In Asia, the hibiscus is commonly known as the shoe flower because it’s used to polish shoes. The hibiscus is also known as China rose, rose mallow, and sorrel. This plant belongs to Malvaceae and Hibiscus Genus family.
The plant is an evergreen bush which can be found in tropical and warm regions. Over two hundred species can be found in this family. The flowers of the plant don’t have any scent, and they are large and attractive. The hibiscus has a wide range of colors ranging from light blue to bright red.
People usually graft plants in order to get flowers with increased number of petals and double colors. The hibiscus flower has been declared as the national flower of Malaysia by the country’s government. The symbol of the hibiscus is imprinted on Malaysian currency and the people of Malaysia have high regard for hibiscus. People of India offer this flower to the Goddess Kali and treat it with respect. Goddess Kali is worshiped with red hibiscus flowers.
It is believed that Goddess Kali likes these flower offerings and will grant wishes. Many Chinese herbal remedies use this plant for a number of treatments. Women in China make a dye out of flower extract and apply it to the hair and the eyebrows. The flowers are crushed and then applied to the hair before a shower. It is believed that it helps to remove dandruff and increase the growth of hair. The leaf and flower extract is mixed with herbal oil and then sold.
Hibiscus is also used for making herbal and ayurvedic medicines. Ayurveda uses certain parts of hibiscus, such as roots, flowers, and leaves, in order to cure colds, menstrual cramps, swelling, hair care, headaches, venereal disease, stimulate menstruation and induce short-term infertility. Many people use the hibiscus flowers to make curries, soups, and chutneys. Hibiscus is also used as a laxative. Many women in Tahiti tuck a flower of hibiscus behind their ears.
This is done in order to indicate that they are prospective brides. In Kerala, India, the same custom indicates lunacy. This is often humorously portrayed in movies. Tea, which is made out of hibiscus, helps in reducing blood pressure. High BP patients can include it in their daily diet. Hibiscus tea also helps in decreasing the high cholesterol. High level of vitamin C and antioxidants in the hibiscus flower gives the skin a special glow and protects the body against diseases.
In addition, hibiscus is also known for its diuretic properties. Hibiscus causes no serious side effects. Pregnant women, as well as the lactating mother, should avoid hibiscus intake since it is known that hibiscus stimulates menstruation. However, it is safe to use homemade herbal preparations of hibiscus. It is recommended that you consult with the physician before consuming products made of hibiscus. In case you want to know more about hibiscus, there is an international hibiscus society website for every enthusiast.