Botanical Name: Hibiscus sabdariffa
- English: Jamaican Sorrel
- Ayurvedic: Ambashtthaki.
- Also, known as: Semparuthi, Hibiskus Mei gui qie, Shan qie zi, karkade,Oseille de Guinee, Hibiscus, Roselle, Sabdariffa-Eibisch, Karcade; Roozera, Rosela, Vinagreira, Rosa de Jamaica, Hawaiian Hibiscus,and shoeblackplant, Roselle, ,Natal Sorrel, Red Sorrel, Sivappu Kashmakki, Pulichai-keerai, Gogu, Seemai, Kaseru, Laal-ambaadi, Patavaa, and Patsan.
Parts Used: Flower
The genus Hibiscus includes more than 300 species of annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or trees. An erect annual herb grows up to 5-8 feet tall with lobed leaves and white or yellow flowers with dark centers. The fleshy red sepals are surrounded by an outer row of bracts. The leaves are alternate, 5-10 cm long, green with reddish veins and long or short petioles. The leaves of young seedlings and upper leaves of older plants are simple; lower leaves are deeply 3-7 lobed; the margins are toothed. Flowers, borne singly in the leaf axils, are up to 10 cm wide, yellow or buff with a rose or maroon eye, and turn pink as they wither at the end of the day. At this time, the typically red calyx, consisting of five large sepals with a collar of 8-10 slim, pointed bracts around the base, begins to enlarge, becomes fleshy, crisp but juicy, 3-5 cm long and fully encloses the velvety capsule, 1-2 cm long, which is green when immature, five valve, with each valve containing 2-4 kidney-shaped, light-brown seeds, 2-4 mm long and minutely downy. The capsule turns brown and splits open when mature and dry. The calyx, stems and leaves are acid and closely resemble the cranberry in flavor. Seeds are mostly directly sown into the fields but plants can also be grown from transplanted seedlings or even cuttings.
Tea and various cold drinks are very popular in African and Latin American countries. The seeds are eaten roasted or ground in meals, while the leaves and shoots are eaten raw or cooked, or as a sour-flavored vegetable or condiment but its main use is as a natural food color and sweet-sour flavor in herbal teas. In some countries the leaves are eaten green or dried, cooked with onions and groundnuts, while the cooked leaves are eaten as vegetables as well. The seeds are roasted or ground into powder and used in meals, such as oily soups and sauces. Hibiscus is one of the most key species grown commercially as a fiber plant and became increasingly important in India after independence and partition with Pakistan, where the most key jute growing areas are. It is used as a jute, additional in making clothing, linen, fishing nets, ropes and similar products.
How to use:
There are different ways to use powdered herb.
Food Preparation: You can add powdered herbs to any super food, herbal smoothie, sauces, spreads and even cookies. Also for children, you can mix powdered herbs with honey or glycerin to make a paste. The thicker the paste, the more potent and herbal in taste. The sweet taste of honey and glycerin will help the medicine go down. This method is also known as "Electuaries".
Capsules: Encapsulating your own powdered herb at home, give you assurance that the contents of the capsules are pure herb and no filler or any other products. These capsules can be taken with liquid.
Poultice: Poultice can be made with an herbal powder and liquid (mostly water) to form a paste which is then applied to the skin. This method is very helpful for skin conditions.
Herbal shot: Powdered herb can be mixed with water, fruit juice or other liquid to make herbal shot.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.