Gumamela is a shrub that grows from one meter up to 4 meters high. Gumamela is also known as: Hibiscus, China Rose and Shoeflower. In the Philippines, gumamela is cultivated as an ornamental plant. The gumamela flower comes in many colors: red, yellow, orange, white, purple, pink and other color combinations.
Gumamela leaves, usually blended with Rose Hip has long been used in the Middle East and Okinawa as herbal tea. Today, the use of gumamela tea is gaining worldwide popularity – including Asia. Gumamela (Hibiscus) is associated with longevity.
Gumamela as Herbal Medicine
As herbal medicine, gumamela flower, leaves and roots are used. Gumamela has the following medicinal characteristics: expectorant, diuretic, emollient, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anodyne and refrigerant.
Preparation of Gumamela
There are two ways to utilize gumamela as herbal medicine. One is dried and the other is fresh. For dried gumamela, collect the flower, leaves and/or roots. Wash, then cut into small pieces and sun dry. To use as decoction, boil the dried gumamela parts (1/4 cup dried gumamela in 1 glass of water)
To make a decoction from fresh gumamela, wash gumamela flower and/or leaves, cut into small pieces and boil (1/3 cup in 1 glass of water), let cool and drink.
Use Gumamela as Poultice
Poultice is the use or fresh or dried herbs that is mashed, crushed or pounded – often heated (boiled in water to soften and heat the herb) and applied directly to the skin. A clean cloth or gauze can be used to help the poultice stay in place.
Gumamela Used as Treatment
- Bronchitis – as an expectorant
- Coughs, sore throat
- Fever – as refrigerant drink
- Treats dysentery
- Urinary tract infection, bladder infections
- High blood pressure
- Prevention of constipation
- Boils, swelling & abscesses, mumps
- Decoction is used to treat: Bronchitis, coughs, fever, dysentery, urinary and bladder infections, high blood pressure and constipation.
- Poultice is applied externally on the afflicted area. This is used to treat: headaches (on the forehead), boils, swelling, abscesses and mumps.
- Intake of gumamela (alone or mixed with papaya or papaya seeds) specially in large quantities can be an abortifacient.
- Flowers, roots, and leaves.
- Harvest the roots and leaves anytime of the year.
- Wash, cut into slices, and sun-dry. The flowers should be collected from May to August, sun-dry.
- Considered emollient, emmenagogue, anodyne, expectorant, refrigerant.
- Anti-infectious, anthelmintic, antiinflammatory, diuretic, antipyretic.
- Hypotensive, antispasmodic.
- Prepared drug has sweet taste, neutral natured.
- The Hibiscus with five petals noted for its medicinal properties, the flowers are considerede astringent. The roots contain a mucilage that is soothing on the mucous membranes of the digestive and respiratory tracts.
- Mumps, infection of the urinary tract: use dried drug materials 15 to 30 gms, boil to decoction and drink.
- For abscesses, carbuncles and boils: crush fresh leaves and poultice the infected area. Also, pound flower buds into a paste and apply to external swellings; also used for boils, cancerous swellings and mumps.
- Decoction of roots, barks, leaves and flowers used as an emollient.
- Decoction from roots of red and white-flowered plants used as an antidote for poison.
- Bark is an emmenagogue; also used to normalize menstruation.
- Seeds used as a stimulant and for cramps.
- Decoction of leaves for fevers.
- For headaches, an infusion of leaves or poultice of leaves.
- Leaves are mildly laxative.
- Mucilage during labor.
- Red flowers are purgative; when taken with papaya seeds, may be abortive.
- Infusion of leaves as an expectorant in bronchitis.
- Hair stimulant: oil made by mixing the juice of fresh petals and olive oil for stimulating hair growth.
- In Costa Rica, used as a purgative.
- In Venezuela, used to treat tumors.
- In the Carribean, used as analgesic, anti-inflammatory.
- • In the Dominican Republic, used to treat hematomas.
- A tasty tea is brewed from its petals.
- Studies have demonstrated anti-bacterial, hypotensive, antispasmodic, and chemopreventive activities. It has shown glucose lowering in diabetic rats. Leaf extract has shown to promote hair growth.
- Post-Coital Antifertility Activity of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. roots: The study explored the antifertility and estrogenic activity of root extracts of H. rosa-sinensis. A strong anti-implantation and uterotropic activity was observed.
- Effects of Hibiscus rosa sinensis L (Malvaceae) on Wound Healing Activity: A Preclinical Study in a Sprague Dawley Rat: Study results on flower extracts suggest H. rosa-sinensis aids wound healing in the rat model.
- Cardioprotective effect of the Hibiscus rosa sinensis flowers in an oxidative stress model of myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury in rat: The study concludes that the flower of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis augments endogenous antioxidant activity and prevented isoproterenol induced myocardial injury.
- Presence of cholinergic and calcium channel blocking activities explains the traditional use of Hibiscus rosasinensis in constipation and diarrhoea: Study indicates the crude extract had spasmogenic and spasmolytic constituents to explain its traditional use in constipation and diarrhea.
- Phytochemical and pharmacological investigation of flowers of hibiscus rosasinensis linn: Flowers extract studies isolated new compounds which showed hypotensive activity in combination use. Further pharmacological investigation is suggested.
Image: Andrea's Plants, Photos and Travels