When I was young my grandma used to crush hibiscus flowers and apply the fluid extract on my scalp. She said that hibiscus extract was good for hair growth. I really miss her when I see these advertisements on television that promise the presence of hibiscus extracts in their cosmetic products and which sell like hot cakes. Hibiscus is commonly and abundantly found in tropical countries. It is also called rosemallow and the usual red hibiscus is scientifically known as Hibiscus rosa sinensis, which is the red hibiscus. Hibiscus is also known as the shoe flower or "Javakusuma" in India and China.
Hibiscus flower belongs to the Malvaceae family and is grown in warm climates. The species includes perennial herbaceous plants, woody shrubs and small trees. There are somewhere around two hundred species of hibiscus that flower all over the world.
Hibiscus flowers are large, trumpet shaped flowers that have five or more petals. The color and the size of the flowers make them quite prominent attracting humans and insects. These flowers can be of several colors white, pink, red, purple or yellow. The leaves of the flower are in alternate arrangement. They have a zigzag margin and are ovate to lanceolate.
If the petals are torn away the flower is left with a long slender pink tube like structure that has narrower tubes in it which grow outward to carry the powdery yellow pollens that are the male reproductive part of the flower. Inside the stamen there is a long tube, which is called the style, and below the style and the stamen tube is the placenta that helps to reproduce a seed and then a new plant.
There are various types of hibiscus classified on the basis of their shape and pattern. There are various flower types like:
- Flame Ball
- Gator Pride
- Lavender Lady
- Erin Rachael
- Hawaiian Sunset
- Electric Blue
It was largely used as a flower of cosmetic importance by the people of India and other Asian countries but now the whole world has identified its cosmetic worth. The extract of Hibiscus is used in hair and scalp treatment. Infusions of the Hibiscus flower and the leaves mixed with herbal oils are applied on the scalp and are believed to enhance hair growth. Hibiscus has a soothing effect on the scalp and it helps to eliminate toxins.
It also stimulates blood circulation and ensures the supply of essential nutrients to the hair follicles. The extracts of Hibiscus help to control dandruff and hair fall. They help to counter the common hair problems, which occur due to chemical pollutants in the air.
The use of Hibiscus on scalp can also bring down fever and can also help in case of rashes since it can bring down a lot of heat. The use of Hibiscus extracts also helps if you have an itchy scalp or there is redness or scales. The clogging of the pores can also be done away with and it can actually make your hair look healthier and less oily.
Hibiscus has multiple uses and it also increases the beauty of your garden. So next time whenever you are out to buy a plant for your garden consider a Hibiscus plant.