If you are looking for something unique for your garden, why don’t you try Roselle hibiscus? It is a plant that can be used for ornamental and edible purposes, so it is a good addition to your garden and the eating table. Following is given some detail about this exciting and unique plant:
WHAT IS ROSELLE HIBISCUS?
Hibiscus is a perennial tropical flowering plant grown throughout the seasons. All parts of the plant are used except the roots though the commonly used and bought part is calyces which is used as tea. The flavor of the roselle calyx is like cranberry but is slightly less bitter with lemon undertones. Their leaves have a spicy spinach taste which has been used in many cultures worldwide. The length of the plant is almost 7–8 feet. Its leaves are 3-6 inches long and alternately arranged on stems. The flowers have a dark red spot at the base of their petal and are white to pale yellow. As the fruit matures, it becomes fleshy and deep crimson red.
Botanical name: Hibiscus sabdariffa
Common names: hardy hibiscus, roselle hibiscus, rose of sharon, and tropical hibiscus.
Common species: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus syriacus, Hibiscus cannabinus.
Roselle is native to Africa, especially West Africa. It is also found in India, most likely in Maharashtra, with the local name ambali. It was spread to the West Indies and Asia in the 16th and early 17th centuries, respectively, through which it has neutralized in many places.
HOW TO USE HIBISCUS?
Different parts of the hibiscus can be used for health benefits:
- Hibiscus edible seed oil is used to produce scrubs and soaps and as a substitute for castor oil.
- Its raw leaves are used as a vegetable.
- The seeds are often a coffee substitute, and flowers are widely used as organic herbal tea.
- It can also be used as food colorants and dyes due to its special part, Red calyces. Fresh or dried calyces are used to prepare fermented drinks, herbal drinks, jellies, chocolates, jam, ice cream, flavoring agents, puddings, and cakes.
Nutritional Value of Hibiscus:
Hibiscus has the following good nutritional value:
|Vitamin C (mg)||17||9||2.3|
HOW TO GROW?
- Most hibiscus plants are resistant to cold environments as they tolerate temperatures as low as -18°C. They are also relatively resistant to drought. This plant grows best in a warm environment as the optimum temperature for Chinese hibiscus is 16-32°C.
- Roselle prefers slightly acidic, well-draining, moist, and fertile soil with a pH of 5.5-7. Coarse sand may be added to the soil if it is sticky and hard to improve its permeability. If the soil is slightly alkaline, chalky, or lime, use sulfur fertilizer until its pH reaches an appropriate range.
- It needs ample sunlight for at least six hours a day. But to avoid leaves getting sunburned, don’t expose them to direct sunlight at high temperatures in the summer afternoon.
- A roselle plant is very large in size and needs more room. So space the plants at least 5 feet apart from each other. Also, the plant is very heavy, so it needs proper support. Its branches become very heavy, especially after rain or when loaded with blooms and calyces.
- Roselle is day-length sensitive means that until fall, the plants do not bloom, i.e., blooms are triggered as days get shorter in fall. Plenty of blooms and calyces will grow if it is planted earlier in the season. Planting roselle in August will still make it bloom, but the resulting harvest would be much smaller.
- Harvesting Roselle early often increases the yield. Pick the calyces 7-10 days after blooming and use clippers to avoid damage to the branch while removing the calyx.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ROSELLE HIBISCUS?
Roselle hibiscus is very beneficial for health if taken in common food amounts. Some of its important benefits are as under;
- Reduces high blood pressure
Roselle hibiscus is usually added to tea or taken directly by mouth because it lowers blood pressure. This makes it useful for high blood pressure patients.
- Relief from menstrual pain
Roselle hibiscus provides relief from cramps and menstrual pain. It tries to restore hormonal balance, ultimately reducing other menstruation symptoms such as mood swings, depression, and overeating.
- Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial Properties
Roselle Hibiscus is rich in ascorbic acid, i.e., vitamin C. So it stimulates the activity of the immune system and prevents cold and flu. It also helps to treat the discomfort caused due to the fever through its cooling effect.
- Aids Digestion
The seed capsule in the Roselle fruit is best known for its diuretic and tonic properties. Therefore, it is used for the following purposes;
- Increasing both urination and bowel movements
- Treating constipation
- Preventing colorectal cancer
- Weight loss
Roselle hibiscus is very beneficial for weight loss. Researchers claim that hibiscus lowers the absorption of starch and glucose, which helps in weight loss.
- Antidepressant Properties
Roselle hibiscus possesses antidepressant properties which help to calm down the nervous system. It reduces the level of anxiety by producing a relaxed sensation in the body and mind.
- Prevention of cancer
A study conducted by the Department and Institute of Biochemistry at the Chung Shan Medical and Dental College in Taichung suggested that hibiscus slows down the production of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.
- Maintains Healthy Teeth and Gums
Roselle hibiscus maintains teeth and gums due to the significant calcium content.
- Improves sleep quality
Drinking Roselle hibiscus tea before going to bed improves sleep quality.
- Regulates cardiovascular health
Roselle hibiscus also regulates cardiovascular health.
Side effects of Roselle hibiscus have been linked to:
- Ringing in the ear.
- Stomach acidity
Roselle hibiscus intake can be harmful in certain conditions. So, people should avoid its intake in the following circumstances;
- If they are allergic or sensitive to Roselle hibiscus or any other members of the Malvaceae plant family.
- Hibiscus is possibly unsafe to use while breastfeeding. It can be harmful to the infant.
- Hibiscus might affect blood sugar levels, thus making blood sugar control difficult during and after surgery.
Roselle hibiscus is a very precious and valuable plant. It has innumerable benefits (as discussed in the article) that cannot be underestimated. Despite all this, we should always remember that natural products are not always safe. There are certain quantities above which they should not be taken; otherwise, they can cause harm to the body. So, one should consult the pharmacist, physician, or other healthcare professional before using Roselle hibiscus.
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