Hibiscus Uses and Benefits

by | Feb 18, 2018 | Herbs F-J, Medicinal, Uses | 8 comments

A stunning addition to your indoor or outdoor garden is also a benefit to your health and well being! Hibiscus uses and benefits will surprise you and make you glad that you have this amazing flower around to enjoy!

I know you have heard these lines before about wonderful this and fab that!

So when I tell you that one of the most beautiful flowers that you could grow and enjoy could also benefit your health in unexpected ways there would likely be many sighs of..  “Oh, yeah right.. ”

Well, after all, isn’t that what you hear from the big pharmaceutical companies too, along with that big long list of side effects that come with their miracle drug treatments.

So, when I say Hibiscus uses and benefits for your health and wholeness you are going to be hesitant.

You should be! Your well being should never be quickly changed by one article read on the internet. Research, explore and consultation until you know all there is to know and feel that it is “right” for you.

Knowledge is a powerful treatment as well.

I will represent to you in this article what I have learned about hibiscus and its uses and medicinal benefits for you to begin to explore. Medical Disclosure Regarding Herbs, Supplements & Their Usage

Explore this Article  – follow the links below if you want to navigate to a section of this post quickly 

Some of the links on this site and in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission for completed purchase. This does not result in any additional cost to you. I do not write sponsored posts. I want to bring you real, unbiased information.

Hibiscus Uses and Benefits

Hibiscus for Weight Loss

I bet you did not know that hibiscus is often found in natural weight loss supplements.


Hibiscus contains a natural enzyme that inhibits and blocks the production of amylase, This is the enzyme that helps transform the starches that you consume into sugars. Sugars absorbed by the body can then result in increased insulin production which in turn results in stored fat production.

Simply hibiscus helps reduce the absorption of carbohydrates.

It has also shown indications of increasing metabolism and combating insulin resistance.

Watch the video that I have shared. It contains a lot of very useful information about hibiscus and its uses and benefits for helping you lose weight.

⇓ Below you can find some options to get pre-packaged hibiscus products to get you started. Follow the links to learn more! 

Hibiscus for Disease and Medicinal Usage


Hibiscus tea and supplements and have been looked at in conjunction with raising HDL, good cholesterol levels, and have had mixed results. 2013 independent study showed no significant results on cholesterol levels. In controversy a 2014 study including clinical trials found it improved HDL levels and decreased bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Health

From the notes of a 2010 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, it was shown lowered blood pressure reported in people with mildly elevated BP and those at high risk of high blood pressure from the consumption of hibiscus tea. In the 6 week study, those participants given the actual tea saw a significant reduction in their systolic blood pressure compared to those who received a placebo.


In Egypt, people have long used hibiscus as a natural way to lower body temperature and alleviate fevers. In addition, its antibacterial analgesic and antiviral properties assist even further in making this an effective way to combat the causes of why the fever is occurring.

Urinary Tract and Bacterial Infections

The hibiscus plant is said to have strong antibacterial properties in addition to antifungal properties as well. This is likely to it being rich in the compound gossypetin which has been shown to be very effective against the UTI causing bacteria. In a study of women receiving 200 mg of hibiscus extract, they were shown to have 77% less occurrence of Urinary tract irritation and infection.

In addition, Hibiscus has shown to :

  • Cancer-fighting Properties – slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.
  • Aids Menstruation – can stimulate menstrual flow, alleviate cramping and reduce hormonal swings.
  • Natural Anti-depressant – Calms the nervous system and the richness of flavonoids has been shown to soothe depression.

Topical application of Hibiscus for Skin and Hair

You can find hibiscus as an ingredient in several natural products designed for the skin and hair. This pretty flower is rich in amino acids and alpha hydroxyl acids. This in combination with vitamins A, and C and other nutrients make it extremely beneficial for your hair and skin.

It brightens skin, remoisturizes and depletes free radicles. In your hair, it can restore greying hair, stop hair loss, restore silky shine, reduce frizz, and adds volume.

Hibiscus has strong antibacterial properties as well making it beneficial on those treating scalp disorders as well as acne on the skin.

As you can see the stretch of hibiscus uses and benefits reaches beyond physical ailments and can aid with regualr skin and hair treatments as well.

Wound Care

With its strong antibacterial properties, hibiscus leaves have been used fresh and dried as a wound care. Fresh leaves or powder can be pulped and turned into poultices and applied to heal wounds and skin injuries.

