Known as flor de Jamaica by most we encountered in the Maya lands, Hibiscus is also called tulipán by Spanish-speaking peoples the world over. It is a woody shrub that grows to 26 feet tall. It has slender stems and many branches. The flowers are bright red, and have yellow stamen tubes. Elsewhere, trumpet-shaped relatives in the Hibiscus family may be red, orange, purple, pink yellow, or white. These flowers do not have known medicinal properties.
The red Hibiscus is the Hindu goddess Kali’s flower. Like her, it symbolizes time and change, death and rebirth. In Hindu worship, it is offered to both Kali and to Lord Ganesha.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Tropical and subtropical regions the world over, Southern Texas, Florida, Southern California, Hawaii
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Hypotensive, diuretic, expectorant, nervine, suppurative, and used to treat insomnia, poor circulation, constipation, high cholesterol, stomach conditions, colds, cough, nerve diseases, hair loss, heart weakness, cellulite, postpartum hemorrhages, excess menstrual flow, skin conditions, headache, painful menstruation, and to prevent miscarriages
For all conditions, bring 1 cup water just to
a boil. Pour over 2 teaspoons dried hibiscus flowers. Steep for 5 minutes. For hair loss and to keep hair lustrous, sauté 2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers in 1/4 cup coconut oil for 2 minutes. Add 2 curry leaves, and 1 teaspoon gooseberry. Allow to cool, and then spread
on the hair and scalp. You may also juice the leaves and apply to the hair and scalp for
45 minutes to 1 hour. The juice may also be used to treat cellulite.