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HIBISCUS

Other Names:

Ambashthaki, Bissap, Gongura, Groseille de Guinée, Guinea Sorrel, Hibisco, Hibiscus Calyx, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Jamaica Sorrel, Karkade, Karkadé, Oseille de Guinée, Oseille Rouge, Pulicha Keerai, Red Sorrel, Red Tea, Rosa de Jamaica, Roselle, So...
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 Overview
 Uses
 Side Effects
 Interactions
 Dosing
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.

Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • 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.
  • Colds.
  • Constipation.
  • Irritated stomach.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Heart disease.
  • Nerve disease.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate hibiscus for these uses.


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.

Interactions What is this?

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.


Dosing

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.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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