Commonly known as hibiscus, shoe flower or China rose, gumamela leaf extract has been found to contain anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic properties and is growing in popularity as a medicinal herbal tea. Associated with longevity, gumamela is used in the treatment of fever, bronchitis and high blood pressure and to prevent constipation.
Usually blended with rose hips, gumamela leaf extract has long been used in the Middle East as an herbal tea. The leaves, roots and flowers of the hibiscus plant are collected and cut into small pieces, then dried and boiled. The extracted tea is rich in Vitamin C, bioflavonoids and minerals and is often used as a natural diuretic.
Though additional research is required, a 2008 study conducted by the USDA found that drinking three cups of hibiscus or gumamela tea daily helped to lower blood pressure in adults who suffered from mild hypertension. One cautionary note: the tea has not been shown to be safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
When applied externally, gumamela extract acts as medicinal poultice and is used for the treatment of headaches, mumps, boils or abscesses. The dried leaves are crushed and boiled and applied directly to the infected area of the skin.