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The benefits and harms of karkade (hibiscus)

Called hibiscus of the mallow Sudan, but its correct Botanical name sounds like a hibiscus or kenaf. It is a beautiful ornamental plant that is used in many countries of Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

Hibiscus exists in the form of herbaceous plants, shrubs or small trees. Hibiscus draws attention for its beautiful flowers, which are used in cooking, in cosmetics appreciated also leaves and seeds.

Properties of hibiscus

Hibiscus is a particularly valuable source of natural vitamin C, calcium, other vitamins and minerals. Perfectly strengthen the immune system due to the polysaccharides contained in it. Hibiscus speeds up metabolism. In African folk medicine is attributed to patients as an antibacterial and diuretic action, thus preventing stagnation of water in the body. The hibiscus flower lowers blood pressure. He is also known for its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.

The use of hibiscus

Contained in Roselle vitamin C affects the development and activity of white blood cells. His role is to fight infection and reduce inflammation. Tea with hibiscus can help with diseases such as arthritis, swelling, and irritation.

Hibiscus tea can reduce systolic blood pressure. The drink could potentially help in case of hypertension, high blood pressure.

Chemical hibiscus has antibacterial properties and serves as a very gentle laxative, which temporarily can relieve constipation and related problems such as painful gas and bloating. Polyphenols in the leaves of hibiscus, stimulate the digestive system and inhibit the growth of cancer cells of the stomach.

Hibiscus tea is a natural diuretic. Hibiscus contains an enzyme inhibitor that reduces the production of amylase, which breaks down sugar and starches. With reduced amount of amylase people generally can't absorb high amounts of carbohydrates.

The use of hibiscus

Hibiscus is rich in anthocyanins, polyphenols, flavonoids, which protect against disease and keeping us young. Most of them are contained in the hibiscus flower. The leaves are rich in carotene and fiber and the seeds contain unsaturated fatty acids.


In cosmetics hibiscus is used as preparations for skin elasticity. Especially appreciated the hibiscus in preventing the formation of so-called "spiders" on the face, protects the blood vessels of the skin, strengthens the walls of blood vessels and improves blood circulation.

Hibiscus flower extract soothes and softens the skin. Organic acid are excellent exfoliating agents used for exfoliation. Seeds of hibiscus is added to anti-cellulite lotions.


In the kitchen, hibiscus is used for many years. It is prepared with wine, juices, syrups, jams, jellies, flavored desserts and sauces. Leaves are added to salads and meat dishes. The most famous is the tea of hibiscus. It can be served both cold and a warming drink.

Damage hibiscus

Despite the numerous health benefits of hibiscus may cause some possible side effects. Because research the side effects continues, it is best to use the hibiscus with some caution.

Blood pressure. Because hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure, it is not recommended to use for people hypotensive. This can lead to weakness, dizziness, and even damage the heart and brain.

Pregnancy and fertility

Hibiscus tea is not recommended for pregnant women, especially with regard to its ability to stimulate menstruation or blood flow in the uterus or pelvic region. For those who use hormones or the pill, is recommended to consult with a health care professional before consuming hibiscus.


Some people may develop allergic reactions such as itching, redness of the eyes, sinuses or cause hay fever.

Another use of the hibiscus is the simultaneous administration of acetaminophen, a common analgesic. Some people, drinking hibiscus tea, can feel intoxicated or experiencing hallucinations.