With its ruffled petals of white, yellow, orange, red, or pink, the hibiscus flower has inspired passion for centuries.
You know: The kind of passion that makes you want to dim the lights and throw on a romantic playlist. Some sensual Sade, an oil-infused bath. But before you do either, you should know this: the potential of hibiscus goes beyond awakening your libido. This gorgeous tropical flower may have a multitude of additional therapeutic effects, including the potential to purify the blood, reduce high cholesterol, and even promote weight loss and liver health.
Here, everything you need to know about the hibiscus flower, its effects, and its purported benefits.
Hibiscus induces the kind of passion that makes you want to dim the lights and throw on a romantic playlist. Some sensual Sade, an oil-infused bath.
About the Hibiscus flower
The hibiscus is a flowering plant native to the tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Although there are many varieties, the first image that usually comes to mind is the Hawaiian Hibiscus or rose mallow. This species is scientifically known as Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis—the beautiful, ruffled five-petaled flower in shades ranging from yellow to red, often related to surf culture.
However, despite the popularity of the Hawaiian Hibiscus, the most commonly cultivated type around the world is Hibiscus Sabdariffa, widely called Roselle. It's a shrub marked by red stems and wide, white-to-pale yellow flowers that hide a real treasure. At the bottom of each flower, there’s a fleshy, bright red, cup-like structure called the calyx. That's the part of the plant that is dried and used to make Hibiscus Tea, which is enjoyed either hot or iced and beloved for its delicate sweet-tart flavor similar to cranberries.
Several researchers have studied the health benefits of consuming this eye-catching flower orally, but many people also ask, "Can you smoke hibiscus flower?"
Can you smoke Hibiscus flowers?
Since ancient times—5000 B.C to be exact—our American ancestors blended and smoked different therapeutic herbs during shamanic rituals. Among a broad list of over 1,500 smokable, documented plants, we find hibiscus—a flower that adds flavor and color to any herbal blend.
When consumed in moderation, hibiscus can be a soothing, therapeutic herb. However, it is essential to remember that inhaling large amounts of smoke regularly is never easy on the lungs. Always consult a physician before consuming any herb or plant medicine.
Smoking Hibiscus effects
In folk and traditional medicines, hibiscus is said to purify the blood, while in modern medicine, studies have highlighted its capability to lower blood pressure and viscosity, reduce high cholesterol, help protect the liver, and decrease fasting blood sugar.
Historically, this ruby-red flower has been used as an aphrodisiac. It was believed that smoking Hibiscus could loosen blockages in the lower chakras to boost your libido in preparation for intimacy.
But research has shown that its effects stretch beyond just the pelvic area. Besides promoting a healthy digestive system, adding hibiscus to your smoking blends may potentially ease pain, reduce body temperature, soothe sore throats, and suppress coughing.
The abundance of bioactive compounds in this colorful plant is thought to contribute to the health benefits. Many of these components—including the pigments that give the flowers their vibrant, luscious color—have an antioxidant effect. Antioxidants help protect your body from reactive molecules called free radicals, which can cause cellular damage.
Benefits of smoking Hibiscus flower
While there are no scientifically-accepted health benefits of smoking hibiscus, it is believed to have the following main benefits when ingested orally:
May Help Lower the Risk for Heart Disease
One of the most impressive and well-known benefits of hibiscus is that it may lower blood pressure and blood fat levels.
A 2009 study showed that this cherry-red flower could significantly lower systolic blood pressure when consumed for more than a month. Likewise, research suggests that Hibiscus may reduce blood levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Simultaneously, it increases “good” HDL cholesterol, which absorbs fat blood levels and carries it back to the liver to be flushed away from the body.
These findings suggest that Hibiscus flowers can decrease the risk of heart diseases and strokes by regulating blood pressure and blood fat levels.
May Promote Liver Health
Findings have shown that Hibiscus may promote an efficient function of the liver; its extract seems to possess liver-protecting and detoxifying properties. Nevertheless, further research is needed to support this benefit when inhaled.
Could Promote Weight Loss
A 2014 randomized controlled trial concluded that the consumption of Hibiscus sabdariffa reduced obesity, abdominal fat, and body mass. However, since these findings are limited to the use of hibiscus extract to promote weight loss and protect against obesity, more studies are needed to determine how smoking hibiscus may influence weight loss in humans.
Cancer Prevention Potential
When you dive deep into Hibiscus’ composition, you find polyphenols, which are compounds that have been shown to possess potent anti-cancer properties.
