Hibiscus Flower (Whole) (hibiscus sabdariffa)
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ALSO KNOWN AS: hibiscus, ambashthaki, roselle
PLANT FAMILY: Malvaceae
PART(S) USED: Whole dried flower
OVERVIEW: There are over 220 species within the genus Hibiscus. Hibiscus plants grow in most tropical areas of the world, with a minority of species able to survive in freezing environments. Hibiscus flowers come in a glorious variety of colors. The leaves, young shoots, and flowers from this plant are common sources of food and drink throughout the tropical regions where it thrives. Its large, showy flowers are most commonly brewed as hibiscus tea. In the Caribbean, the vibrantly red infusion is mixed with rum and served as a cocktail.
TRADITIONAL USES: Hibiscus is most commonly used as a tea, served both hot and cold as a refreshing, floral drink. Medicinally, the flower is traditionally used to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is also known to be highly nutritious due to its high vitamin C content.
PRECAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS: While Hibiscus is commonly used in food and drink, it is important to take caution when using it as a medicine. Consult a healthcare practitioner before medicinal use, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, on any medications (especially those for diabetes and low blood pressure). Discontinue use two weeks prior to any surgery.
WARNING: This information is for educational purposes only, has not been evaluated by Health Canada, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.