Are hibiscus flowers safe to eat?
In this brief article, we will answer the questions, are hibiscus flowers safe to eat, what are hibiscus flowers, what is their nutrient composition, what are the benefits of consuming hibiscus flowers and also what are their uses. We will also explore how hibiscus flowers are obtained and how they are prepared for consumption.
Are hibiscus flowers safe to eat?
Hibiscus flowers are safe to eat. They can be eaten raw directly from the plant or used to make tea or hot drinks.
They are mainly grown as ornamental plants. The flowers are bright red with protruding stigma and style. They are also known as rose mallow.
What are hibiscus flowers?
These are the flowers of the hibiscus tree. They are of the family Malvaceae. There are many varieties.
The flowers are bright red, white, pink, orange, red, blue and peach and can be consumed raw or used in drinks such as tea. They are both annual and perennial plants.
Most of the species are cultivated as ornamentals because of the flower colors. Hibiscus trees have alternate leaves with a lobed margin.
The flowers are large and are shaped like trumpets. The flower color depends on the species. They are also nyctinasty plants meaning they sleep at night and open their leaves during the day.
They are found in temperate regions that are in the tropics and subtropical zones.
What is the nutrient composition of the hibiscus flower?
Hibiscus flowers are rich in nutrients as shown in the table below.
|Nutrient||Concentration per 100g|
They are rich in vitamin C which aids the body in absorption of essential elements such as iron, zinc and calcium. Ash serves as a good source of potassium when ingested. It is also found in items like milk.
Hibiscus flowers contain a large amount of carbohydrates that serve as a good source of energy. They are also pigmented by β carotene elements. These pigments help in providing distinctive color on drinks and jams.
What are the benefits of using hibiscus flowers?
They help in reducing blood pressure especially Hibiscus sabdariffa which produces an extract called sour tears. It is aso thought of having medical uses in the traditional medicinal community.
It is a source of food, when dried it can be used to serve dessert. Hibiscus flowers are also used in beverages to induce color due to carotene pigments.
What are the uses of hibiscus flowers and plants?
They are used for landscaping as the hibiscus flowers are beautiful and bright. Some of the species are used in paper making, especially the kenaf. Some of them are also used in the manufacture of ropes and further used in construction.
Hibiscus flowers are used as an additive and used in making tea. They are also a source of food when dried and are used as garnishes and desserts. They are also believed to have medicinal value.
Studies have shown that some of the species are used to lower blood pressure. They are also used as a form of contraception and they also alter the pharmacokinetics of the body.
They are also used as symbols in culture and religion such as in Hindu they represent the goddess kali. They are also used as national symbols, for example in Haiti.
How are hibiscus flowers obtained?
Growing hibiscus seeds is challenging compared to propagating them from cuttings. They take a long period to germinate. The seed coat is nicked slightly and soaked for 8 hours. The soaked seeds are then sown in the soil at a depth of ¼ inch.
The soil should be warm and well drained. After several weeks, the seeds emerge and are carefully transplanted after hardening them off. Hibiscus plants are deep rooted and need deep and fertile soils.
They usually bloom in late spring. They are prone to pests such as red spider mites and aphids. Relatively warm temperatures are preferred to avoid flowers falling.
Hibiscus plant is not fully required for pruning. It is a fragile plant and all its requirements should be met to avoid death and yellowing.
How are hibiscus flowers prepared?
They can be dried and eaten as desserts. They are also eaten raw, they are added to tea as a condiment to enrich the tea. For further methods on preparing hibiscus flowers click here. You can also buy dried hibiscus flowers from here.
In this brief article, we have answered the questions, are hibiscus flowers safe to eat, what are hibiscus flowers, what is their nutrient composition, what are the benefits of consuming hibiscus flowers and also what are their uses. We have also explored how hibiscus flowers are obtained and how they are prepared for consumption.