Test-tube studies state that Hibiscus extract might inhibit cell growth at high doses and reduce the invasiveness and spreading of different cell cancers. Nonetheless, more research is needed to evaluate the effects of hibiscus against cancer when consumed by other methods, such as tea or smokable herb blends.
May Help Fight Bacteria
Besides having antioxidant properties, research findings suggest that hibiscus could help fight bacterial infections, especially E. Coli, a bacteria strain that can cause symptoms like cramping, gas, and diarrhea. However, no studies have looked at the antibacterial effects of smoking hibiscus, so it is still unclear if it could help inhibit bacterial activity via this consumption technique.
Although studies have concluded conflicting results regarding hibiscus effects and benefits, most investigations have shown that Hibiscus could be a promising source for new therapeutic alternatives. More large-scale studies examining the effects of hibiscus are needed to prove that this tropical flower adds more than an enticing flavor and beautiful carmine hues to your herbal blend.
Now that you know all the possible benefits and effects of Hibiscus, let’s get to the real reason you’re here, which is how to incorporate Hibiscus into your smoking mixture.
The secret to any effective blend is the proportion and concentration of each herb. Generally, seasoned smokers recommend using 50% of a base herb followed by 30% of a secondary herb, along with 20% of a plant that adds flavor, like Hibiscus. So, let’s see what other herbs are safe to smoke along with this ruby-red goddess and how they can enhance your herbal experience.
What herbs are safe to smoke
The purpose of the herbs we’re about to look at can range widely. Some provide tobacco alternatives, while others can serve as a base to add to cannabis or CBD hemp flower joints to create smoother, longer-lasting, and effects-inducing smokes.
If you need to pass a drug test or are just taking a T-break from weed, these plants are also a great alternative to cannabis. All these herbs are entirely legal, and you can use them for pretty much any type of smoking. You can pack them in a bowl, bong or roll them up in joints or blunts.
Explore new botanicals or learn which herbs can pair best with cannabis to start a new sensory adventure.
Damiana is a leaf-y and stem-y plant that produces bright, yellow flowers. Like hbiscus, this flavorful herb—best described as minty and spicy, with a hickory-like flavor—has been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac.
Damiana is ideal for an uplifting smoke sesh before class or work. Not only does it make the smoking experience more controlled and enjoyable, but it also enhances energy and helps with fatigue; some peeps report experiencing a tingly, body buzz after using it. It is as a base herb for a mildly euphoric vibe. If you’re smoking cannabis indoors, invite damiana to the party because it reduces the pungent "skunk" smell of some strains and helps you conserve your precious weed.
The short and shrubby mullein makes for an excellent base herb. Not only is it great for your respiratory system, but it’s also said to have mild sedative and diuretic effects. Its rich aroma, akin to black tea, turns woody when burnt, making you feel like you’re around a warm campfire. Although mullein is a mellow herb with mild, calming effects, it helps you focus—especially when paired with a sativa like the enticing Fast Times.
Although Mugwort is highly known for inducing vivid, lucid dreams, it has many other uses. Historically, it has been used to aid issues associated with the uterus, menstruation, and stomach. It has a scent akin to green tea and a taste reminiscent of sage. This spicy, earthy herb pairs well with cannabis strains high in linalool, like our Quiet Times—the perfect match for a soothing bedtime blend.
Canna (or canna lilly) may be the most excellent alternative for cannabis because it produces a slightly psychoactive trip and a unique buzz. Add a few sprinkles of canna to your mixture and please yourself with its stimulating yet somewhat sedative effects. This legal herb may uplift your mood while helping to organize your thoughts. Its users also claim that this smokable plant enhances the impact of the other herbs in the blend.
Besides adding floral nuances to your smoking blend, chamomile may aid digestion and enhance relaxation. Likewise, when paired with other herbs, chamomile can make the smoke less harsh. If you want to try it on its own, use a bong or bowl to enjoy its gentle, delicately-floral scented smoke.
When you smoke mint leaves with other herbs, they add a pleasing, fresh taste. Mint might produce mild stimulation while also helping to clear respiratory passages. Like chamomile, it cools off the smoke and makes it less harsh on your lungs. Mint allows you to achieve a smoother hit and reduces coughing.
It’s important to highlight that smoking anything—herbal or otherwise—could potentially harm your lungs. Before consuming any herbal product, please consult your healthcare provider.