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The use of hibiscus flowers, leaves, roots, and stems, have been traced back as far as 6000 years where they were used in the Sudan for medicinal and beauty purposes. Ancient Egypt and China also held hibiscus in high esteem for thousands of years, using it nutritionally, medically and for beautification.
Today, modern research has shown that these beautiful flowers are more than just good looking but are packed with nutrients rich in flavonoids, phenolic compounds, anthocyanins, fatty acids and several types of pigments used for both topical and internal use. However all hibiscus flowers are not equal.
The tropical and flamboyant Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis, commonly known as the Chinese Rose, is used topically for skin disorders and wound healing. The root mucilage, a gooey substance, increases cell proliferation and collagen synthesis. The flowers have a tangy, cranberry type flavor and are chopped into salads. In ayurvedic medicine, it is used in contraception preparations.
Mostly used topically, Hibiscus Syriacus or Rose of Sharon, has emollient properties to soften and smooth the skin. The leaves are used in India as a tonic for hair loss and to stimulate hair growth. Internally it is used for digestive disorders. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers.
The wonders of Roselle, Hibiscus Sabdariffa are many and varied. The dried calyces are used for making a delicious, rosy coloured tea which is a diuretic, it also treats liver disorders, high blood pressure, increases blood flow and kills bacteria. The mucilage from the leaves is used as an emollient and as a cough remedy. Used topically, Hibiscus, also known as the botox plant, contains natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids which gently exfoliates the skin, increases skin elasticity, fights skin damage by eliminating free radicals, moisturizes and evens out your skin tone. Why botox plant? Because by blocking the enzyme responsible for breaking down the connective tissue which gives elasticity to the skin, there is an instant improvement of loose, sagging skin. What’s more, even with all its Alpha Hydroxy Acids, antioxidants and free radical fighting scavengers, it is perfect for sensitive and reactive skin.
JINJA Skin Care has incorporated the benefits of this wonder flower into The Hibiscus and Pomegranate Gel Cleanser which is what gives it the distinctive deep pink/brown colour. Suitable for all skin types, this gentle and hardworking cleanser removes dirt, makeup and grease without stripping the acid mantle of your skin. Active ingredients in Hibiscus and Pomegranate naturally exfoliate the skin increasing elasticity, stimulating collagen production and brightening the complexion. Rosemary and Geranium oils are naturally astringent, facilitating blood circulation to refresh and rejuvenate the skin. Both oils are powerful aromatics giving a heavenly fragrance to the gel.
The benefits of Hibiscus can also be found in the liquid of C Duo Polisher Plus Natural AHAs in Hibiscus gently exfoliates the skin, improving moisture content, elasticity and skin tone. Rose Geranium oil is anti-aging and effective for diverse skin conditions. Palmarosa balances sebum production, encourages cell regeneration and keeps the skin supple and elastic. Both oils are fragrant and uplifting. The powder contains Ascorbic acid which stimulates collagen synthesis, protects skin against UV exposure and is an antioxidant. Amla is rich in Vitamin C, minerals and amino acids which stimulates new cell growth. Rice powder gently exfoliates the skin leaving it brighter and re-energized. Bentonite clay heals and draws toxins from the skin. Mixed together, this duo acts as a gentle polisher and mask.
In ancient Egypt a fermented drink made from hibiscus flowers was considered to be the drink of the Pharohs and was associated with lust. It is said that the tea can bring on licentious cravings and as a result, Egyptian woman were forbidden to drink the tea. Luckily, ladies of modern times can enjoy the benefits of Hibiscus without having to worry about licentious cravings.