So today I wanted to delve into the world of flowers and their abilities to help our health and appearance! The flower of the day is Hibiscus (Rosa-Sinensis!)
The particular Hibiscus I will be writing about is the Red Hibiscus since that is what I grow in my garden.
In this post I will just touch upon the benefits and uses of Hibiscus powder/petals. I plan to write about how to make the powder in the coming weeks.
If you have been reading my Blog or following my Videos on YouTube you will notice that I love being able to use one product for several different purposes and Hibiscus does just that! While the Hibiscus plant (found in tropical regions across the world as well as countries in Asia and the Middle East) and in particularly its flowers are commonly used for decorative purposes , today I will be discussing its benefits as an Ayurvedic herb!
Hibiscus For the hair – Hibiscus powder can be used to help grow healthy hair due to the fact that it stops excessive hair shedding, provides the hair with a boost of luster and bounce, adds a natural shine to the hair, strengthens the hair and as if that is not enough it is also said to delay premature graying. When combined with other Ayurvedic herbs such as Alma and Brahmi – the mix results in a wonderful conditioning paste. You can make your very own Hibiscus oil by seeping some petals in a carrier oil (e.g. Virgin Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil etc.) for 2 weeks and then straining it out. Should you be looking for a more intensified red tint from Henna, then Hibiscus powder is what you need as it can give you a more burgundy to red wine result. (Note – If you have light hair e.g. blond to light brown the colour deposit from the powder will be more visible than for those with darker hair e.g. dark brown to black.)
Keep in Mind – Hibiscus is slightly acidic and therefore might make your hair feel a little dry afterwards (depends on person to person) therefor, you should follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner after application. You should also remember to cover counter tops with old newspapers and wear gloves and clothes you do not mind getting stained when using Hibiscus powder.
For the skin – Apart from its ability to help in the health of our hair, Hibiscus is also an awesome skin care ingredient that you should try to add to your routine! It is known to help reduce acne, eczema and skin irritations, particularly when it is made into a paste with Amla. Since Hibiscus contains Alpha Hydroxyl Acid (AHA), this makes it a commonly used ingredient in anti-aging products due to the fact that it stimulates the production of collagen. It is popular for its ability to reduce the appearance of winkles, delay the signs of again and reduce dark circles under the eyes.
For the Health – Hibiscus can also be consumed as a tea “sour tea” by seeping 2 teaspoons of Hibiscus powder in 1 cup of boiled water. (You can actually buy Hibiscus tea if you do not want to make your own.) The taste of the tea is quite sour and strong therefore you might want to sweeten it using honey. Hibiscus tea is said to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, help those suffering with type 2 Diabetes and due the antioxidants present in the flower, it is said to help keep mild colds and flues at bay. It is also believed that drinking Hibiscus tea regularly can help increase your satiety (the feeling you get when you are full.) If you feel full you do overeat! 😀 At the same time it is believed that Hibiscus tea can help digest starch and sugar so why not add it to list of herbal teas right?! (Note: this is not a “diet” tea and should not be used as such.)
P.S. you do not have to make your own Hibiscus power. There are number of sites selling Ayurvedic herbs (including Hibiscus) that are ready for use.