School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion

School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion

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AYURVEDIC FOODS

Hibiscus Benefits (According to Ayurveda)

How Does This Ayurvedic Food Improve Wellness?

CLINICAL AYURVEDIC REVIEW

Recipes with Hibiscus: Hibiscus Mint Sun Tea
Recipes with Hibiscus: Hibiscus Mint Sun Tea

Naturally Cooling

This summer, while you are enjoying the exquisite beauty of hibiscus in your garden, drink chilled hibiscus tea to refresh your body and mind. Hibiscus tea is a famous refreshment called Jamaica in Latin America. The astringency of hibiscus provides cooling relief from the summer heat. Hibiscus cools your liver & even down to your blood by purging hot bile from the gall bladder. Thanks to high levels of antioxidants, hibiscus reduces low-grade systemic inflammation, common if your lymphatic system is congested. Together, these refrigerating qualities help your liver complete a natural spring detox cycle. In late spring / early summer your body naturally craves foods and berries with the deep red hue of hibiscus.

Courtship & Romance

The bright red color & sensual texture of hibiscus is a symbol of courtship and romance. In traditional Hawaiian culture, a luscious hibiscus worn behind a woman's left ear indicates that she is married, or in a relationship. If she wears a bright hibiscus behind her right ear, however, she is single and available. Beyond romance, perfectionist Pitta types find soothing relief in the exquisite beauty, delicate grace, and finery embodied by hibiscus.

Hair Growth Tonic

Hibiscus promotes hair growth and prevents premature hair greying by stimulating blood circulation to the scalp and increasing the supply of essential nutrients to the hair follicles. Intellectually disposed pitta predominant people who study, read and work all day, tend to "burn" away their hair with by thinking too much! To harness the hair tonify effects of hibiscus, make the following shampoo (Yields 1c): Simmer 3 flowers in 3/4c coconut oil until they turn pink / lighten to make a medicated oil. In a blender, puree 3 flowers and 5 leaves with 1/4c water. The mucilage in the leaves will make a paste that is useful as a shampoo plus conditioner. Add the medicated oil and continue blending. Rub 1/4c or more into your scalp and let sit 10 minutes before rinsing. Refrigerate remaining product up to 3-4 days.
Recipes with Hibiscus: Hibiscus Blueberry Jello
Recipes with Hibiscus: Hibiscus Blueberry Jello

Reduces Blood Pressure

Hibiscus is a traditional remedy for high blood pressure due to its diuretic action and blood thinning properties. This traditional use of hibiscus is backed up by a 2008 USDA study. Participants who drank hibiscus tea had 8 times more positive effect than the placebo group. If high blood pressure is an issue for you, enjoy hibiscus tea daily. Hibiscus tea protects your heart in more ways than one: It contains bio-flavonoids, believed to prevent build-up of plaque in the arteries.

Skin Care

Beautiful, vibrant hibiscus brings out your natural beauty. You may mix a small amount of hibiscus powder into a nutritive mask of colloidal oatmeal and powdered coconut for smooth, creamy skin with a healthy, sunkissed glow. Hibiscus extract has been shown to function as an anti-solar agent by absorbing ultraviolet radiation, reducing signs of aging topically. Add the powder or essential oil to your homemade moisturizer! If your skin lacks luster and vitality, a dash of red powder will bring a rosy glow to your cheeks. If your skin is already a lively red, using the white flowers will cool and soften the tone.

Appetite Suppressant & Other Uses

The astringent and cooling properties of hibsicus calm an overheated stomach, reducing your appetite to natural levels. The diuretic and blood thinning qualities of hibiscus help you lighten up your waistline and your mood. The restoration of healthy circulation gives your metabolism a boost, essential in any weight loss program.

By its diuretic action, hibiscus helps support the body when you are dealing with kidney disease, diabetes, obesity and liver issues. Hibiscus contains high levels of vitamin C. It supports female reproductive health. Then next time you sip a hibiscus cooler, let these facts slip into your mind and appreciate it's refreshing gifts even more. Too much hibiscus can dry out vata types, leaving them quite thirsty and dry.

About Hibiscus

Hibiscus is from the same family as okra, cotton, and chocolate. More obscure members include durian, marshmallow root, & kola nut.

Buying & Preparation

You can purchase the dried flower in most Latino stores, or grow hibiscus in your garden.

Cooking Hibiscus

Steep the dried flowers as a tea for 3-5 minutes. Hibiscus is often served chilled with a dash of blueberry juice.

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Is Hibiscus Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?

Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether 'Hibiscus' is a good fit. Complete the basic quiz in 1 minute, or go deeper with additional quizzes at your own leisure to learn more about your body.

