Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, with several hundred species native to warm, tropical regions. Also called "rosemallow," hibiscus can be grown indoors or out. Flowers are large and trumpet shaped, with five or more petals. Colors include white, pink, red, orange, purple, or yellow. The extract is most often taken from the red flowers, also known as "roselle."
Hibiscus is Edible
Many cultures enjoy hibiscus tea, made from the flowers and served both hot and cold. In addition to Egypt, West Africa, Mexico, India, and Brazil enjoy the tangy flavor of hibiscus tea, which is also a favorite in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands.
Dried hibiscus is edible, and may be used in salads, as a vegetable or flavoring, or as a delicacy. Certain species are also used as a natural source of food coloring.
Hibiscus for Skincare
Hibiscus has a sort of magical reputation in skincare because it is a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). Chemical forms of these acids can be overly harsh and damaging to the skin, but natural sources such as those in hibiscus can help provide the same benefits without the harsh drawbacks. AHAs are known to help exfoliate skin, speed up cell turnover, and help control acne breakouts, all of which can encourage fresher, younger, and smoother looking skin. They also increase moisture and improve flexibility and elasticity?the reason why hibiscus called the Botox plant.
On top of the AHA activity are the antioxidants, which are called "anthocyanocides." These not only protect the skin from free radical damage, but have astringent properties that help pores to appear smaller. They have an anti-inflammatory effect as well, which soothes inflamed skin and helps calm conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Finally, the plant has a high mucilage content, which makes it a great skin moisturizer. Combine all these properties together and you have a wonderful anti-aging ingredient that with regular use, helps skin to appear more supple and flawless overall. Plus it has a lovely, natural scent.
With powerhouse ingredients like this one, why would you ever want to use harsh chemicals?