A review on phytochemistry and therapeutic uses of Hibiscus sabdariffa L

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jun:102:575-586. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.03.023. Epub 2018 Apr 5.


Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (roselle) belonging to the Malvaceae family is widely grown in many countries. This plant is often used in the traditional medicine being rich in phytochemicals like polyphenols especially anthocyanins, polysaccharides and organic acids thus having enormous prospective in modern therapeutic uses. The study aimed to review and document all the available evidence and information about the calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa (roselle) with the special focus on their nutritional composition, bioactive constituents and therapeutic uses. The electronic database was searched up to 2017, using keywords Hibiscus sabdariffa, chemical constituents of roselle, therapeutic uses of roselle. Journals, books and conference proceedings were also searched. The review provides valuable information about the nutraceutical component of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. and their utilization for curing various degenerative diseases like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cancer and other inflammatory diseases of liver and kidney. Their toxicological effects have also been discussed from a safety point of view. Most studies supported and provided the scientific basis for the statement that Hibiscus sabdariffa and their active constituents play an important role in the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases that are associated with oxidative stress. Our study suggests, that good research is needed, to establish a potential strategy that can balance the pharmacological and toxic effects of roselle and standardized fingerprint of Hibiscus sabdariffa is required internationally for quality control.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Degenerative diseases; Hibiscus sabdariffa; Phytochemicals; Therapeutic uses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hibiscus / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Phytochemicals / chemistry
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use*
  • Phytochemicals / toxicity
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity


  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts