Hibiscus sabdariffa seeds, karkade, roselle

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Hibiscus sabdariffa is the favoured flower to flavor or color foodstuffs. Common names are roselle, karkade (arabian) or red sorrel and belongs to the family of Malvaceae. Today it is cultivated in tropical regions of Africa, America and southeast of India.

It is annual to perennial and growing to shrub-like and many-branched three meters high. The leaves have some dark green color with red leaf veins. Also stems, branches and petites are reddish purple. Elder leaves have toothed rims and lobed three to five times. Flowers get visible from August to October with bright yellow to sandy-colored blossoms and deep red calices. After florescence these calices get juicy and were used for cooking and preparing food. Seeds get visible from October to November.

These plants are suited for growing in pots with a lot of light and well-drained soil. They do not demand any kind of soil, because they grow either in sandy or in clay soil. Shaded places should be avoided!

The juicy calices are added raw to salads and the juice of them is added to jam, wine, syrup, lemonade or desserts. Roots are used for producing textures and paper products.

But not just for preparing and aromatizing food, also for some diseases it is useful to take. Drinking two or three cups of tea of it can lead to decreasing blood pressure and anomaly of lipid metabolism. Healing properties are also mentioned for bladder infection and circulatory problems.
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