Cleansing and Exfoliation

Saponins are found in hibiscus and are a natural surfactant that can cleanse your skin without soap and lye like traditional soaps. Therefore, hibiscus has long been used flowers and leaves to create shampoos, cleansers, and exfoliators in places like India for a natural way to cleanse and shine the hair and skin.

Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Shampoo and Conditioner

The above shampoo and conditioner set is a good example of a product that features hibiscus as one the main ingredient to treat the hair. You can click the image if you would like to learn more.

Hair Growth

The leaves of the hibiscus plant contain an oil that when extracted or combined with another carrier oil, such as coconut oil, then applied to hair can stimulate hair growth.

Regular use of shampoos and conditioners rich in hibiscus can prevent hair loss long term.

Edible Parts Of Hibiscus

It is important to know first whether or not hibiscus and its parts are edible before even considering it can be used for any consumable purposes. There are two main types of hibiscus, tropical and hardy. From these two main types, there are many hybrids designed to manage size, zone hardiness, color, shape, and flower formation.

Are all types and hybrids edible? The common consensus is yes they are, however, I highly recommend you research your specific hybrid type to be sure.

Flowers, leaves and the “fruit” of hibiscus called calyxes are the edible and used portions of the plant. Calyxes are a seed pod produced by the plant that forms at the base of the flower.

Typically, the tropical variety referred to as Hibiscus sabdariffa or Roselle is grown for its many calyxes(fruit). It is used in producing hibiscus teas, supplements, and powders. It does not mean that is the only type you can use but it is the common variety chosen.


  • Used fresh or dried for later use.
  • Can be used in teas, juices, and beverages. Has a tart lemony like flavor that has been compared to the flavor of cranberries.
  • The red type tropical hibiscus is the known variety for this purpose but has been said that other varieties may be used but check for edibility and flavor.


  • Leaves can be used fresh and dried
  • Young fresh leaves can be consumed raw in salads and as garnish. They are tarter and more astringent than the flowers.
  • Leaves can also be dried into powder to use to add to teas, drinks, skin and hair care aids.


  • Used dried
  • Calyxes are harvested from the spent flower when the petals have fallen away or easily pull from the end of the calyx. Seeds are removed.
  • They are left to dry for a week or more until no moisture remains.
  • These are used to make teas and ground into powders for other medicinal purposes
  • most hibiscus uses and benefits are derived from these “fruits”

Hibiscus Side Effects

Any medication or treatment even of an herbal type can cause possible side effects and interactions with current medications. It is ALWAYS important to consult a medical professional before starting any medical treatment including herbal remedies.

Medical Disclosure Regarding Herbs, Supplements & Their Usage

Hibiscus is considered likely safe for herbal usage and consumption. Its claims have not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).  There not any known side effects of using hibiscus in controlled medicinal amounts.

Uncommon side effects that are not usually reported from use may include stomach pain or nausea, gas, constipation, painful urination, shakiness, headache or ringing in the ears.

Hibiscus may lower blood pressure and may be a concern for those who already have lower blood pressures or in combination with blood pressure lowering medications.

If you are taking medication for diabetes or have lower blood sugar levels, you may need to take precautions when using hibiscus as it may decrease blood sugar levels.

The lasting effects of acetaminophen can be decreased when taken in combination with hibiscus.

Special caution is always needed when pregnant or nursing, including any alternative medicines or herbals as a dietary supplement. Should not be used as it stimulates menstrual flow during pregnancy.

Not recommended for children.

Over usage and high dosage can adversely affect the liver.

Learn More on WebMD here

Adding Hibiscus to Your Garden

Hibiscus is a beautiful addition to your garden either indoors or out. In a previous article, I recently wrote on site titled Can Hibiscus Grow Indoors you can learn how to grow your own.

Hibiscus is available in many forms for purchase dried, supplement, in premade tea bags and more. However, the pleasure in growing this magnificent flower and the benefits of fresh make it a worthy addition to your indoor herb gardens.

You can get started with some starter plants or seeds listed below. 

red arrow down rightAre you currently using hibiscus to treat a medical, skin or hair issue? I would love to hear from you! Let’s start a conversation and add to the list of Hibiscus uses and benefits for others to explore.

If you have any questions or comments, please drop them below!

Happy Gardening!



  1. billy947

    Hello Christina;
    I am not a doctor, but I dabbled in Homeopathic medicines, and never came across Hibiscus. Your article sounds great for a lot of people, but as you say, always consult a physician first. What I like best is if you cannot take any of the Hibiscus remedies, you can always grow a beautiful garden.
    All the Best.


