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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Benefits of Roselle

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The roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of Hibiscus native to the Old World tropics, used for the production of bast fibre and as an infusion. It is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based subshrub, growing to 2–2.5 m (7–8 ft) tall. The leaves are deeply three- to five-lobed, 8–15 cm (3–6 in) long, arranged alternately on the stems.

The flowers are 8–10 cm (3–4 in) in diameter, white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, and have a stout fleshy calyx at the base, 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) wide, enlarging to 3–3.5 cm (1.2–1.4 in), fleshy and bright red as the fruit matures. It takes about six months to mature.

The scientists from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) found certain varieties of roselle to contain high levels of organic acid called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is currently used in some weight loss products and supplements. This finding has added further value to the fruit which is already known to be rich in both vitamin C and anthocyanins (potent antioxidants).

Although the potential of HCA as a weight lowering compound has been recognised since 1970s, few clinical studies have been conducted with this compound. These few studies resulted in both positive and negative results, the negative ones are most likely due to HCA being poorly available in the cytosol of a target cell. Better HCA compounds, such as potassium HCA, are being developed to address this, i.e. to further improve the bioavailablity and the efficacy of HCA.

In any case roselle is already known as a health drink due to its high contents of vitamin C and anthocyanins (antioxidants). Vitamin C and anthocyanins found in roselle juice or tea drink are good for our health and can increase the level of resistance of our body to diseases. 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.



Roselle, or Rosella Fruit, or Binomially speaking Hibiscus Sabdariffa. This annual or perennial herb is one of the species of Hibiscus. The fruit of Roselle plant become mature in about six months and that is when it gets beautiful bright red color. While still immature, this plant can have whitish or yellowish colors with a dark reddish spot at the bottom of each petal. The stem of the Roselle plant is cultivated for the production of Bast Fiber or Skin Fiber which is then used to make burlap (Woven Fabric, Gunny Cloth, or Coarse Fabric).

Roselle plant has been and still is considered as an AntiHypertensives (used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure), Mild Laxative (used to induce bowel movements), and Diuretic (used to elevate the rate of urination to treat drug overdose or poisoning). The Red Calyces or Sepals of this plant are used by some countries for food colorings, for flowers, for syrups, for jams, or for many different kinds of drinks. And the green leaves of Roselle can be used for salads, for curry, for teas, for lotions, for wounds, and for sores.

So, the Nutrients in one cup (57 grams) of Raw Roselle Plant without any refuse are:

- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2, Riboflavin
- Vitamin B3, Niacin
- Vitamin C
- Protein
- Calcium
- Iron
- Magnesium
- Phosphorus
- Potassium
- Sodium
- Natural Fats
- Carbohydrates
- Calories

According to these Nutrients we can come up with these Health Benefits of Roselle Plant:

Vitamin C:
- Improves wound healing
- Prevents cells from damages
- Improves gums health
- Improves teeth health
- Improves Immune System
- Protects from free radicals
- Reduces Aging
- Lowers Risks of some Cancers
- Improves Iron absorption
- Improves Lung health
- Prevents from frequent colds
- Protects from frequent infections

Calcium:
- Maintains healthy bones
- Improves nerve function
- Improves muscle function
- Supports Healthy blood clotting
- Reduces feet tingling
- Reduces hand tingling
- Lowers chance of retardation in children
- Reduces chance of bone deformities
- Reduces feet numbness
- Reduces hand numbness
- Improves teeth health

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