The versatility of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Hibiscus)



Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is versatile in the making of numerous medicinal, cosmetics and food substances. The most popular use is the process of tea making which provides many medicinal benefits. According to Anderle (2013) it is traditionally used to treat people with cancer. Not only treating diseases but it application in making aromatic products further help to market and established the versatility of this plant. Our project has helped to highlight this and other benefits as we have used  Hibiscus rosa-sinensis to make an array of products which include wine, perfume, soap, jams, sauces and beverage. This provides entrepreneurial opportunities by developing Jamaican products in the pharmaceutical, beverage and cosmetic industries.


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Hibiscus) is grown extensively throughout tropical countries including Jamaica. It is a popular ornamental plant. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a member of the Malvaceae plant family and serves a variety of purposes. It has tremendous medicinal benefits; it is applicable in food/beverage preparation and the making of various cosmetic products.

In the area of medicine, the flower is widely used to treat various ailments. Many of such include: regulation of menstrual cycle, ailing infant, gonorrhea, grippe, flu, cough, stomach pain, eye problems, lactation, abortion, antifertility, contraceptive, hypertension, cancer, swelling and aphrodisiac (Jadhav, Thorat, Sathe and Kadam, 2009, pp.1220-1222) . Tremendous medicinal applications are well established but its application in other areas may not be as common as in the area of making cosmetic products such as perfume and soap.

Tea made from hibiscus is used in many tropical countries. Drinking this tea provides many of the medicinal benefits outlined above.

Despite the versatility of this plant, it has many disadvantages depending on its use sage. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (2008),“Drinking hibiscus tea (daily) lowered blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults” p. 1. People with low blood pressure are therefore advise not to consume hibiscus on a daily basis. Anderle (2013) quotes many studies which show that drinking hibiscus tea can alter consciousness (avoid driving after drinking this tea); may contain estrogen or affect estrogen in some way; reduce fertility and interacts with anti-cancer drugs when used in large doses.


The many products that can be derived from this plant (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) have numerous medicinal and commercial applications. A plant that is so prevalent in our backyard if harnessed properly could provide entrepreneurial opportunities; a much needed boost to job creation for the Jamaican people. This would add to the list of products already commercialised in the pharmaceutical and beverage industries. Such established products for which Hibiscus rosa-sinensis could follow suit include Canasol (derived from Jamaica’s marijuana by Dr. West and company), sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa)-same family from which Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is classified is used in the beverage industry and was shown by a group of Northern Caribbean University (NCU) scientists to have anticancer properties. Jadhav et al (2009), in support of the medicinal use of this flower ( Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), says that fertility drugs derived from it can stop getting pregnant at will, for as long as desired, with almost 100% confidence and complete return of fertility when one stops use this product. Using hibiscus for fertility treatment can provide cheap and low cost contraceptive.

Its unique scent provides another innovation to the list of aromatic perfumes. Such aroma could be used to make soap as shown in this science project.

Its application in the processing of jams, wine, sauces and cake mix may do well among students and people in general who will be enticed by its unique flavour. At least it was a common hobby among us as children to suck the nectar from this flower-it has now become our research project.


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower is useful for making tea, sauces, perfume, soap, drink, and wine. It is a versatile plant.




Northern Caribbean University Science Symposium Expo: High School and College Category Champions (Cross Keys High School). 

Check out this link:

For more pictures click on this link: Pictures of NCU Research Week Science Expo 2013



Anderle, B (March6th2013).Effects of Hibiscus tea. eHow. Retrieved March 6th, 2013, from

Jadhav, V.,Thorat,R., Kadam, V., and Sathe, N.S.(2009) Traditional medicinal uses of Hibiscus

rosa-sinensis. [Electronicversion]  Journal of Pharmacy Research, 2(8) 1220-1222.

United States Department of Agriculture, USA. (2008).Agricultural Research Service: The in-

house research arm of the U.S: Department of Agriculture. © 2013


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s