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AYURVEDA'S GUIDE TO VITALITY & WHOLESOME NOURISHMENT

Your Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body and your specific imbalances. With an Ayurvedic diet you feel joy and satisfaction because what you are eating truly nourishes and balances you. Disease results from diets and lifestyles that are incompatible with your nature. By eating a personalized diet matched to your body, you experience optimal health. See How it Works.
SERVING SIZE: 1 tsp
SPECIES: Hibiscus spp.
FAMILY: Malvaceae

EAT IN: SUMMER

Biocharacteristics of Hibiscus

See a complete list of all biocharacteristics.
INCREASES
Guna Help

Increases These Biocharacteristics (Gunas)

Functional Ayurveda helps you assess imbalances through 20 main biocharacteristics (gunas). Aggravating these characteristics weakens your body and causes imbalance. By knowing which characteristics are habitually imbalanced in your body, you will be able to identify and correct imbalances before you get sick. Every characteristic has an opposite which balances it (i.e. hot balances cold). You restore balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite characteristic.

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LIQUEFIED

ABOUT LIQUEFIED BIOCHARACTERISTIC

Substances that thin fluids (lower viscosity of blood plasma). These may include blood thinners or mucolytic herbs.

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COLD

ABOUT COLD BIOCHARACTERISTIC

Cold refers to anything that reduces body temperature, metabolism, and blood flow.

LEARN MORE ABOUT COLD

TASTES
Taste Help

The 6 Tastes

Taste is used to sense the most basic properties and effects of food. Each taste has a specific medicinal effect on your body. Cravings for food with certain tastes indicate your body is craving specific medicinal results from food. Taste is experienced on the tongue and represents your body's reaction to foods. Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion. Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste. One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes. The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below?

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ASTRINGENT

ABOUT ASTRINGENT BIOCHARACTERISTIC

Astringency is characterized by constriction, drawing together, or drying.

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SOUR

ABOUT SOUR BIOCHARACTERISTIC

Sour refers to anything fermented or acidic.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOUR

DOSHAS
Dosha Help

The Three Doshas / Body Types

According to the biocharacteristic theory of medicine, people tend to get sick, over and over again, due to habitual causes and imbalances that are unique to the person. Your body type summarizes this tendency, showing you the 'type' of conditions and imbalances that frequently challenge your health & wellness. Using body type, you can also identify remedies likely to improve your strength and resiliency. Your body type identifies physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses. The calculation of your body type is based on your medical history.

The 3 functional body types (doshas), are Catabolic (Vata), Metabolic (Pitta), and Anabolic (Kapha). Catabolic individuals tend to break down body mass into energy. They are easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry. Metabolic individuals tend to burn or use energy. They tend to be rosy-cheeked, easily irritated, focused, driven, and easily inflamed. Anabolic individuals tend to store energy as body mass. If they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion. Anabolic people tend to be stable and grounded.

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PACIFIES
Kapha pacifying Pitta pacifying
AGGRAVATES
Vata aggravating
HAS THE FOLLOWING
Moves Energy:
Downward

DOWNWARD

Downward-moving (Adho Gati Marga) substances move food downward in the GI tract, settle the nervous system, and relax muscles.

SEE ALL 'DOWNWARD' FOODS / HERBS


Subdosha: Pitta Alochaka, Pitta Bhrajaka, Pitta Ranjaka
Affinity: Bowel Poop Elimination,
Skin Care

SKIN-CARE

Includes skin care, and anything that nourishes epithelial membranes (of digestive, respiratory, urinary tract, blood vessels, etc).

SEE ALL 'SKIN-CARE' FOODS / HERBS

, Womens Health
Family: Malvaceae
HERBAL ACTIONS
(see all)

Medicinal Benefits, Uses & Herbal Actions of Hibiscus
Help
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. The list of herbal-actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.

Appetite Suppressant

APPETITE-SUPPRESSANT

Suppresses hunger without causing weight gain.

SEE ALL 'APPETITE-SUPPRESSANT' FOODS / HERBS

Relieves Burning

RELIEVES-BURNING

Herbs that soothe a burn or reduce an internal burning sensation, such as aloe vera.

SEE ALL 'RELIEVES-BURNING' FOODS / HERBS

,
Constipative

CONSTIPATIVE

An herb that binds stools / stops diarrhea. When used in excess, these herbs and foods can cause constipation.

SEE ALL 'CONSTIPATIVE' FOODS / HERBS

Relaxes Eyes

RELAXES-EYES

Eases tension in eye muscles, so the eyes feel less strained, often by supporting the liver.

SEE ALL 'RELAXES-EYES' FOODS / HERBS

,
Relaxes Solar Plexus

RELAXES-SOLAR-PLEXUS

Soothes and comforts the muscles of the upper abdomen, reducing any tension or pressure in the solar plexus area.

