Common Name: Rosella
Scientific Name: Hibiscus Sabdariffa
Family Name: Malvaceae

Edible Uses :

  • Fleshy flower calyces are rich in citric acid, pectin, anthocyanin pigments and vitamins and are used fresh in salad and for making roselle wine, syrup, gelatin, refreshing beverages, puddings, chutneys, pickles, cakes, herbal teas, jellies, marmalades, ices, ice cream, sherbets, butter, pies, sauces, tarts and other desserts.
  • Roselle has been recommended as a source of pectin for the fruit-preserving industry in Pakistan.
  • Calyces are used for food coloring in America, Asia and Europe.
  • Calyces are used to color and flavor rum in the Caribbean and to add color and flavor to herbal teas and beverages.
  • Drink is made from the fresh fruit, and it is considered an integral part of Christmas celebration in Caribbean.
  • Inexpensive beverages are commonly consumed and are typically made from fresh fruits, juices or extracts in Mexico and Central America, aguas frescas.
  • Refreshing and very popular beverage can be made by boiling the calyx, sweetening it with sugar and adding ginger.
  • Calyx infusion, called ‘Sudan tea’, is taken to relieve coughs in East Africa.
  • Roselle calyces are commonly used to make a sugary herbal tea that is commonly sold on the street in Africa especially Sahel.
  • Calyces are used to make cold, sweet drinks popular in social events, often mixed with mint leaves, dissolved menthol candy, and or various fruit flavors in Mali and Senegal.
  • Carib Brewery Trinidad Limited produces a Shandy Sorrel in which roselle tea is combined with beer in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Agua de Jamaica (water of roselle) is most often homemade and drank chilled, and Jamaica Ipa is another popular drink in Mexico and Central America, which is made from calyces of the roselle in Mexico and Central America.
  • Roselle calyces are sold in bags usually labeled Flor de Jamaica in health food stores in the United States for making a tea that is high in vitamin C, an anthocyanin.
  • Jarritos, a popular brand of Mexican soft drinks, makes a Jamaica flavored carbonated beverage.
  • Imported Jarritos is commonly available in the United States.
  • Green leaves are used as spinach in a fish and rice dish called thiéboudieune in Senegal.
  • Green leaves form the main ingredient in making chin baung kyaw curry in Myanmar.
  • Leaves and calyces are acidic, eaten as cooked vegetable, good with fermented fish and pork in Assam.
  • Jelly is prepared from calyces.
  • Tender young leaves and stems are consumed raw or cooked in salads; as a potherb and as a seasoning in curries; they have acid, rhubarb– like flavor.
  • Calyx is rich in citric acid and pectin and so is beneficial for making jams, jellies, etc.
  • It is also used to add a red color and to flavor to herb teas.
  • Using marinades of roselle calyx extract for fried beef patties was found to reduce the formation of carcinogenic heterocyclic aromatic amines.
  • Calyces are gathered for sale either fresh or dried; they are whole in preparing melon soup together with other soup ingredients and in the production of roselle jams in Nigeria.
  • A pleasantly flavored beverage produced as an infusion from the calyx has been widely cherished in Nigeria and is used for refreshment and entertainment in home and public gatherings and also sold as a local drink.
  • Calyx has been chewed to alleviate thirst on long desert tracks of Moslems.
  • Dry calyx is used to produce a flavorsome and healthy drink rich in vitamin C, and dried calyces are used for tea, jelly, marmalade, ices, ice cream, sorbets, butter, pies, sauces, tarts and other desserts in Sudan.
  • Iced red hibiscus tea is consumed daily in Sudan; in Spain it is called ‘quimbombe chino’.
  • Roselle herbal tea is normally drunk in Thailand on its own or mixed with normal tea to reduce cholesterol.
  • Roselle calyces are harvested fresh to produce pro-health drink due to high contents of vitamin C and anthocyanins in Malaysia.
  • Young leaves and shoots cooked as vegetables and the calyces used to flavor fish and in curries in Malaysia.
  • Young leaves, stems, calyx and fruits are used for cooking fish or eel in Vietnam.
  • Tender young leaves and stems eaten raw or cooked in Nepal and elsewhere.
  • Leaves used as food complement in Angola.
  • Seeds have been reported to be eaten in some parts of Africa.
  • Furundu, a meat substitute, is traditionally prepared by cooking Hibiscus sabdariffa seed and then fermenting it for 9 days.
  • Yanyanku and Ikpiru, made by the fermentation of Hibiscus sabdariffa seeds, are used to produce food condiments in Benin.
  • Seeds are roasted, ground into a powder and used in oily soups and sauces.
  • Roasted seeds have been used as a coffee substitute that is said to have aphrodisiac properties.
  • Roots are edible but very fibrousy, mucilaginous and rather bland, lacking flavor.