    • Christina

      Hi Bill,
      That is absolutely right. Growing hibiscus lends to a beautiful garden!
      The tea is delicious as well. If you, like many, have no allergies to hibiscus, it offers a refreshing drink even if you do not take for any alternative purposes or homeopathic remedies. I enjoy it because it tastes good 🙂
      As I said early in the article knowledge can sometimes be the best medicine. The more you know, the more resources you use, the more empowered you become to take better control fo your health. A physician or medical professional is a valuable resource I think should never be eliminated from the equation.
      Thank you for contributing!

  2. Arianne Andrew

    Hi Christina,

    Your knowledge on hibiscus is evident through this article. I can’t wait to try implementing this into my life. Especially for hair considering I currently own the Shea Moisture Hibiscus hair products and looking toward owning hibiscus body products.

    • Christina

      Hi Arianne,
      Thank you for the compliments.
      I am excited to hear that you also use the hibiscus hair products. One of the few products I can buy that can handle the dry frizz my hair tends towards without making it look greasy. Don’t let my picture fool you lol. I am a curly-haired redhead. It is a fight.
      I have not tried the skin care products by the same maker. Please let us know how you like them.
      Thank you,

  3. ariel

    Hello! I am so delighted to read this post! I have a small indoor garden. And my hibiscus has lost most of its leaves, but it keeps producing the most gorgeous blooms. So I dry the blooms. And will use for tea later. But I did not know there were so many uses for hibiscus. Thanks for this. Do you have any suggestions on how to get it to grow its leaves back?
    In peace and gratitude, ariel

    • Christina

      Hi Ariel,
      Well, first so glad to hear you are still getting the blooms out your hibiscus but sorry to hear about the leaves. Is it a Roselle? They have a 3 finger style leaf and a reddish color in the stems. Most the blooms stay close to the main stems. The blooms are white to a yellowish tone. They produce the lushest Calixes for tea, large fruit. If so I find on my hibiscus roselle the leaving is far more sparse by nature compared to other varieties but its production is still immense. In this case, there is nothing wrong at all.
      If we are talking about a different type of hibiscus then we may be talking about other issues preventing your foilage from growing. Right now is the perfect time of the year for a trim if you are just entering into spring. March and April are good months to give a hibiscus a good cutting. I know it can be scary to cut a prized plant but will help it, in the long run, to be pruned. If you cut about a third of the way back, leaving at least two to three nodes on each branch for new growth your plant will reward you with increased growth. This will give bushier growth and more foliage, and ultimately even more blooms.
      While trimming be sure to check for any signs of infestations of any kind. Hibiscus can be very attractive to aphids and spider mites. Although this would have impacted your flowering and general plant health. It will benefit to inspect.
      Nitrogen is one of the key impacts to green growth. I prefer organic methods of gardening. Worm castings are a good balance fertilizer for most plants because they are so completely natural. They also help ensure soil pH is not disturbed and plants can absorb the nutrients correctly. There are other hibiscus fertilizers I will use, your problems, however, are not with the flower. I would try a nice easy intro of a balanced nutrient like worm castings to improve the soil. The low nitrogen will help the leaves without a harsh jump that could burn. I use this brand, Simple Grow Worm Castings It is organic 100% chemical free. Lasts a long time too. Great price right now too… not sure how long it will be almost half off though.
      Also on site, I have a complete guide to growing hibiscus indoors. There may be some tips there that can help. You can find it here –> Can Hibiscus Grow Indoors?
      If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know!
      Oh.. You love hibiscus tea. I just juiced fresh strawberries in my cold hibiscus tea and LOVED it. You may enjoy!
      Thank you,

  4. Lisa

    I have tried hibiscus tea before and it is really good. Hibiscus would definitely be a great addition to a garden. The colors are simply beautiful. I didn’t know hibiscus may lower blood pressure. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge on this subject, it is very much appreciated.

    • Christina

      Hi Lisa,
      You are very welcome.
      I also enjoy hibiscus tea a lot. I prefer it cold myself. Something very refreshing about it on warm spring or summer afternoon. Makes it even better when it is good for you in so many ways too 🙂
      During the cooler months, I like to make it hot mixed with other herbs for a nice blend.
      I love hibiscus in my indoor and outdoor gardens. You are right they make a great addition. They are very beautiful. Outdoors they are wonderful at attracting beneficial pollinators too!
      Kepp Growing Friend,


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