HIBISCUS Overview Information
Hibiscus is a bushy annual plant. Parts of the flower are used to make a popular drink in Egypt called Karkade. Various parts of the plant are also used to make jams, spices, soups, and sauces. The flowers are used to make medicine.
Hibiscus is used for treating loss of appetite, colds, heart and nerve diseases, upper respiratory tract pain and swelling (inflammation), fluid retention, stomach irritation, and disorders of circulation; for dissolving phlegm; as a gentle laxative; and as a diuretic to increase urine output.
In foods and beverages, hibiscus is used as a flavoring. It is also used to improve the odor, flavor, or appearance of tea mixtures.
How does it work?
The fruit acids in hibiscus may work like a laxative. Some researchers think that other chemicals in hibiscus might be able to lower blood pressure; decrease spasms in the stomach, intestines, and uterus; and work like antibiotics to kill bacteria and worms.
- High cholesterol. An early study shows that taking 1 gram daily of a specific extract of hibiscus leaves (Green Chem, Bangalore, India) does not seem to improve cholesterol levels.
- High blood pressure. Some research shows that people with mild high blood pressure who drink a specific hibiscus tea (Celestial Seasonings) 3 times daily have lower blood pressure. This research is promising, but too preliminary to rely on hibiscus tea for treating high blood pressure.
- Loss of appetite.
- Irritated stomach.
- Fluid retention.
- Heart disease.
- Nerve disease.
- Other conditions.
HIBISCUS Side Effects & Safety
Hibiscus seems to be safe for most people, but the possible side effects of hibiscus are not known.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Hibiscus is UNSAFE to take during pregnancy. There is some evidence that hibiscus might start menstruation, and this could cause a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of taking hibiscus during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side, and avoid use.
Minor Interaction Be watchful with this combination
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) interacts with HIBISCUS
Drinking a hibiscus beverage before taking acetaminophen might increase how fast your body gets rid of acetaminophen. But more information is needed to know if this is a big concern.
The appropriate dose of hibiscus depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for hibiscus. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.