Common Names: Swamp Rose-Mallow, Musk-Mallow, Musk Seed Plant, Rose Mallow, Syrian Mallow, Target-Leaved Hibiscus, Water Mallow, Guinea Sorrel, Jamaica Sorrel, Reselle, Rose of China, Chinese Hibiscus, Marsh Hibiscus, Corkwood, Cuban Bast, Mahoe, Flower-of-an-Hour, Venice Mallow
Scientific Name: Hibiscus Sandariffa
Common Uses: Antispasmodic, nervine. An emulsion made from the seeds is said to be useful for spasmodic problems. An emulsion mad with milk can be used for itchy skin. In Egypt, the seeds are chewed to relieve stomach problems, to soothe the nerves, and to “sweeten” the breath. Egyptians also consider the seeds to have aphrodisiac powers. Abounds in mucilage. Leaves and roots of this plant, like those of related species and genera, used as demulcent and emollient in dysentery and lung and urinary ailments. Rose of China, Chinese hibiscus. Grown mostly for ornament, this shrub or small tree also has astringent and demulcent properties. A decoction of roots is used as an eyewash in Malaya; the bark is used in Asia as an emmenagogue (encourages menstrual flow); the flowers are said to be astringent. The flowers are usually used for fevers and minor stomach and intestinal complaints. The Sanskrit name for the hibiscus flowers is Japa, used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat dysmenorrhea, cystitis, cough, fever, syphilis, gonorrhea, and as a blood purifier.
*Warnings: All potentially toxic. Degree of toxicity unknown.
Origin: Hibiscus Abelmoschus L.: Grows wild in Egypt, India, and the East and West Indies; it is also cultivated elsewhere. Hibiscus Moscheutos L.: Marshes. Maryland to Florida; Alabama to Indiana.