Hibiscus is a bushy annual plant, used to make a popular drink in Egypt called Karkade. Various parts of the plant are also used to make jams, spices, soups, and sauces. The flowers are used to make medicine.
Hibiscus is used for treating loss of appetite, colds, heart and nerve diseases, upper respiratory tract pain and swelling (inflammation), fluid retention, stomach irritation, and disorders of circulation; for dissolving phlegm; as a gentle laxative; and as a diuretic to increase urine output. Other use of Hibiscus are:
The hibiscus has had a lengthy history of use in Africa and neighboring tropical countries. Its fragrant flowers have been used in sachets and perfumes. In areas of northern Nigeria, this plant has been used to treat constipation. Fiber from H. sabdariffa has been used to fashion rope as a jute substitute. The fleshy red calyx is used in the preparation of jams, jellies, and cold and warm teas and drinks. The leaves have been used like spinach.
In Western countries, hibiscus flowers often are found as components of herbal tea mixtures. In Thailand, people consume roselle juice to quench thirst. Karkade seed products (ie, karkade defatted flour, protein concentrate, protein isolate) have been studied for their nutritional and functional value.
A randomized clinical trial evaluated the effect of sour tea available commercially in Iran on essential hypertension in otherwise healthy volunteers. A decrease in blood pressure was seen. However, after cessation of drinking the sour tea, a rise in blood pressure occurred. Although no adverse effects were seen in this study, the use of sour tea for treating hypertension requires further study.
Aqueous extracts of hibiscus appear to exert a slight antibacterial effect. In laboratory and animal studies, worms were killed by hibiscus extracts. Research reveals little or no clinical data regarding the use of hibiscus as an antibacterial or vermifuge (kill worms).
Hibiscus tea helps resolve metabolic syndrome
Hibiscus tea has been found to improve markers of metabolic syndrome. What is metabolic syndrome? It is a physiological state marked by the break down of insulin signaling. This results in abnormally high levels of insulin that create disorder in the body. Blood sugar and cholesterol levels spike. Blood vessels harden and stiffen. Chronic infections run wild as the immune system is subdued. The liver becomes clogged with fat and cholesterol. The brain fills up with non-functional, junk protein fibers. And so on.
Metabolic syndrome is also a cluster of interrelated diseases. That is, it is the root cause of a family of chronic diseases. Many chronic diseases appear as if they have little in common. What does type 2 diabetes have to do with heart disease? Or kidney stones with cataracts? Well, they have everything in common. They are merely manifestations of an underlying disease process. For example, hypertension, liver disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, glaucoma, dementia, and kidney disease are all impacted by defective insulin signaling (metabolic syndrome).