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Hibiscus

Also indexed as:Hibiscus rosa, Hibiscus sabdariffa
Hibiscus: Main Image © Martin Wall

Related Topics

Botanical names:
Hibiscus rosa, Hibiscus sabdariffa

Parts Used & Where Grown

Members of the Malvaceae family, various species of hibiscus are shrubs found practically around the globe. The flower of hibiscus is the part used as medicine. The most widely known and best-studied species tend to be annuals from the tropics, such as the two that are focused on here. There are, however, hardy perennial species that survive in colder climates. Another hibiscus not discussed here is Hibiscus esculenta, or okra.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Hypertension
2 tsp (5 to 6 grams) dried flowers brewed as tea, taken two to three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Two clinical trials have shown that hibiscus can lower blood pressure. The trials have suggested that Hibiscus sabdariffa tea may be as potent as some blood pressure medications.
Fever
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Hibiscus flowers contain substantial quantities of flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, which are associated with fever-reducing (antipyretic) activities.
Type 1 Diabetes
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Hibiscus is a traditional remedy in India for diabetes, and is supported by preliminary research.
Type 2 Diabetes
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Hibiscus is a traditional remedy in India for diabetes, and is supported by preliminary research.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Teas made from hibiscus flowers and, occasionally, leaves are a very common beverage in tropical regions where they grow. The cool, astringent, acidic flavor is widely recognized and has made it a staple of “zinger” type teas in the United States. All parts of hibiscus plants are used traditionally. Due to their soothing (demulcent) and astringent properties, the flowers and leaves have been traditionally used to treat conditions such as cancer and gallbladder attacks, to lower blood pressure, to relieve dry coughs, and topically to treat skin afflictions.1 The root has been used as a tonic. The stems yield fibers that can be used to make rope or burlap.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.


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