Herb Of The Week – Hibiscus June 20, 2014 20:38

            This week, we'll be looking into the medicinal attributes of Hibiscus. Hibiscus sabdariffa and hibiscus rosa sinensisare the two most common varieties. Its other names include: Roselle, China Rose, Red Sorrel, Rose Mallow, and Shoe Flower.

           

            Originating in Egypt, Hibiscus is now cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, such as Sudan, Mexico, Thailand, India, and China. It is traditionally used in both food and medicine, in a variety of preparations. While the entire plant is used, from using the bast fiber in the production of burlap to using the leaves and flowers in salads, the flowers are most well-known for medicinal use.

 

            Hibiscus has both deciduous and evergreen species, all being shrubs or small trees growing to a maximum height of up to 16 feet, the smaller varieties growing to five feet. All species are known by their trumpet shaped flowers having five petals and ranging in color from whites and pinks through reds to oranges and yellows. The flowers usually grow to about four inches in diameter, but some varieties grow up to six inches.

The main effects of hibiscus are Aromatic, Astringent, Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Cooling, Diuretic, and Laxative. Due to its high content of vitamin C, it is also anti-scorbutic (protects against scurvy), and an immune-booster.

            Hibiscus is made into a variety of drinks every where it is used, usually brewed into a tea for internal medicinal use. The tea is usually served chilled, and causes a pleasant cooling-sensation at the back of the head which helps regulate body temperature. The leaves are also used as a poultice for external use.

           

Ailments which indicate treatment with hibiscus include: loss of appetite, colds, catarrh of the respiratory tract, sore throat, respiratory infection, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, constipation, irritated stomach, fluid retention, heart disease, nerve disease, eczema and similar allergic skin conditions.

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take hibiscus if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery. Hibiscus may interact with acetaminophen, by causing your body to get rid of acetaminophen faster.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name: Hibiscus rosa sinensis, Hibiscus sabdariffa.

 

            Medicinal Actions: Aromatic, Astringent, Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Anti-scorbutic, Cooling, Diuretic, and Laxative,refrigerant.

 

            Indications: loss of appetite, colds, catarrh of the respiratory tract, sore throat, respiratory infection, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, constipation, irritated stomach, fluid retention, heart disease, nerve disease, eczema and similar allergic skin conditions, over heating due to climate or hormones, menopause, hot flashes.

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; when going into surgery.

         

Links:

 

Nyr Natural News - Hibiscus

 

            http://www.nyrnaturalnews.com/article/hibiscus-powerful-medicine-for-the-metabolic-syndrome/

 

            http://www.gaiaherbs.com/articles/detail/42/The-Surprising-Health-Benefits-of-Hibiscus

 

Coconut, Lemongrass, Hibiscus Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried hibiscus tea

3/4 cup boiling water

juice from one lemon

1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

3/4 cups Xylitol Icing Mix

500 ml (17 fl oz — 2 cups) Organic Coconut milk

1- 2 stalks lemongrass, (whole stalks) finely sliced

 

Directions:

  1. In a pan on the stove, combine coconut milk and lemongrass.
  2. Bring to a SLOW gentle simmer; simmer three minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.
  4. Transfer half of milk and most of lemongrass into a blender; pulse for 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer back into lemongrass milk mixture in pan, and allow to completely cool.
  6. Pour boiling water over dried hibiscus tea and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  7. Strain the tea through a fine sieve, and cool completely.
  8. In a stand mixer, add hibiscus tea and icing sugar. Whisk until dissolved.
  9. Whisk in cooled lemongrass milk for about ten minutes or until soft peaks form.
  10. Pour mixture into an airtight container and freeze overnight.