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Home » Hibiscus juice: for body and hair !

Hibiscus juice: for body and hair !

bissap cheveux

Highly Consumed in Africa, Asia, and South America, Hibiscus Juice is a Red-Colored Beverage with a Unique Flavor.

Dubbed by some as the elixir of kings, this drink holds enormous benefits for the body.

Its benefits are both nutritional and therapeutic, explaining why it’s beloved by many, especially in Africa. Not only does it taste great, but it’s also ideal for our overall well-being.

Let’s explore the multiple benefits of hibiscus juice for your health.


General Overview of the Hibiscus Plant

Before delving into the multiple virtues of hibiscus juice for our bodies, let’s first recap on the hibiscus plant.

History of the Hibiscus Plant

Hibiscus sabdariffa (the flower of the hibiscus plant) originates from Southeast Asia.

It was only imported to the African continent in the 19th century. The sun and warmth prevalent on the continent provide a favorable environment for the plant’s growth.

These conditions are essential for its development. Additionally, its leaves are also used in the preparation of numerous dishes.

Also known as Guinea sorrel or roselle, the *Hibiscus sabdariffa* plant can grow up to 3 meters in height and at least 2 meters in width. Its flowers resemble paper and contain a bright red calyx.

Although the entire flower can be used to prepare the beverage, it’s usually the calyx that’s utilized. Traditionally, it’s the women who harvest it.

Hibiscus juice is alcohol-free, making it suitable for consumption by everyone and on any occasion.

Bissap is the Wolof name (a language of Senegal) for the infusion of Hibiscus sabdariffa flowers. However, hibiscus juice is also present in several other countries.

Here are some of its most popular names worldwide: foléré (Cameroon), dableni (Mali, Ivory Coast, or Burkina Faso), zobo (Nigeria), Ngai Ngai (Congo), country gooseberry (Caribbean), karakandji (Central African Republic), karkadé (Egypt), agua de Jamaica (Mexico), rose tea, empire tea, pharaoh’s drink, etc.


Various Traditional Uses of the Hibiscus Plant

Every part of the *Hibiscus sabdariffa* plant is utilized for various purposes.

The leaves are used to prepare sauce, imparting a slightly sour and acidic flavor to it.

The stems are used to produce fibers, while the roots are used as a natural remedy in many pharmacopoeias.

Today, the hibiscus flower not only serves as a base for beverages but is also used in:

  • Cooking in the form of puree or sauce (Cameroon, DR Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon, etc.)
  • Jam
  • Cosmetics, especially mixed with henna to add shine and color to hair
  • Food coloring, to replace chemical dyes
  • Shoe shining, especially in Asia where it’s known as the “shoe flower”
  • Offerings: the flowers are offered to the goddess Kali in India to fulfill wishes.


What are the Benefits of Hibiscus?

Since ancient Egypt, hibiscus infusions have been used as a remedy, especially against fever, insomnia, restlessness, and as an aphrodisiac.

Today, they are still employed in many traditional medicines due to the plant’s numerous benefits.

Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Hibiscus

The Hibiscus sabdariffa flower is rich in anthocyanins (natural pigments that give the flower its beautiful red color).

These are powerful antioxidants from the polyphenol family.

These antioxidant agents help combat oxidative stress and protect the body’s cells against the effects of free radicals, molecules that cause premature cell aging.

They also prevent the development of certain age-related diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis, Alzheimer’s syndrome, etc.

Studies are underway to study the effect of hibiscus on cancers, especially stomach cancer and leukemia. The results are promising.

Hibiscus also has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to treat coughs, sore throats, colds, flu, rhinitis, and all inflammations of the upper respiratory tract.


Digestive and Cardiovascular Health Benefits

Hibiscus juice is an excellent digestive, facilitating intestinal transit and helping to fight almost all minor digestive problems.

Furthermore, several studies have highlighted hibiscus’ hypotensive virtues, making it capable of intervening in the fight against high blood pressure.

These studies have also revealed its protective properties for the heart.

In a study conducted in 2013, a significant decrease in blood pressure was observed in people with diabetes and hypertension after consuming 3 glasses of hibiscus juice per day for 4 weeks.


Benefits for the Skin and Hair

Hibiscus is a huge reservoir of vitamins. It contains iron, calcium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin C, and niacin (vitamin B3).

Hibiscus juice is excellent for the skin.

These vitamins stimulate collagen production, slowing down skin aging.

Additionally, infused hibiscus flowers are an ideal treatment for skin problems such as eczema.

You can drink it or apply it to your body by rubbing it on your hands.

But that’s not all! Even for your hair, hibiscus flowers can work wonders. Its powder, mixed with your hair care products, can help combat lice and dandruff.

It’s also an excellent hair growth stimulant. Find in this article the hibiscus-based recipes to promote hair growth.


How to Prepare Hibiscus Juice?

The recipe for preparing hibiscus juice is quick and very easy to make. There are also different ways to prepare it.

We offer three recipes here.


Recipe 1: Simple Hibiscus Juice

Ingredients: 1.5 liters of water, 100 g of dried hibiscus flowers, 50 g of sugar. Some other ingredients can be added according to preferences to add more flavors: mint, ginger, etc.

Here are the steps to prepare the drink:

  • Boil the water in a saucepan.
  • Add the flowers to the water and let it boil for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, let it cool, then strain.
  • Add sugar and a flavoring ingredient of your choice, and it’s ready!
  • Serve chilled.


Recipe 2: Senegalese Hibiscus Juice

This is one of the most appreciated hibiscus juice recipes.

Here are the ingredients you will need: 3 liters of water, powdered sugar, 7 to 12 good tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers (according to preferences).

Some aromatic ingredients can also be added, such as dried mint, organic orange blossoms, dried ginger, or even a pinch of nutmeg.

Preparation steps:

  • Boil water in a saucepan.
  • Add the hibiscus once the water is boiling and let it cook over very low heat for about 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let the leaves infuse until completely cooled.
  • Strain the hibiscus.
  • Add sugar and flavoring elements according to your tastes.
  • Serve chilled.


Recipe 3: Alain Passard’s Hibiscus Juice

Alain Passard is the owner of L’Arpège, a 3-star Parisian restaurant where he is also the chef. He has developed a hibiscus juice recipe, and here’s the process:

  •  Pour 1 liter of mineral water into a large saucepan.
  • Add 50 g of caster sugar, ½ cinnamon stick, 1 clove, zest of ¼ lemon, 3 grains of black pepper, zest of ¼ orange, ½ vanilla pod with seeds.
  • Add 60 g of dried hibiscus flowers.
  • Heat gently.
  • Remove from heat as soon as bubbles begin to appear and let infuse for 2 hours.
  • Filter once cooled and serve well chilled.


Precautions Regarding Hibiscus Juice Consumption

Although hibiscus juice is safe for health, as a precaution, its consumption is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women and young children.

Hibiscus juice consumed in normal doses has no adverse effects on the body.

Contrary to what many believe, it does not affect sleep quality.

Hibiscus flower infusion could be dangerous for the liver if consumed in excessive amounts.

However, the dose must be extremely high, which is very rare. The risks of liver disease are therefore almost insignificant.


Where to Buy Good Hibiscus?



The hibiscus plant is quite common and not difficult to find.

In markets and supermarkets, you can find it to try one of the recipes mentioned above.

You can also create your own recipe. Just vary the ingredients according to your preferences.

Furthermore, several shops sell hibiscus flowers online. So, you just need to go online to order.