to treat hematomas.
Hibiscus is used for many treatments such as Bronchitis as an expectorant, coughs and sore throat, fever as refrigerant drink, treats dysentery, urinary tract infection, bladder infections, high blood pressure, preventions of constipation, headaches, boils, swelling and abscesses, mumps and many more.
Have you ever wonder why a simple flower can have this many benefits in our health? Aren’t you amaze? Thinking that you always see it every day in streets, in parks, in your neighbor’s garden or in your own yard yet you constantly ignore these colorful flowers because of a reason that its purpose is only for beautification.
Guess what? It has more than that the eye can see.
Here is the list of health benefits, that will surely stun you:
- Fights Cancer – hibiscus contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid which has antitumor and antioxidants properties that may help slow down cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis. This is why hibiscus tea or extracts is a naturally preventive measure against cancer.
- Protects Liver – the antioxidants properties of hibiscus may help treating liver diseases and protect your body from diseases as it helps to neutralize and repair free radical damage present in your body tissues and cells thus boosting your energy.
- Boosts Immunity – one of the main health benefits of hibiscus is that it is rich in ascorbic acid or also known as Vitamin C that is essential nutrient required by your body to boost level of immunity and stimulate the activity of the immune system.
- Cures Cold – hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C and its antibacterial properties and thus it has the potency to protect you from related infections such as sore throat, cough and headache. It used to treat discomfort caused by fever due to its cooling effect.
- Relieves Menstrual Pain – for some women who are going through tough hormonal period, hibiscus can be used to soothe hot flashes as it helps restoring hormonal imbalance which can reduce symptoms of menstruation such as mood swing, depression and overreacting.
- Act as an Antidepressant Agent – hibiscus contains vitamins and minerals specifically flavonoids which have been associated with antidepressant properties. It may help by calming the nervous system and it may reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body.
- Decelerate Ageing – the antioxidants in hibiscus not only helps to fight cancer but also to slow down the ageing of your cells, thus the result may be the secret to eternal youth.
- Acne Treatment – hibiscus has many anti-inflammatory substances and also Vitamin C that can stop the growth of acne and even clear the marks left by it.
- Maintains Fluids Balance – according to ancient Ayurvedic science, having hibiscus extracts can help maintain the fluid balance in your body. It was once used as a cure for edema or excess water retention in the body.
- Speeds Up Metabolism – Vitamin C has a very essential place in the digestive system. And as hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C, it can help to improve digestion as it regulates both urination and bowel movements. The diuretic properties present in hibiscus helps to treat constipation, improves gastrointestinal system and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Stops Hair fall – hibiscus oil is extremely beneficial for the hair and by applying this oil to your hair ensures that your hair grows strong from the roots and stops breaking up easily. It is believed to be the solution for hair loss, dandruff, overall hair health and many more.
- Darkens Hair Color – the essence oil in hibiscus can actually help you darken your hair color. In fact, it is a natural remedy against greying hair.
- Lower Levels of Cholesterol – the antioxidants in hibiscus are very similar to those found in red wine, it is heart healthy as it helps to lower cholesterol levels. The hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties of hibiscus can be beneficial for those who suffer from blood sugar disorders like diabetes thus thereby helping to protect against heart diseases and protecting blood vessels from damage,
- Maintains Body Temperature – according to ancient African medicine, having hibiscus flower extracts regulates the body temperature. It helps flush out excess body heat in summers.
Now, you may wonder how does hibiscus extract or tea taste like? Well, it is sometimes called sour tea. Though, its taste may vary depends on what condiments you’ll use.
There are two ways to utilize Gumamela (Hibiscus) as herbal medicine: one is dried and the other is fresh. Dried hibiscus is done by collecting any parts of the hibiscus plant and let it set for sun dry before boiling it to make a decoction while fresh hibiscus can be boiled directly after washing the plant.
Gumamela is also use as Poultice. Poultice is the used of fresh or dried herbs that is mashed, crushed, pounded thus often heated and applied externally on the afflicted area using a clean cloth or gauze to help the poultice stays in place.
Hibiscus become more widely accepted as an effective medical treatment. Not many people are aware that hibiscus is composed of organic acids and that contains vitamins and minerals that can truly help, protect, prevent and cure diseases.
Although hibiscus tea or extracts is a health enhancer, it is also best to consult first your doctor to ensure the accuracy of dosage you’ll ingest before taking any of this natural remedy.
- Goldman, Rena. 2017. “All You Need to Know About Hibiscus”. 22 June
- Barari, Anwesha. 2013. “13 Health Benefits of Gumamela”. 6 August
- Mozzafari-Khosravi, H., Jalali-Khanabad, B. A., Afkhami-Ardekani, M., and Fatehl, F. “Effects of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on lipid profile and lipoproteins in patients with type II diabetes”.
Altern.Complement Med 2009;15(8):899-903.
- McKay DL, Chen CY, Saltzman E, Blumberg Jb. “Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. tea (tisane) lowers blood pressure in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults”.
J Nutr 2010;140:298-303
- Haji, Faraji M. and Haji, Tarkhani a. “The effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on essential hypertension”. J.Ethnopharmacol
- Nagdeve, Meenakshi. 2019. “11 Amazing Hibiscus Tea Health Benefits”. 11 July
- Healing Wonders of Philippine Medicinal Plants. “Gumamela – Scientific name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn”.
- Philippine Herbal Medicine. “Gumamela (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn)”.
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