SEE ALL 'RELAXES-SOLAR-PLEXUS' FOODS / HERBS

Refreshing

REFRESHING

Stimulates and wakes up the body, leaving it feeling cool, fresh, and energized.

SEE ALL 'REFRESHING' FOODS / HERBS

Skin Tonic

SKIN-TONIC

An herb that strengthens and nourishes skin, improving tone, color, moisture and complexion.

SEE ALL 'SKIN-TONIC' FOODS / HERBS

,
Vulnerary

VULNERARY

An herb used for the treatment of wounds (antiulcer, connective tissue tonic).

SEE ALL 'VULNERARY' FOODS / HERBS

Anti Inflammatory

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Reduces inflammation in the body. Different herbs and carriers target different body systems.

SEE ALL 'ANTI-INFLAMMATORY' FOODS / HERBS

,
Anticarcinogenic

ANTICARCINOGENIC

Herbs that inhibit or prevent the activity of a carcinogen or the development of cancer.

SEE ALL 'ANTICARCINOGENIC' FOODS / HERBS

Refrigerant

STRONG REFRIGERANT

An herb or substance that strongly cools the body. Can be helpful in cases of heat conditions.

SEE ALL 'REFRIGERANT' FOODS / HERBS

,
Ace Inhibitor

ACE-INHIBITOR

Used to lower blood pressure. Promotes diuresis by inhibiting angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE).

SEE ALL 'ACE-INHIBITOR' FOODS / HERBS

,
Antioxidant

ANTIOXIDANT

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals that lead to a chain reaction causing damage or death to cells. Antioxidants terminate these oxidation reactions.

SEE ALL 'ANTIOXIDANT' FOODS / HERBS

,
Blood Thinner

BLOOD-THINNER

Herbs that thin the blood. Helpful for people with heart disease or clogged circulation.

SEE ALL 'BLOOD-THINNER' FOODS / HERBS

,
Hemostatic

HEMOSTATIC

An herb that stops bleeding.

SEE ALL 'HEMOSTATIC' FOODS / HERBS

,
Hypotensive

HYPOTENSIVE

An herb that lowers blood pressure.

SEE ALL 'HYPOTENSIVE' FOODS / HERBS

,
Opthalmic

OPTHALMIC

Benefits the eyes, vision tonic.

SEE ALL 'OPTHALMIC' FOODS / HERBS

,
Styptic

STYPTIC

A herb that contracts tissue or blood vessels. Generally styptics are astringent. They are often used topically as a hemostatic to stop bleeding, or to reduce secretions.

SEE ALL 'STYPTIC' FOODS / HERBS

Diuretic

DIURETIC

Herbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.

SEE ALL 'DIURETIC' FOODS / HERBS

Cholagogue

CHOLAGOGUE

Cholagogues stimulate the production & release of bile from the liver & gallbladder. This refreshes and cleanses these organs, as well as increases bile in the small intestines.

SEE ALL 'CHOLAGOGUE' FOODS / HERBS

Lowers Blood Sugar

LOWERS-BLOOD-SUGAR

An herb that lowers blood sugar.

SEE ALL 'LOWERS-BLOOD-SUGAR' FOODS / HERBS

Hair Growth Tonic

HAIR-GROWTH-TONIC

An herb or formula that encourages healthy hair growth.

SEE ALL 'HAIR-GROWTH-TONIC' FOODS / HERBS

Constituents:
Flavonoids

STRONG FLAVONOIDS

Flavonoids are a colorful type of polyphenol. As all polyphenols, they have a strong antioxidant effect. Many flavonoids have an anti-inflammatory, and/or antiallergen effect.

SEE ALL 'FLAVONOIDS' FOODS / HERBS

, Beta Carotene,
Polyphenols

POLYPHENOLS

Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants seen in many fruits and vegetables. There are more than 8,000 types.

SEE ALL 'POLYPHENOLS' FOODS / HERBS

Foods with a Similar Nature to Hibiscus

Acai

Acai has these Actions in Common

Cholagogue, Refrigerant, Antioxidant, Hypotensive, Relaxes-eyes, Anti-inflammatory, Appetite-suppressant, Refreshing, Relaxes-solar-plexus, Anticarcinogenic

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Turmeric

Turmeric has these Actions in Common

Antioxidant, Hair-growth-tonic, Vulnerary, Anti-inflammatory, Blood-thinner, Lowers-blood-sugar, Anticarcinogenic, Cholagogue, Skin-tonic

LEARN MORE

Honey Dew

Honey Dew has these Actions in Common

Diuretic, Refreshing, Relieves-burning, Hypotensive, Refrigerant, Appetite-suppressant, Opthalmic, Relaxes-eyes

