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Hibiscus: Nature’s Answer to Obesity and More

Thursday, November 23rd 2023 10:00am 2 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

The hibiscus plant, recognized as Hibiscus sabdariffa and popularly called Roselle, Florida cranberry, or Jamaica sorrel, shares a close relationship with the okra plant. It originates from Central and West Africa. Its calyces – the vivid red, cup-like structures – exhibit a flavor reminiscent of tart cranberries. In the Caribbean, these calyces play a role in the creation of a cherished holiday beverage.

This plant has deep roots in traditional medicine across countries like Thailand, Nigeria, China, and India. Hibiscus is rich in bioactive compounds like flavonoids, anthocyanins, and chlorogenic acid. These compounds are celebrated for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer attributes. Additionally, they play a pivotal role in controlling diabetes, preventing heart disease, and notably, in counteracting obesity.

The anti-obesity attributes of hibiscus are particularly fascinating. Emerging research underscores the potential of this formidable plant in aiding weight management naturally.

A study from Chung-Shan Medical University, Taiwan, delved into the impact of hibiscus extract (HSE) on metabolic control among overweight or obese adults aged between 18 to 65. For a 12-week period, participants were either administered HSE (450 mg) or a placebo capsule (500 mg starch). The results were promising. The hibiscus extract group saw reductions in body weight, BMI, body fat, and abdominal fat. There were also significant improvements in liver health.

Interestingly, hibiscus showcases a multi-pronged approach to fighting obesity. Its polyphenols might be instrumental in managing:

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