Natural home remedy - Hibiscus
'A thing of beauty is a joy for ever' said John Keats. Flowers not only give happiness and joy to the senses, but also health to the body. We all appreciate the beauty, the vibrant colours, and the aesthetic appeal of flowers. What most of us are unaware of, is that they also contribute to our health in various ways. There are a lot of flowers that are edible and are good for health. We must remember though, that not all flowers are edible.
- Roses are used in beverages to help people who suffer from irritable bowel disease, gall bladder and liver problems. It is said to help you relax and destress.
- Marigold petals are healing because of its antiseptic and antifungal properties. A cold compress soaked in an infusion made from marigold and rose petals, is particularly soothing for headaches.
- Viola odorata (Neelapushpa in sanskrit) when crushed and boiled in a cup of milk, relieves the pain and swelling of inflamed tonsils.
- Neem flowers are very good for intestinal worms. Flowers of the flame of the forest tree, when steamed, mashed and applied on a boil heals it.
- Ground tamarind flowers make excellent anti - persirants.
- Fresh jasmine flower paste is a soothing salve for psoriasis.
- Chamomile blossoms are said to be good for kidneys, spleen, colds, bronchitis, bladder troubles and for sores and wounds.
- The milk from the cut end of the dandelion is said to help get rid of warts.
- The juice of chrysanthemums cures cold and fever.
There are myriad varieties of the rose and hibiscus. It is practically impossible to list all of them and discuss their health benefits. The common ones used in herbalism are the Hibiscus rosa sinensis and Rosa centifolia, which are discussed here.
Health benefits of Hibiscus rosa sinensis
Hibiscus rosa sinensis has been used in Siddha medicine, (traditional Tamil medicine from the South of India ) for many centuries. It is considered a laxative, aphrodisiac, and a emmenagogue (stimulates menstruation). It is a blood purifier and is good for curing cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), cough, syphillis, and gonorrhea. It is also said to be a very good natural source of vitamin C.
My mother swears by the hibiscus flower. She was suffering from chronic constipation, and only a person who has endured constipation knows how bad it really is. A couple of petals of the hibiscus flower every night, has totally cured her. She no longer suffers from it.
Medicinal uses and home remedies with Hibiscus
- The leaves when ground to a paste with fenugreek seeds and water, can be used as a shampoo and conditioner for hair.
- 8 to 10 hibiscus flowers soaked in 1 ½ litres of water overnight and consumed three to four times a day for 2 to 3 days (about 2 tbsp at a time) is good for urinary diseases.
- It cools the body and is said to be good for psychiatric ailments.
- Hibiscus is a very effective home remedy for hair loss. To prevent hair loss, the juice of the flowers is mixed with coconut oil and heated till the water evaporates. You can store the oil and apply it on the hair for ½ an hour before a bath. For more on hair fall and its remedies, click here.
- A decoction of the hibiscus flower, milk, jaggery and carom seeds is good for leucorrhea.
- About 5 hibiscus flowers ground to a paste, and consumed with water every morning on an empty stomach, for a week before the expected date of periods helps to regularise periods.
Hibiscus tea health benefits
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Hibiscus has a mild flavour and is used to make tea in many cultures throughout the world. To make the tea, pour boiling water over 1 to 2 tbsp of the petals of the flower and keep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and drink.