Photo by: staticflickr.com
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
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.