Hibiscus sabdariffa is a robust shrub-like plant that grows 4-7 feet.
It has dark green leaves. The stems, branches, leaf veins, and petioles are reddish purple.
Some of its other common names include; Florida cranberry, Indian sorrel, Jamaican sorrel, Red Tea, China Rose, Red Sorrell, Roselle, Jamaica Tea, and Sudanese Tea.
The plant is common in India and Malaysia. It also grows in many tropical countries.
The Hibiscus flower is made into a tea in various parts of the world. Hibiscus has a mild flavour and many culinary uses.
Hibiscus sabdariffa has several health benefits. It is a traditional remedy for abscesses, bilious conditions, cancer, cough, debility, fever, hangover, heart ailment and hypertension.
The herb acts as a mild laxative and relaxes the uterus. It reduces blood pressure and has been used to alleviate indigestion and loss of appetite. It contains Vitamin C and is good for colds, respiratory problems, and circulation disorders.
The succulent calyx is boiled in water and used as a drink in bilious attacks. In addition, the drink made by placing the calyx in water is said to be a good remedy for cancer.
Ingestion of the plant extract decreases the rate of absorption of alcohol and reduces the effects of alcohol.
In East Africa, the calyx infusion, called “Sudan tea” is taken to relieve coughs.
Hydroxcytric acid is a major acid component of hibiscus sabdariffa. Its concentration ranges from 10%-30%.
The acid promotes body fat loss in human without stimulating the central nervous system. It therefore helps in reducing incidences of obesity in human beings.
A combination of wild Roselle calyx, Passion fruit seed, Grape complex seed and skin, Willow herb leaf, Liquorice root, Saw palmetto berry among other substances is used to make HP8 tablets.
The tablets are also referred to as herbal complex or proprietary blend. They are a natural and effective way to maximize healthy prostate function.
The tablets promote prostate health by maintaining healthy reproductive tissue and promoting healthier reproductive hormonal metabolism and balance. They also help promote the conversion of estrogens to beneficial protective forms.
A lotion made from the leaves is used in sores and wounds. Heated leaves can be applied to cracks in the feet and on boils and ulcers to speed maturation.
The calyx of hibiscus sabdariffa also drastically reduces bacterial load in wastewater and therefore reduces the bacterial infection from the use of such water.
The plant is widely cultivated and well consumed as a beverage called ‘zobo’ in Nigeria.