Gumamela (HIBISCUS) as an Alternative Medicine For Common Illness

Photo by:

Photo by:

As much as possible we would like to use herbs as an alternative medicine for some practical reasons. When we say illness usually people would worry about medical expenses. But now, we don’t have to worry much because there are existing herbs that was proven effective. One of them is gumamela that is very accessible and can be seen even in our backyards. Have you ever imagine how this flowers growing in some of our gardens can be an option in curing our illnesses? I was also surprised when I discovered its multiple benefits.

Gumamela scientifically known as (Hibiscus rosa- sinensis Linn) is a shrub that usually grows from 1 meter up to 4 meters high and usually culminated as ornamental plant in the Philippines. Gumamela (Hibiscus) flower varies in different color: red, yellow, orange, white, purple, pink, and other color combination. The Hibiscus with 5 petals are noted to have medicinal properties. The flowers are considered as astringent, the roots contain mucilage that is calming on the mucous membranes of the digestive and respiratory tracts. It has also the following medicinal use: expectorant, diuretic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic anodyne, and refrigerant.

Parts Utilized and their uses

  • Flowers as flavanoids and proanthocyanidins which are antioxidant, antipyretic,analgesic and spasmolytic.
  • Roots as expectorant
  • Leaves as laxative
  • Seeds as stimulant
  • Bark as emmenagogue

Used as treatment of:

  • Bronchitis- as an expectorant
  • Coughs, Sore Throat
  • Fever- as refrigerant drink
  • Treats dysentery
  • Urinary Tract Infection, Bladder Infections
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Prevention of Constipation
  • headaches, boils, swelling, abscesses and mumps
  • In Venezuela, used to treat tumors
  • In Dominican Republic, used to treat hematomas
  • Myocardial Injury, Myocardian Injury
credit: google image
credit: google image

Preparations and Use of Gumamela (Hibiscus)

There are two ways to utilize gumamela as herbal medicine. The dried and fresh gumamela.

For the dried gumamela, first collect the flower, leaves and roots. Wash, then cut into small pieces and sun dry. To use as decoction, boil the parts of gumamela that was dried (1/4 cup dried gumamela in 1 glass of water).

For the fresh gumamela, wash the gumamela flower and leaves , cut into small pieces and boil (1/3 cup of gumamelain 1 glass of water).

Use as Poultice

Poultice is the use of fresh or dried herbs that is mashed, crushed or pounded and often heated (boiled in water to soften) and applied to the skin directly to reduce pain.

Preparation and Medicinal Use:

  • For mumps and urinary tract infection: use dried drug materials 15-30 grams, boil to decoction and drink.
  • Decoction of roots, barks, leaves and flowers can be used as an emollient
  • For abscesses, carbuncles and boils: crush fresh leaves and poultice the infected area. Also, pound flower buds into a paste and apply to external swellings; used for boils, cancerous swellimg and mumps.
  • Decoction of roots can also be used as expectorant for coughs and drops for sore eyes.
  • Decoction from roots of red and white-flowered plants is a Kelantan antidote for poison. Same decoction is drunk for venereal disease and fever.
  • Decoction of flowers and roots can be used as natural diuretic.
  • Bark is an emmenagogue; can also be used to normalize menstruation.
  •  Malays, use a decotion of leaves as a lotion for fevers, and roots can be used for the glands in the neck.
  • Infusion or poultice of leaves used for headaches.
  • Seeds used as a stimulant and for cramps.
  • Decoction of leaves can be used for fevers.
  • Leaves are mildly laxative.
  • Mucilage applied during labor.
  • Red flowers used for sprue.
  • Infusion of flowers and leaves used as expectorant in bronchitis.
  • Infusion of flowers, exposed all night to the dew can be used for gonorrhea.
  • Flowers fried in ghee, given for menorrhagia. the dark red petals are used as a mucilaginous infusion for painful urination, strangury, cystitis, and other irritable genitourinary conditions.
  • Hair stimulant: oil made by mixing the juice of fresh petals and olive oil in equal proportions, and boiled until the water has evaporated.
  • Seeds, pounded to a pulp and mixed with water, can be used for gonorrhea.
  • Red flowers are purgative, when taken with papaya seeds may be abortive.



Hyaluronic Acid from Silver-Banded Whiting Fish: Anti-Aging and Antioxidant

Most of the people toss away fish heads for many reasons. Some people say that fish heads are inedible or not safe to eat. Others say that they almost choke and they couldn’t breathe due to the obstruction of their esophagus because of the disgusting taste of the fish heads. Some people have no idea about the contents of the fish heads that they insist are for garbage cans.

Bioactive peptides identified in range of foods, which includes fish especially, in the contents of a silver-banded whiting fish or Asuhos. Bioactive peptides like Hyaluronic Acid from food proteins offer major potential in nutraceutical or derived from the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical”.

Asuhos contains Hyaluronic acid which can be applied externally to improve or enhance the pleasing features of skin, hair, lips and eyes. Also it can be used to lessen or even prevent the oxidation of other chemicals in human body.

Dr. Bernadeth Ticar, Western Visayas College of Science and Technology’s  (now ISAT U) pride, entitled her ongoing research (June2015-May 2016): Bioactive Hyaluronic Acid from heads of Silver-Banded Whiting for Nutraceutical Use. The chemicals found on the heads of silver-banded whiting fish can be used in cosmetics as anti-aging and anti-oxidant.

uploaded by WVCST

uploaded by WVCST

With a scientific name of Sillago Argentifasciata, silver-banded whiting fish, one of the 29 species of genus Sillago and one of the three genera in smelt-whiting family Sillaginidae, inhabits the coastline of the Philippines, especially in Palawan.



Its name was taken from the brilliant silvery strip across its elongated and slightly compressed body with two apparent dorsal fins by Martin and Montalban in 1935 from a single physical sample of an organism collected in the waters of Western Central Pacific; Lumbucan Island, Palawan Philippines.  The specie’s head contains Hyaluronic acid which can be mixed in cosmetics.

Hyaluronic Acid, also known as Hyaluronan or Hyaluronate (HA) is a carbohydrate, specifically, a mucopolysaccharide occurring naturally throughout the human body. It can be several thousands of sugars. When not bound to other molecules, it binds to water and gives off a stiff viscous or a  gel-like water holding molecule that is the space filler and cushioning agent in all mammals. HA cushions joints, nerves, hydrates skin and hair, and fills the eye. Although originally discovered in 1934 by Karl Meyer, HA gained momentum only after a visit by a reporter to a Japanese village of Yuzuri Hara to find out why both men and women in their 80’s and 90’s had smooth wrinkle free skin, flexible joints, full heads of hair and activity levels that defied their age.

by: Shabir Daya       Victoria Health

by: Shabir Daya
Victoria Health

Another research discussed when was HA discovered.  It was when first commercially used in 1942 when Endre Balazs applied for a patent to use it as a substitute for egg white in bakery products. No other molecule had ever been discovered that has such unique properties to human body.

Scientific studies have shown that HA improves skin hydration, stimulates production of collagen in skin, works as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, maintains skin’s elasticity, cushions joints and nerve tissues, and protect against numerous possible eye concerns.

Because Ha is one of the most hydrophilic (water-loving) molecules in nature with numerous benefits for the human body, today it can be described as “nature’s moisturizer”.

By: Aspen Dolene C. Martinez