Hibiscus plant, Jamaica - Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Malvaceae)

Medicinal Use of Hibiscus, Jamaica – Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Malvaceae)


Shrub growing to 6½ ft (2 m) in height.

Habitat & Cultivation

Native to North Africa and Southeast Asia, hibiscus grows in tropical regions around the world. It is primarily cultivated across Africa and in Thailand, China, and Mexico.

Parts Used

Calyx (the outer base of the flower), flowers, leaves.


The calyx and flowers contain flavonoids, including anthocyanins.

History & Folklore

Hibiscus” means “plant that is consecrated to the ibis,” a bird held sacred in ancient Egypt.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Hibiscus makes a refreshing, pleasant-tasting tea that is cooling and mildly sedative, soothing hot and feverish conditions. The calyces are gently tonic and will ease colds, coughs, and chest problems. They also aid digestion and gently stimulate appetite. Both the calyces and flowers act to reduce cholesterol levels. All parts of hibiscus are demulcent, mildly soothing sore or inflamed mucous membranes within the digestive and respiratory tracts.


Various clinical studies have shown that hibiscus helps to lower high blood pressure.