Known for their large, colourful flowers, the hibiscus (locally known as Gumamela) can often be seen blooming in one’s garden. However, like plants such as aloe, peppermint, and Tawa-Tawa, it proves to be equally of use in the health industry, often made into teas and extracts that can help treat conditions like dengue and indigestion as well as lower high blood pressure.
Although it comes in a variety of colours (red, yellow, white and peach to be exact), the Hibiscus sabdariffa, the red kind, is most used, as it is cultivated for medicinal purposes and available in the form of dietary supplements. Often ingested in the form of tea and dubbed as “sour tea” due to its tartness, it is created from a mixture of dried flowers and dark red calyces, the main ingredient being used in drinks that contain hibiscus. Once the flower is in full bloom, its petals fall off and calyces transform into pods, holding the plant’s seeds.
Dating back to the Egyptian dynasty, the hibiscus flower has been used to treat ailments such as heart and nerve diseases, lower one’s body temperature and in the form of a diuretic to increase urine production. It seems as if this is still being practiced nowadays as hibiscus is used to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol. One of Soak Opera’s best selling products, its Blossom face mask, contains hibiscus and as an avid user of this one, in particular, I believe that my skin’s overall appearance has significantly improved with every use, mostly in terms of getting rid of the dead skin cells due to being high in Alpha Hydroxy Acid, thus making it appear more radiant and feel a lot smoother.