Medicinal & Edible Benefits of Hibiscus

The colors of Fall are beautiful with the trees changing into an array of yellow, red, gold, orange and brown. You don’t expect to see many plants producing as you do in the Summer.


There are some exceptions of course. The beautiful Hibiscus Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), with its ruby red calyces and deep burgandy stems. After flowering, the calyx swell with a seed pod at which time we harvest the calyces and peel the red outer covering off to use for teas and jellies and more!


The leaves, flowers and calyces are all edible. The calyces are well known around the world for their gorgeous red color for your teas. In Jamaica they call their drink,  Jamaican Sorrel which is made from the hibiscus calyx along with fresh ginger and sugar. It is delish!!!

I do have one hibiscus plant but it bloomed late so I only have a few calyces to pick BUT I am lucky enough to have some good friends that invited me to the farm they work at to pick all I wanted!

My Hibiscus plant


My friend Denise helped me process this giant load of hibiscus. I could not have done it without her. 🙂


fresh hibiscus peeled from seed pods. Pic Credit*Denise Hardin
the leftover pods pic credit* Denise Hardin
All my trays of drying hibiscus!
My favorite photographer Denise Hardin

Here is an Herb Profile for you about Hibiscus:

Herbal Lesson on Hibiscus

Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as Roselle or Jamaican Sorrel, is a beautiful tropical plant with reddish green leaves, red stems, red calyces and pale yellow flowers with a red center. It can be grown here in Georgia if started early enough because it flowers in late summer.

Edible uses: The leaves, flowers, calyx are all edible. The red calyx swells up after flowering and then peeled to dry for teas.

To make tea: Use 1 T fresh calyces or 1-2 teaspoons dried per cup of water. Steep 10 minutes. Sweeten.

This syrup will keep for at least a year. Once opened, it will keep for months if refrigerated. The syrup is delicious over crepes, fresh fruit, custard, ice cream. To make cordial, a very small quantity of syrup can be added to a glass and filled with water. The syrup can also be added to milk to make a delicious drink.
5 cups sugar
4 cups water
4 cups calyces, chopped
Heat the sugar and water in a large saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the calyces and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently until the volume of liquid is reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and strain. Bottle the syrup while still hot into clean bottles and seal. The strained calyces can be eaten as a dessert with ice cream or custard.

Medicinal Uses:  Good for the cardiovascular system – can help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Full of antioxidants, high in vitamin C

Cooling to the body and astringent due to the tartness so helpful for fevers, excess fluid, hot flashes, sore throats.

Hibiscus and Ginger Tea : 4 T fresh hibiscus and a few slices fresh ginger to a quart jar, add boiling water, let steep 10-15 minutes. Sweeten with sugar, honey – I used coconut sugar. – Anne-Marie Bilella  – Bella Vista Farm

Have a beautiful day friends!

Herbal Recipe For Vitamin C Pills

Do you take a vitamin C supplement each day? Do you REALLY know what is in that vitamin C or how much real fruit is in there? Hmmm… if you are like most of us, the answer is probably a big fat no.

While I do know medicinal plants, I do not really know the full scoop of vitamin supplements. Could be because I prefer to take my vitamins in its natural state – FOOD! We need vitamin C, especially this time of year to support our immune system. My husband must have vitamin C for his arthritis. My mom told me that years ago, many years ago and I kind of poo pooed it. Well yes it is a fact vitamin C will help alleviate arthritic symptoms. I didn’t know better back then. 🙂

After talking to my herbal teacher and friend, she informed me the brand we had was no good – it was Sundowners Naturals 500mg. Oh no! This is what she said “That is not very good quality Vitamin C nor is it a good type. You want Vitamin C with bioflavanoids, time released. Dosage to reduce inflammation, given his weight, should be about 2,000 mg twice a day. Now too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea so start with 500 mg twice a day and increase by 500 mg every two days till he is taking 2,000 2x/day. ”

I was lost at the health food store with all of the choices so that night up came the post from Learning Herbs for a recipe “How to Make Your Own Vitamin C Pills”. Perfect!

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Here is the original post from them if you would like to check it out – HERE. Learning Herbs is a wonderful resource.

The recipe uses Rose Hips, Acerola, Amla, Honey and Orange Peel Powder.

I had no idea what Acerola and Amla were so I investigated further. They are fruits just like the rest, we can’t possibly know every fruit in the world, right? 😀

Here is a bit about each fruit:

rose hips

Rose hips(Rosa rugosa) are the fruit that appears after the roses are finished flowering. Do not use the hips from Knockout roses, you need the Rosa Rugosa species. I know this from experience but with the roses because I decided I wanted a rose infused lotion and use the knockout roses to infuse my water – yucko. Not a nice smell – at – all. Rose hips are very high in vitamin C


Acerola(Malpighia emarginata) FROM *Mountain Rose Herbs – *Acerola is a fast growing bushy shrub or small tree with small pink and white flowers. The fruits are round and ovoid with three lobes, and are said to have a pleasant, tart taste. They are bright red when ripe, and come to maturity approximately 25 days after the first buds appear. The fruit of the acerola is the richest known source of natural vitamin C in the world. They are usually picked when still green, because in this state they have almost twice as much vitamin C as when fully ripened. Known as extremely high in vitamin C and antioxidants, acerola fruit is also high in iron, calcium, beta carotenes and phosphorus.

By the way I read that IF you have an allergy to latex, you COULD possibly have an allergy to Acerola – be forewarned.


***I found the above Amla info although I do NOT know anything about the company associated with the picture***

Amla(Phyllanthus emblica) or Indian Gooseberry is a green berry that has a sour, bitter and astringent taste. High in vitamin C.

The Orange Peel Powder is optional to roll your little pills in, it is good so don’t leave it out. 🙂 AND Honey – well it is HONEY!!! Just make sure it is raw. Here is the recipe:

Recipe For Vitamin C Pills

1 Tablespoon Rosehip Powder

1 Tablespoon Amla Powder

1 Tablespoon Acerola Powder

1-2 Tablespoons of honey – maybe more

About 1 Tablespoon Orange Peel Powder


this recipe is so easy, the longest part of it is rolling the little pills. Enlist the family and you’ll be done in no time.

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I had to use my coffee grinder for two of the ingredients – the orange peels and the rosehips. Easy to grind – probably could have gotten the orange peels finer.vit c2 (1024x576)vit c3 (1024x576)

Measure out all of the ingredients: I doubled the recipe.

Take the honey and warm it a bit on the stove just to make mixing easier and I believe it helps it blend more. Pour honey, a little at a time, over the powders and mix well. If you need more honey just add a tiny bit at a time so you don’t have to add more powders.

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Next take pea sized portions and squish them together, I found this easier than rolling although maybe more honey would help?

Drop them into the bowl with the orange peel powder and toss to coat.

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Continue until they are all done. One batch will make approximately 45 pills, I made 90 since I doubled the batch, actually I stopped counting after 65. 😀

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Put them in a jar and store them in a cool, dry place. Eat 1-3 per day. More than that may cause you to visit the bathroom a bit too much!!! We are starting with 2 per day. I like the taste, my hubby does not but he eats it. I THINK I will lower the portion of Amla next time and see if it makes a difference.

Enjoy your day today!


Disclosure statement: While I may recommend certain herbs and foods for any illnesses, allergies, skin conditions, natural beauty care and household cleaning, as a reader and a consumer use what I say to research further on your end. I am not a doctor but I am an herbalist not a licensed practitioner but  always learning to improve our lives and to relay what I  have learned on to you!
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