Hibiscus, or red mallow

Parts Used: Flowers.

Pharmacy name: hibiscus flowers – Hibisci flos (formerly: Flores Hibisci).

Botanical description. In tropical areas, it grows within 150 species of hibiscus, shrub and tree; they are often cultivated as ornamental plants. The plant – a source of raw materials – grows in Sudan and is grown in large quantities in Egypt, Ceylon, Java, Mexico, Thailand and China. Only flowers are used, strictly speaking, dark red fleshy leaves of the calyx and subcalyx; they are called roses.

Active ingredients: all kinds of organic acids (malic, tartaric, citric); recently discovered are hibisic acid, anthocyanins, flavonoids, phytosterols, mucilage, and pectin.

Healing action and application. Hibiscus flowers are pleasantly sour in taste. A refreshing drink prepared from them quenches thirst and is beneficial. All teas with the addition of hibiscus have another nice feature – they are colored red. Specific healing properties unknown; long-term use of hibiscus tea is believed to have a mild laxative effect. African folk medicine has a different view. There, hibiscus flowers are used as an anticonvulsant, bactericidal, diuretic, choleretic, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory agent, and are also used for weeping g-czema.

Side effects are unknown.

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