Characteristics of Rosella Plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa) in the Wild

Hibiscus sabdariffa
Rosella or Meshta is a species of flowering plant native to the African continent. This plant is often used to decorate the home page or brewed as a warm tea.

This plant has many names in each region, for example in Indonesia it is called Rosela, in Australia it is called Rosella, in India it is called Meshta, and abroad it is called Cannabinus Hibiscus.

China and Thailand are the largest producers controlling some of the world’s roselle supply. Thailand dares to invest in producing rosella and their roselle products are included in superior quality products. Meanwhile, roselle products in China are somewhat less superior, less controlled, and less reliable than Thailand.

However, the best roselle production comes from Sudan, but the quantity is still low and the product is poorly processed so that the quality is not optimal.

Rosella is also produced generally in Mexico, Egypt, Senegal, Tanzania, Mali, and Jamaica which are also important suppliers, but this production is still consumed by the domestic population.

In the Indian subcontinent, especially in the Ganges Delta region, rosella is widely cultivated as a vegetable fiber. The local people there call it Meshta. Most of the fiber produced by rosella is consumed locally. However, there is a demand for roselle fiber in quantities by industry in the world.


Characteristics of Rosella Leaf

Hibiscus sabdariffa Leaf
Source : Sheila

The leaves are three to five-lobed, 8-15 cm long, and grow alternately on the stem.


Characteristics of Rosella Flower

Hibiscus sabdariffa Flower
Source :

Rosella flowers have a diameter of 8-10 cm, are white to pale yellow with a red dot at the base of each petal, and have a fleshy flower at the base of the petal.


Characteristics of Rosella Plant

Hibiscus sabdariffa Plant
Source : Franck

Rosella is an annual herbal plant that can grow 2-2.5 meters tall in the wild. The tree is widely cultivated as a plant that has many benefits, especially in medicine and industry.


The use of rosella flower petals has been known and researched by both modern health experts and traditional health experts in various countries in the world. These flower petals are known to contain important substances needed by the body, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, essential protein, calcium, and 18 types of amino acids, including arginine and lignin which play a role in the body’s cell rejuvenation process.

Commonly known properties of rosella include: lowering uric acid, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, improving metabolism, slimming, inhibiting cancer cells, preventing canker sores and heartburn, increasing vitality, relieving coughs, preventing colds, antioxidants, antihypertensives, anticancer, antidepressants, antibiotics, aphrodisiacs, diuretics, sedatives, tonics, and reduce alcohol absorption.

Traditionally, rosella flower petal extract has been used as an antibiotic, aphrodisiac (increases sexual desire), diuretic, solvent, sedative, and tonic.

A study conducted by a scientist at Chung San Medical University in Taiwan, Chau-Jong Wang, used rosella consumption as a new way to reduce the risk of heart disease. This plant is clinically proven to be able to reduce the amount of plaque that sticks to the walls of blood vessels. Not only that, but rosella also has the potential to reduce levels of bad cholesterol called fat in the body. This shows that rosella is also beneficial for reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure), helps with dieting programs, improves blood circulation, reduces general fever, expels a cough with phlegm, and can be used to facilitate bowel movements.

According to the modern medical point of view, regular consumption of processed roselle petals shows equivalent results with modern medicine (pharmacological) in several diseases such as hypertension, gout, and maintaining kidney health.

Many parts of the roselle plant are claimed to have herbal value in terms of medicine. Rosella has been used for medicinal purposes in Mexico, Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, and other countries.


To get the properties of rosella is not difficult, it is enough to make the flower petals as tea. The flowers that have been picked, dried in the sun for 1-2 days to facilitate separation of the tongue of the petals with the seeds. Then wash and dry in the sun again for 3-5 days, after that squeeze the dried petals until they become powder, meaning that the water content has reached 4-5%. Steep 2-3 g of rosella tea in boiling water until it dissolves and the water turns red.

For diets, cough sufferers, or diabetes use low-calorie sugar such as corn sugar. Or after being separated from the seeds, fresh rosella flowers that have been washed can be brewed directly with hot water.


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