Hibiscus for Health

5 min read

The word hibiscus is thrown around by many people in reference to a single flower. There are more species of hibiscus than many persons realize. In fact, there are over 250 different species that the word can refer to.

These species are all a part of the Malvaceae or mallow family, and the variation exists in more than just the flower colors. There are trees, herbs, and shrubs that all bear the hibiscus name.

What you also may not know is that the hibiscus flower has practical applications in the world of medicine. Roselle is one of the most common varieties that is used in this manner.

Here are some of the things you can expect this article to touch on when it comes to the hibiscus and healing:

  • Fever
  • Respiratory problems
  • Hypertension
  • Skin issues
  • Other conditions
  • Preparation

Just about every part of the hibiscus plant is used in medicine. This includes the plant seeds and roots.


When you have a fever and go to the doctor’s office, hibiscus flower medicine is probably not what you get to assist you with your ailment. However, these flowers are very effective in the treatment of fevers. Children respond to this kind of treatment evne better than adults do.

The common varieties are effective in this regard. Note that the roselle flower, for example, is a naturally occurring febrifuge. This means that It contains citric acid. You may know citric acid as an ingredient in your favorite drink.

However, it is also a natural coolant that works wonders for those who are ailing with fevers. Not everywhere in the world has adapted this kind of treatment. Nepal and Pakistan are the countries that are known to have done so.

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Respiratory Problems

Common hibiscus is also used in the addressing of respiratory illnesses. The first of this is the simple cough. This treatment occurs in two ways. The first is to have the patient bathe in water that contains the plant’s extract. The second is to have the extract placed in water for steam inhalation.

No matter what method is selected, the plant extract can get into the person’s respiratory system, which puts it at ease.

Cough syrup is also another application of the hibiscus. The syrup is not only made from the flower, but other herbs are also added.

Cuba is famed for using the flower in this regard. This is because the tropical climate that is present is a heavy contributor to respiratory issues. Additionally, the hibiscus can be easily found on the island.


Hypertensive conditions can also be treated by the effects of the hibiscus flower. As you know, these conditions generally contribute to a spike in a person’s blood pressure.

The rose of Sharon and roselle varieties are the best to use in this regard. A part of their composition is hypotensive compounds. These compounds have the opposite effect that hypertensive illnesses do on a person. Therefore, they result in the lowering of an affected person’s blood pressure.

Roselle is known to have both laxative and diuretic effects. These are speculated to be the secret behind the flower’s ability to battle heightened blood pressure. This hibiscus variety also hosts both glycolic and ascorbic acids. The effect of these is an increase in urination frequency.

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Patients are usually told that more frequent urination is to be expected, so long as they continue with the treatment regimen.

Skin Issues

The next area of focus is that of the skin. There are numerous afflictions that target a person’s skin. Not only is the skin external, but it is also the largest organ of the human body.

This means that it makes a prime target as there is more surface area to attack. Hibiscus flowers fight against skin issues by being an emollient. This property allows them to both soften the skin and heal it.

Unlike some of the other treatments listed, this one is not unique to any location. In fact, this application of hibiscus can be seen worldwide.

Boils and cracked feet can be healed just by placing heated hibiscus leaves on them. The herb has a cooling property that works on the skin’s surface. Additionally, the pores are dilated, and blood flow is increased to the epidermis. There are even lotions made from hibiscus leaf decoctions

Other Conditions

Due to the diversity of the Hibiscus’ healing properties, it is used in a wide range of medical applications. Hair loss and scurvy are two illnesses that the hibiscus is used to treat in Colombia.

Samoa also uses the hibiscus, but it uses the flower for women who are in pain. More specifically, menstrual and childbirth pains are addressed by the hibiscus. The leaves are responsible for the relief here as they can ease such pains.

The Cook Islands and the Philippines also found a use for the hibiscus that includes childbirth. The difference is that this time it is being used as a preventative measure. The point of using the flower is to promote the inducing of abortions.

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The properties of the flower are many, which is why it is so effective in so many applications. The hibiscus is anthelminthic, antibacterial, hypotensive, and even anthelminthic.


It’s not very hard to prepare your own decoction of the hibiscus flower. All you need to do is have some dried or crumbled blossoms. A single teaspoon of crumbled blossom can suffice, or you can use two teaspoons of dried ones.

Boil a cup of water and pour it over the blossoms. Steep it for 10 minutes, and it is ready to go.


The hibiscus plant is great for applications in the world of medicine. Some of the varieties contain citric acid, which makes them an effective coolant for fevers.

Cough syrup can be made from hibiscus flowers to address certain respiratory issues. The flowers can also be used in steam inhalation or showers for similar results.

Hypotensive compounds allow the flowers to be effective at lowering high blood pressures. The hibiscus flower is also an emollient, which allows for the soothing and softening of the skin.

Other conditions, such as hair loss and scurvy, can also be treated with the flower’s assistance.