Origin: The origin of Hibiscus remains unknown. It is majorly cultivated in China, Japan, the Pacific Islands, and other Asian countries. The ancestors of Hibiscus are believed to be native to India, China, Mauritius, Hawaii, Fiji, or Madagascar. It is mostly grown in the temperate zone and also known as "rose of Althea" or "rose of Sharon". Chinese Hibiscus with many hybrids is the most famous hibiscus.
In Hindu mythology, several flowers are associated with different Gods. Hibiscus is associated with Goddess Kali and is served as an offering to her. The red Hibiscus is a symbol of Kali's tongue. The Hibiscus represents the bloodlust which possessed her. In Ayurveda, it is known as 'JapaPushpa'. It has the ability to reduce Kapha and pitta.
Scientifically: Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family. It is less widely known as rose mallow or China rose.
Hibiscus or tea made up of hibiscus can help in lowering cholesterol level as it contains many nutritional properties.
Hibiscus has cardioprotective and antihypertensive properties that can help in preventing cardiovascular diseases and controlling blood pressure.
Hibiscus is rich in anti-oxidants that can help in the prevention and treatment of various liver diseases. Along with the Vitamin C present in hibiscus tea, its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties also help you avoid issues like common cold and flu and boosts your immunity as well. The cooling effect of hibiscus tea can calm the discomforts caused by fever.
Hibiscus helps in restoration of hormonal balance which can help in aiding cramps and mood swings during the menstrual cycle. Hibiscus has rich protocatechuic acid, which has anti-oxidant as well as anti-tumor properties and it can prevent cancers in humans. It also contains anti-depressant qualities as it has flavonoids. Hibiscus block the production of amylase enzyme which absorbs sugar, carbs, and starch and helps in weight loss.
The scarlet flower Hibiscus is rich in organic acids such as citric, malic and tartaric acids. It is also rich in allo-hydroxycitric acid lactone that is not found anywhere else. For centuries, its properties are used to cure hair fall, greying, split ends, dandruff, etc.
The rich red tint of Hibiscus, when combined with henna powder, ensures your hair is smooth and glossy while adding a natural red hue. For hair conditioning, grounded leaves work magically.
The antioxidants present in hibiscus also stop skin aging. Thus this wonderful anti-aging plant is addressed as “Botox Plant”. It magically increases the elasticity of the skin to lend a gorgeous youthful glow.
Hibiscus combats the aging process by its ability to inhibit the enzyme elastase activity. This is primarily responsible for breaking skins elastin.
The gentle acids present inside this flower exfoliate the skin while working as a shield against age spots. This ensures you have a fresh, younger, smoother and hydrated complexion.
These natural acids purify your skin by breaking down dead skin and aggregating cell turnover. This also works well while fighting against acne breakouts. In addition, the organic acids of this flower ensure your skin is not stripped off its natural oils.
This beautifully miraculous flower has a naturally high mucilage content i.e. a substance produced by flowers that aid in storage of water and food. Mucilage is an amazing natural moisturizer that works very well for sensitive skin enhancing its ability to retain moisture.
In Ayurveda, hibiscus is considered as a potent ingredient used in hair growth oils to address the birth of new hairs while strengthening old ones. The reason being it has amino acids that are essential for producing keratin, a key structure of our hair.
Usage: Hibiscus is mainly used as an ornamental plant in gardens, houses, and offices. It is widely used for making tea (cold/hot) that is highly nutritious. It is also used in making of various cosmetics and oil. One species of Hibiscus, known as kenaf, is extensively used in paper-making. Dried hibiscus is edible, and is a delicacy in Mexico. It can also be used as a garnish, usually for sweet dishes.
Below are some DIYs with Hibiscus:
- Grind the petals of Hibiscus flower along with fenugreek, curry leaves, and fresh coconut. Leave this on your scalp for 10minutes and then was off.
- Take some hibiscus flowers and leaves and boil them in a liter of water. Let it brew for 10 minutes and then let it chill. Use this as a hair rinse after shampooing your hair. This hibiscus tea is great for making your hair shiny and frizz-free.
- Take some dried hibiscus flowers with a tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of coffee. Mix them together and gently rub it on your face and body. Rinse after 5 minutes. This works as a gentle exfoliator for the skin.
- Grind some fresh hibiscus flowers with a tablespoon of rose water. Apply this on the face for 10 minutes and rinse later. This helps in rejuvenating and tightening of the skin.