Home >> Plants Profile: Part - H >> Hibiscus sabdariffa L.

Hibiscus sabdariffa L.

Group: Dicot
Family: Malvaceae - Mallow family
Duration: Annual, Biennial
Growth Habit: Subshrub

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Lalmesta, Mesta, Patwa, Kharapata (Chittagong)

Tribal Name: Puyng - shi, Un thun Sung Krak (Bawm), Amile (Chakma), Aangtho (Khumi), Jang Gri Se (Marma), Kan Sur Ka (Murang), Mukhroi bathai (Tripura).

English Name: Indian Sorrel, Jamaica Sorrel, Natal Sorrel, Red Sorrel, Rosella, Rozelle Hemp.

Description of the Plant:

An erect shrubby annual with red stem and branches. Leaves cuneate at the base, usually 3-5 lobed; lobes lanceolate or oblong, serrate.Flowers large, purple with darker centre, axillary, solitary.Capsules ovoid, beaked, hairy.

Chemical Constituents:

The fruits, leaves and stems contain d-malic acid. Leaves contain sitosterol- ß-D-galactoside. High concentration of hibiscic acid, flavonoid and heterosides have been isolated from flower (Asolkar et al., 1992). Extract of flowers contain reducing sugars, glycosides, acids, an alkaloid and resins. New glycoside gossytrin have been isolated from flower petals. Seeds contain cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol, a-spinasterol and ergosterol.

Gossypetin-7-glucoside, 8-glucoside, cyanidin-3,5-diglucoside and cyaniding-3(2'-glucosyl-rutnoside); delphinidin-3-sambubioside (canabinin), delphinidin-3-glucoside (myrtillin), cyaniding-3-sambubioside and cyanidin-3-glucoside have also been isolated from the plant (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Hibiscus sabdariffa L.

Hibiscus sabdariffa L.

Mode of Uses:

  • Fresh leaves, young shoots and fruit coats are cooked and sour in taste (Khumi).
  • Leaves, fruits, seeds are cooked as curry (Bawm).
  • Decoction of the leaf is used as laxative. Fruits are antiscorbutic; used in dysentery and diarrhoea (Marma).
  • Leaves and flowers are used to prepare sour curry and nutritious soup (Murang).
  • The leaves and young shoots are eaten in raw or cooked and sour in taste. The fruit coats are cooked as soup (Chakma, Tripura, Marma, and Bawm).


Cultivated throughout the country.

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