Roselle is an annual or perennial herb and is one of the species of Hibiscus. In some places, the plant is primarily cultivated for the production of bast fibre from the stem of the plant.
While still immature, this plant can have whitish or yellowish colours with a dark reddish spot at the bottom of each petal. The fibre may be used as a substitute for jute in making burlap.
The heated leaves are applied to cracks in the feet and on boils and ulcers to speed maturation. A lotion made from its leaves is used on sores and wounds.
The seeds are said to be diuretic and tonic in action and the brownish-yellow seed oil is claimed to heal sores on camels.
In Thailand, Roselle is generally drunk as a cool drink, but also as a tea, believed to also reduce cholesterol. It can also be made into a wine.
Hibiscus has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any widely available food; antioxidants have been shown in several studies to enhance nitric oxide production in the body, reducing blood pressure and oxidized lipids.
The plant goes by the names hibiscus, roselle, rozelle, Florida cranberry, flor de Jamaica, Jamaica sorrel, Indian sorrel, Guinea sorrel, sorrel, red sorrel, saril, sour-sour, Queensland jelly plant, jelly okra and lemon bush.
It is good for sore and strained throat, clears up mucous, stops a cough. It also contains anti-radiation, act as “sunscreen“, and helps strengthen blood circulation.
Other plants that are rich in anthocyanins are berries, such as blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, bilberry, and so on.
In some countries roselle is becoming increasingly popular for health purposes, for example its leaves and fruits are claimed to be effective in controlling high blood pressure.
The Red Calyces or Sepals of this plant are used by some countries for food colourings, for flowers, for syrups, for jams, or for many different kinds of drinks.