Scientific Name: Hibiscus sabdariffa
Bahasa Indonesia: Bunga Rosela
Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Hibiscus that is native to Africa, most likely West Africa. In the 16th and early 17th centuries it was spread to the West Indies and Asia, respectively, where it has since become naturalized in many places. The stems are used for the production of bast fibre and the dried cranberry-tasting calyces are commonly steeped to make a popular infusion known as carcade.
Roselle is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based subshrub, growing to 2–2.5 m (7–8 ft) tall. The leaves are deeply three- to five-lobed, 8–15 cm (3–6 in) long, arranged alternately on the stems.The flowers are 8–10 cm (3–4 in) in diameter, white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, and have a stout, conspicuous calyx at the base, 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) wide, enlarging to 3–3.5 cm (1.2–1.4 in) and becoming fleshy and a deep crimson red as the fruit matures, which takes about six months.
- Menstrual Pain (Provides relief from cramps and menstrual pain. Helps in restoring hormonal balance, which can reduce other symptoms of menstruation like mood swings, depression, and overeating).
- Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial Properties (Hibiscus tea is rich in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required by our body to boost and stimulate the activity of your immune system. Fresh or dried flower of roselle contains high quantities of Vitamin C, boosts immune system (prevents cold and flu), and helps to treat discomfort caused by fever (due to its cooling effect)).
- Aids Digestion (The seed capsule in the Roselle fruit is known for its diuretic and tonic properties. It is hence used for the following purposes: Increases both urination and bowel movements (due to its diuretic properties); treats constipatio; prevents colorectal cancer).
- Weight Loss (Hibiscus herbal tea is also beneficial for losing weight. If you consume food that is rich in carbohydrates, that means that it contains sugar and starch, so you are likely to gain weight. However, research studies have suggested that hibiscus extract lowers the absorption of starch and glucose and may help with weight loss). Hibiscus inhibits the production of amylase, which helps in the absorption of carbohydrates and starch, so drinking hibiscus tea prevents that absorption from occurring. Therefore, hibiscus tea is found in many weight loss products.
- Contains antidepressant properties like flavonoids to help calming down the nervous system, helps to reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the body and mind.
- Anti-Cancer Properties (Hibiscus herbal tea contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid which has anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. A study conducted by the Department and Institute of Biochemistry at the Chung Shan Medical and Dental College, in Taichung, Taiwan suggests that hibiscus slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death)
- Cough, Colds and Fever Management (According to the book “Healing Herbal Teas,” fresh hibiscus flowers contain around 6.7 mg of ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, which is one of the more essential nutrients needed by the body. Along with this significantly beneficial substance, hibiscus is known to have anti-inflammatory and mild anti-bacterial properties. Thus hibiscus tea is often used as a supplement to help treat coughs and colds. Because of its cooling effect, it is especially effective in reducing the discomfort of fevers that may accompany such ailments.
- Blood Pressure Management (Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, hibiscus tea can reduce blood pressure by up to 10 points, according to research done at Tufts University in Boston. For this drastic improvement to occur, you need to consume three cups every day for a few weeks. Also, hibiscus tea has diuretic properties that increase urination, simultaneously lowering blood pressure).
- Protects Liver (Antioxidant properties helps to treat liver diseases).
- Maintains Healthy Teeth and Gums (Calcium present in Roselle protects teeth by keeping the jaw bone strong and sturdy throughout your life, which in turn ensures tight fitting teeth where bacteria cannot thrive. Therefore, before your teeth and gums start giving you any trouble, be sure to maintain a calcium rich diet. Its intake should be high, especially at young ages, so that your children naturally grow up with strong teeth).
- Healthy Pregnancy (Pregnant women should consume more iron rich foods than anyone else. So including iron rich food like roselle is quite beneficial for pregnant women as they require around 27 mg daily and this is often covered in a pre-natal multi-vitamin. Also, pregnant women should consider consuming more healthy fat and folate rich foods during pregnancy).