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This page contains information on hibiscus and how it is used as a herb in alternative herbal treatments to treat ailments and problems, such as loss of appetite, colds, wound healing, treating damaged and irritated tissue and rejuvenating the skin.

hibiscus flower rosa sinensis
hibiscus calyces

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Please note that we are not advocating that people stop using their normal medication, but would like to make people aware that some alternative therapies can be very effective to help treat problems and create a healthier, younger and more vital you. For more information on our range of products, please click here.

Although we believe in the therapeutic and healing properties of herbs, care must be taken in the use thereof, as they are powerful compounds.

Botanical classification of hibiscus



Genus and specie

Hibiscus sabdariffa as well as H. rosa-sinensis

It is also known as hibiscus, sorrel, red-sorrel and Jamaica sorrel.

Description of hibiscus

It is an erect annual with lobed leaves and brightly colored flowers and woody stems. Rosa-sinensis has red flowers, while sabdariffa has pale yellow flowers with a purple center, followed by capsules, surrounded by an enlarged, fleshy and brightly red calyx.

Parts used

The fresh and dried epicalyces and calyces are used for herbal remedies.

Properties of hibiscus

It is an aromatic, astringent and cooling herb that has diuretic properties and helps to lower fever as well as providing vitamin C.

It contains mucilage polysaccharides and pectins, organic acids (hibiscus, ascorbic (vitamin C), citric, malic and tartaric acids).

Therapeutic use

  • Internal use
    • This sweet-sour herb is often used in herbal teas, and is traditionally used to treat loss of appetite, colds, catarrh of the respiratory tract, as an expectorant, mild laxative and diuretic.
  • External use
    • It is used for various allergic eczemas and other skin conditions.
    • It has possibilities due to the I-hydroxy-acids, anthocyanocides and mucilages contained, as the I-hydroxy-acids act on the horny layer of the skin, to reduce the cohesion between the corneocytes, which affects the thickness of the layer and increases skin moisture. This improves skin flexibility and elasticity, as well as creates higher moisture levels in the skin.
    • The anthocyanocides again have astringent, anti-inflammatory, and free radical scavenging, as well as enzyme inhibition properties – and is especially useful to inhibit elastase and hyaluronidase.
    • Finally, the high mucilage content enhances the retention of the skin’s hydric content.
    • This makes the herb useful against the effects of aging, due to the power of the I-hydroxy-acids, together with the moisturizing ability of the mucilages in combination with the astringent, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenger properties of the anthocyanocides.
    • In hair treatments, shampoos with hibiscus restore the hair's natural barrier, rehydrate the keratin fibers and regenerate its structure. The active ingredients, I-hydroxy-acids, mucilages and anthocyanocides intervene in this action. In this case in particular, the anti-inflammatory, astringent and anti free radical properties of the anthocyanocides are of special interest.
    • Hibiscus can also be incorporated into dandruff products as it contains a high degree of a-hydroxy-acids. These substances collaborate in restoring the balance of the cellular division in the germinative layer and in loosening the outer cells of the corneous layer. They also enable the scale produced in washing to be eliminated.
    • In treatments for dry hair, the components of Hibiscus increase the moisture in the horny layer and generate the hydro- lipid film, which gives hair its silky, shiny look.
    • Jonadet et al. 1990 studied the in vitro inhibitory activity on the enzymes ACE, elastase, trypsin and chymotrypsin, and the in vivo blood vessel-protective activity of two enriched fractions of Hibiscus extract (anthocyans enriched fraction and flavones enriched fraction).
    • The flavones fraction was found to inhibit ACE. Both fractions inhibited elastase, as well as trypsin and chymotrypsin, to a lesser degree.
    • It was already known that the aqueous-extract of Hibiscus had a relaxing effect on the smooth muscle fibers and consequently exerted anti-hypertensive actions. However the underlying action mechanism had not been completely characterized.
    • Owolabi et al. 1995, demonstrated that these relaxing effects resulted from the inhibition of the calcium influx through adrenergic receptors by specific blockade of the agonist receptors. Additionally, a simultaneous inhibition of calcium mobilization in the intracellular deposits occurred.
    • Duhn et al. 1997 evaluated the antioxidant activity of Hibiscus and evaluated the extract lipid per oxidation inhibitory activity on linoleic acid, as well as on a liposome model, by following the thiobarbituric acid method.
    • The results showed that it had strong antioxidant activity and that such an activity was closely related to the polyphenolic substances contents in the extract.
    • Finally, Tee et al. 2002 assessed the antioxidant properties of Hibiscus by comparing its activity with those of BHA and b-carotene. The results showed that the Hibiscus extract had stronger antioxidant activity than BHA and b-carotene. In that study, the generation of conjugated diene compounds and of malonic dialdehyde were evaluated by using the thiobarbituric acid method.
  • Use of essential oil
    • None noted.

Safety precautions and warnings

None noted.

Used in the following products

Ageless herbal products kruie produkte

Herbal information

Herbal encyclopedia

Different uses of medicinal herbs

Explanation of the therapeutic properties of herbs

List of ailments and herbs that may be useful

Information on individual herbs

Our product range

Skin care

  • Healing cream
    • To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
  • Face wash
    • This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
  • Moisturizing day cream
    • This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
  • Nourishing night cream
    • This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
  • Eye gel
    • An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
  • Mud face mask
    • With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.


Hair care

  • Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
    • Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
  • Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
    • We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.


Specialized herbal gels and lotions

  • Hand and body lotion
    • When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
  • Stretch mark gel
    • Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.


Herbal supplements


Other products

  • Jojoba oil
    • This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
  • Almond oil
    • This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.

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Our site was last updated on 25 Oct 2023

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