Medicinal Uses :

  • Roselle flowers, leaves and to a lesser extent seeds and roots have been used in traditional medicine in the tropics as antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, digestive, diuretic, emollient, purgative, dysuria, fever, hangover, heart ailments, hypertension, neurosis, scurvy, antipyretic, refrigerant, resolvent, sedative, mild laxative, stomachic and tonic and as a folk remedy for abscesses, bilious conditions, cancer, cough, debility, dyspepsia and strangury.
  • Roselle drink made by placing, the calyx in water, is supposed to be a folk remedy for cancer.
  • Medicinally, leaves are emollient and are much used in Guinea as a diuretic, refrigerant and sedative; fruits are antiscorbutic; leaves, seeds and ripe calyces are diuretic and antiscorbutic; and the succulent calyx, boiled in water, is used as a drink in bilious attacks; flowers contain gossypetin, anthocyanin and glucoside hibiscin, that may have diuretic and choleretic effects, reducing the viscosity of the blood, reducing blood pressure and stimulating intestinal peristalsis.
  • Seeds are used for debility and the leaves as emollient in Burma.
  • Taiwanese regard the seed as diuretic, laxative and tonic.
  • Angolans use the mucilaginous leaves as an emollient and as a soothing cough remedy.
  • Roselle is an aromatic, astringent, cooling herb that is much used in the Tropics.
  • Leaves are antiscorbutic, emollient, diuretic, refrigerant and sedative.
  • Bitter root is used as an aperitif and tonic in Philippines.
  • Hibiscus sabdariffa is a traditional Chinese rose tea and are effectively used in folk medicines for treatment of hypertension and inflammatory conditions.
  • Hibiscus sabdariffa, a local soft drink material and medicinal herb, is commonly used effectively in native medicines against hypertension, pyrexia and liver disorders.
  • Hibiscus sabdariffa popularly known in Mexico as ‘Jamaica’, ‘flor de Jamaica’, has been widely used in Mexican Traditional Medicine as antihypertensive and diuretic.
  • Beverages of the calyces are extensively used in Mexico as diuretic, for treating gastrointestinal disorders, liver diseases, fever, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension.
  • Calyx extracts are used for the treatment of several complaints, including high blood pressure, liver diseases and Fever in folk medicine.
  • Different parts of this plant have been recommended as a remedy for various ailments like hypertension, pyrexia and liver disorders in Ayurvedic literature of India.
  • Roselle is used as antidotes to poisonous chemicals (acids, alkali, and pesticides) and venomous mushrooms in traditional medicine.
  • Leaves are occasionally used as medicine in dysentery of man and domestic animals in Assam.
  • Powdered calyces are used as an aphrodisiac on the penis, leaf juice is used as eye drop and oxytocic and pulp of the roots is used as local application for abscess and administered for bronchitis in Brazzaville.
  • Finely powdered dried fruit is applied to sores and wounds in Togo.
  • An infusion of the calyx is used to treat haematuria and headache and decoction used for snake bite and scorpion sting in Sudan.
  • Powdered roselle fruit mixed with powdered tamarind bark is used as local application for old wounds; powdered macerated roselle flowers are similarly used in Dogonland, Mali.
  • Roselle tea is used as a diuretic, cholagogue and diaphoretic in Saloun Island, Senegal.
  • Tea from crushed leaves soaked in water is taken orally for epilepsy in Temeke district, Tanzania.
  • Decoction of fresh leaves is taken orally for anaemia in Uganda.
  • Leaves are used for tuberculosis in Ogun State, Nigeria.
  • Infusion of roselle calyx is taken orally for urinary problems and to treat colibacillosis; roots are used as a purgative or laxative, dried leaves used as sudorific and leaf decoction is used for measles, roots pulped and used as poultice to mature abscesses and for bronchitis in Senegal.
  • Juice from pounded leaves is used as coagulant with latex in Madagascar.
  • Macerated and pounded leaves, flower concoction is taken orally for scurvy and heated leaves used externally for sand-crack feet in Sierra Leone.
  • Decoction or infusion of roselle flowers are administered for hypertension and also used as an antimicrobial in Egypt.
  • Roselle flowers are used in traditional treatment of malaria in Cameroon.
  • Roselle leaf decoction is used to treat anaemia in Uganda.
  • Leaf decoction is used as mouth gargle in Central African Republic.
  • Crushed seeds are used as veterinary medicine in Burkina Faso.
  • sabdariffa aqueous extract, rich in several polyphenols, is effectively used in native medicines against hypertension, diabetes and liver disorders.



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