Scientific names: Hibiscus sabdariffa
Common names: Hibiscus also is known as karkade, red tea, red sorrel, Jamaica sorrel, rosella, soborodo (Zobo drink), Karkadi, roselle, and sour tea.
The hibiscus has had a lengthy history of use in Africa and neighboring tropical countries. Its fragrant flowers have been used in sachets and perfumes. In areas of northern Nigeria, this plant has been used to treat constipation. Fiber from H. sabdariffa has been used to fashion rope as a jute substitute. The fleshy red calyx is used in the preparation of jams, jellies, and cold and warm teas and drinks. The leaves have been used like spinach. The plant is used widely in Egypt for the treatment of cardiac and nerve diseases and has been described as a diuretic. In Iran, drinking sour tea for the treatment of hypertension is a popular practice. It has been used in the treatment of cancers. Research reveals little or no evidence of these medicinal uses of hibiscus. The mucilaginous leaves are used as a topical emollient in Africa. In Western countries, hibiscus flowers often are found as components of herbal tea mixtures. In Thailand, people consume roselle juice to quench thirst. Karkade seed products (ie, karkade defatted flour, protein concentrate, protein isolate) have been studied for their nutritional and functional value.
Other Uses Are:
Hibiscus has been studied for its use in preventing renal stone formation, as well as its respiratory and sedative effects. To date there is no clinical evidence to prove any of these beneficial medical effects. Additionally, hibiscus anthocyanins have shown antioxidant activity in protecting against hepatotoxicity in rats. Application and action in humans has yet to be investigated.