Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a large bush that can reach a height of 5 metres. Its alternate, simple, oval or lance-shaped leaves have serrated or undulated edges. Its monochrome or two-tone flowers are isolated or grouped into inflorescences, which are twisted before fully opening, and blossom from March to October. Its capsule fruits open when ripe, to release often velvety seeds.

Latin name

Hibiscus sabdariffa L.

Origin

Grown in Egypt and south-east Asia - Imported into Europe and America.

Used part

The flowers.

Active components

Organic acids (citric acid, malic and tartaric acid): have an acidic flavour and are often natural preservatives.

Anthocyanidins: responsible for the dark red colour, anti-inflammatory effect and are also a powerful antioxidant. They have a cholesterol-lowering and an antihypertensive effect, acting as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

Vitamin C and carotenoids: antioxidants.

Usage

The green leaves are used in Asian cooking as spicy version of spinach, or in soup. The fresh calyces are consumed raw in a salad, but can also be cooked and used as a flavouring in cakes and preserves. The dried calyces are used as an ingredient in syrups, carbonated drinks and even a type of beer. Hibiscus can be drunk hot or cold as a herbal tea. Its flavour is similar to that of cranberry. Its delicious flavour and thirst-quenching effect are enjoyed all over the world. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. Due to its natural colourant content, this plant is used as a natural food dye. The fibre can be used to make jute and paper. Hibiscus has been used in popular medicine as a diuretic, mild laxative and in the treatment of cardiac and nervous disorders. This plant is considered to have antihypertensive properties. It is also a popular remedy against abscesses, biliary disorders, coughs, scurvy and urinary disorders. It also has stimulating and toning properties that contribute to the resistance against mental and physical fatigue. Science currently supports its renal elimination properties1-4, its contribution to good microcirculation and its effects in reducing the sensation of heavy legs.5-20

Bibliographical references

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The health claims that feature on our website in relation to the plants contained in our products are compliant with the list of health claims awaiting final assessment by the Community authorities (cf. website of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/nuhclaims/). However, they may be subject to modification following their assessment by the national competent authorities.

The health claims relating to other nutrients or substances contained in our products that feature on our site are compliant with Regulation No. 432/2012 of the Commission of 16 May 2012 which establishes a list of authorised health claims authorised in relation to food products, other than those in reference to the reduction of the risk of disease as well as community-based development and child health (cf. website of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/nuhclaims/).