LEARN MORE

Cranberry

Cranberry has these Actions in Common

Anti-inflammatory, Constipative, Refrigerant, Antioxidant, Diuretic, Styptic, Blood-thinner, Lowers-blood-sugar

LEARN MORE

Pomegranate

Pomegranate has these Actions in Common

Anti-inflammatory, Opthalmic, Styptic, Antioxidant, Refrigerant, Ace-inhibitor, Cholagogue, Skin-tonic

LEARN MORE

Blueberry

Blueberry has these Actions in Common

Antioxidant, Opthalmic, Anti-inflammatory, Blood-thinner, Refreshing, Anticarcinogenic, Lowers-blood-sugar, Refrigerant

LEARN MORE

Cilantro

Cilantro has these Actions in Common

Blood-thinner, Hemostatic, Styptic, Cholagogue, Refreshing, Anti-inflammatory, Diuretic, Refrigerant

LEARN MORE

Cucumber

Cucumber has these Actions in Common

Hypotensive, Refrigerant, Anti-inflammatory, Lowers-blood-sugar, Skin-tonic, Diuretic, Opthalmic

LEARN MORE

Rose Petals

Rose Petals has these Actions in Common

Cholagogue, Relaxes-eyes, Anti-inflammatory, Hemostatic, Styptic, Appetite-suppressant, Refrigerant

LEARN MORE

Carrot

Carrot has these Actions in Common

Anticarcinogenic, Diuretic, Skin-tonic, Antioxidant, Hypotensive, Cholagogue, Opthalmic

LEARN MORE

Herb Supplements with a Similar Nature to Hibiscus

Amalaki

Amalaki has these Actions in Common

Lowers-blood-sugar, Opthalmic, Refreshing, Ace-inhibitor, Refrigerant, Anti-inflammatory, Relaxes-eyes, Antioxidant, Skin-tonic, Hair-growth-tonic, Styptic, Hemostatic

LEARN MORE

Agrimony

Agrimony has these Actions in Common

Constipative, Diuretic, Hemostatic, Anti-inflammatory, Styptic, Anticarcinogenic, Vulnerary, Antioxidant, Appetite-suppressant, Cholagogue

LEARN MORE

Arjuna

Arjuna has these Actions in Common

Diuretic, Hypotensive, Refrigerant, Skin-tonic, Anti-inflammatory, Styptic, Antioxidant, Vulnerary, Appetite-suppressant, Constipative

LEARN MORE

Bhringaraj

Bhringaraj has these Actions in Common

Diuretic, Hair-growth-tonic, Hemostatic, Hypotensive, Lowers-blood-sugar, Opthalmic, Anti-inflammatory, Skin-tonic, Cholagogue, Vulnerary

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Neem Leaf

Neem Leaf has these Actions in Common

Cholagogue, Constipative, Diuretic, Lowers-blood-sugar, Refrigerant, Vulnerary, Anti-inflammatory, Blood-thinner

LEARN MORE

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel has these Actions in Common

Styptic, Vulnerary, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Hemostatic, Refrigerant, Relieves-burning

LEARN MORE

Cornsilk

Cornsilk has these Actions in Common

Cholagogue, Diuretic, Hemostatic, Hypotensive, Refrigerant, Vulnerary, Anti-inflammatory

LEARN MORE

Goldenseal

Goldenseal has these Actions in Common

Anti-inflammatory, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Hemostatic, Opthalmic, Refrigerant, Vulnerary

LEARN MORE

Yarrow

Yarrow has these Actions in Common

Styptic, Vulnerary, Anti-inflammatory, Blood-thinner, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Hemostatic

LEARN MORE

Red Root

Red Root has these Actions in Common

Refrigerant, Styptic, Anti-inflammatory, Appetite-suppressant, Blood-thinner, Hemostatic

LEARN MORE

Geranium

Geranium has these Actions in Common

Skin-tonic, Vulnerary, Anti-inflammatory, Anticarcinogenic, Diuretic, Hemostatic

LEARN MORE


Joyful Belly is a recognized school of biocharacteristics medicine.

TRADITIONALLY INDICATED FOR THESE SYMPTOMS

Hibiscus may be beneficial for these symptoms. The suitability of any food for a condition is highly dependent on the individual. Please see your doctor before using this food to treat a medical condition.

Rosaceae
How does Hibiscus affect 'Rosaceae'?
IT FEELS BETTER IT FEELS WORSE IT FEELS THE SAME
We will use this information to better predict food that helps you.

HOW DOES EATING AYURVEDICALLY MAKE YOU FEEL?

Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.

Clinical Tools & Resources

Give smart recommendations to your clients and improve efficiency in your clinic with these tools.
About John Joseph Immel

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.

John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 7 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.

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Comments & Impressions of 'Hibiscus'

Do you like 'hibiscus'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something else you'd like to know about 'hibiscus'?

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