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Kumar L et. al.

JAPHR, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 4

Review article

Content list available at: www.iaphp.in Journal of Advances in Pharmacy and Healthcare Research
Journal home page: http://www.japhr.iaphp.in ISSN 2231-6817

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis: A Review on Divine Herb

Lalit Kumar*, Gunosindhu Chakraborthy, Vijay Singh, Avijit Mazumder Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, 201 306. ABSTRACT Key words: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis commonly referred as Chinese hibiscus, China rose and shoe flower is widely grown as ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical regions of East Asia. Although this is true for the widely famous Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. The genus is wide and varied, consisting of around 250 different species, not all tropical as native hibiscus species are represented on all continents except Antarctica. Some of these species are annual or perennial herbs while others are flowering shrubs or small trees. Though a number of therapeutic benefits of Hibiscus rosa-

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Antidiabetes, Ethnobotany,

Corresponding author:
Department of Peutical Technology, N.I.E.T, 19, Knowledge Park II Institutional Area, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201 306. E-mail: lalitpharmacy@yahoo.com

sinensis has been cited in various scientific literature databases including Science Direct, PubMed, Wiley Online and Ethnopharmacology but still the pivotal area of interest among researchers is its benefits regarding reproductive system. The aim of this review article was to collect all available scientific literature published and combine it into this review. The present review comprises the phytochemical, pharmacological, natural resources comprising

(ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology) and therapeutic potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. The present review includes 42 references compiled from major databases as Chemical Abstracts, Science Direct, SciFinder, PubMed, Dr. Dukes Phytochemical and Ethnobotany. An exhaustive survey of literature revealed that steroids, flavonoids, tannins, reducing sugar, mucilages, anthocyanin pigment, cyanodin diglucosides, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid constitute major classes of phytoconstituents of this plant. Pharmacological reports revealed that it is having antifertility, abortifacient, antiestrogenic, analgesic, anti-inflammatoy, hepatoprotective, hair growth, anticonvulsant, wound healing, antidiabetic, anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial and antifungal properties and extensively used in the treatment of diabetes. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis seems to hold great potential for in-depth investigation for various biological activities, through this review, the authors hope to attract the attention of natural product researchers throughout the world to focus on the unexplored potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, and it may be useful in developing new formulations with more therapeutic value.

INTRODUCTION: India as a country is blessed with a rich heritage of traditional medical systems along with rich biodiversity to accomplish the herbal needs, as






traditional and alternative medical systems. The Traditional Indian systems of Medicines are Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani, which use herbs and

Kumar L et. al. JAPHR, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 4

Review article

minerals in the formulations. India which use 15 agro-climatic zones, 4700 plant species of which 15000 are reported to have medicinal properties varying degrees(Kumar et al.2007) . Herbal plants with certain therapeutic efficacy are being used since ancient times. With the advancement in science and technology there has been growing interest in alternative medicine especially resulting from plant derived products. This interest in drugs of plant origin is due to several reasons, namely, conventional medicine can be inefficient (e.g. side effects and ineffective therapy), abusive and/or incorrect use of synthetic drugs results in side effects and other problems. (Raju et al.2011). The herb Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn.belonging to the family Malvacecae and is commonly known as Jasvand (Kirtikar et al.1987). The herb Hibiscus is a glabrous shrub widely cultivated in the tropics as an ornamental plant and has several forms with varying colours of flowers. In medicine, however, the red flowered variety is preferred. Flowers are used in all kinds of inflammation, internally they are prescribed in the form of decoction of bronchial catarrh, as a becenic and sudorific roots are mucilaginous and demulcent, valuable in cough (caius et al.1992). The buds have cooling and astringent effect and it removes burning sensation of the body (Kirtikar et al.1987). The extract of the leaves is used to relieve pain. Steroidal and nonsteroidal drugs are routinely used in allopathic medicine. As they are having side effects such as gastric and hepatic toxicity, none of them are suitable for prolonged use. As compared to other analgesic drugs, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is good remedy without harmful side effects and is of least

cost. This review is mainly focused in elucidating the modern and traditional uses along with citing its pharmacological, pharmacognostical,

phytochemical and therapeutic potential of various parts of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn., which has been used in traditional system of medicine for many years. Scientific Classification: Kingdom - Plantae Division - Magnoliophyta Class Order Genus Magnoliopsida Malvales

Family - Malvaceae Hibiscus

Species - Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Common names Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Shoe-Black, Shoeback- plant Vernacular names Sanskrit: Japa, Java, Rudra pushpam, Hindi: Jasut, Jasun, Gudhal, Bengali: Joba, Marathi: Dasindacha phula, Jasavanda, Gujarati: Jasuva, Telugu: Java pushapamu, Dasana, Tamil: Separuti, Kannada: Dasavala, Malayalam: Chembarati, Oriya: Mondaro, Assami: Joba, Punjabi: Jasun.

DESCRIPTION: Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis It is an evergreen woody, glabrous, showy shrub 58 feet in height. All parts of the plant, the roots,


Kumar L et. al. JAPHR, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 4

Review article

leaf, stem and flower are studied in great detail by several investigators and reported thatRoots: Cylindrical of 5-15 cm length and 2 cm in diameter, off white in colour light brown transverse lenticies. Its fracture is fibrous. Roots taste sweet and mucilagenous. Leaves: Leaves are simple ovate or ovatelancolate. Leaves are entire at the base and coarsely toothed at the apex. Taste is

(Kasture et al.2001) and hypoglycemic activity (Sachdeva et al.1997).

PHYTOCHEMISTRY Several Phytochemical investigations on Hibiscus rosa sinencis Linn. and reported Flowers have shown the presence of several medicinally important active constituents including steroids, flavonoids, tannins, reducing sugar, mucilages. It is also being known to contain an anthocyanin pigment, cyanodin diglucosides, carotene,

mucilagenous. Flowers: Flowers are pedicillate, actinomorphic, pentamerous and complete'. Corolla consists of 5 petals, red in colour and about 3 inches in diameter. Fruit: The fruit (very rarely formed) is a capsule about 3 cm long. (Kiritika et al.2004)

thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid (Anonymous et al.2001). The alcoholic and chloroform extracts revealed presence of alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, proteins and amino acids (Gupta et al.2009). Ethyl -L-arabinopyranoside was isolated from the roots of Hibiscus rosa-

ETHNOBOTANY The detailed study of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis have been carried out worldwide which showed that Leaves are used as emollient, anodyne, and laxative in Ayurveda (Chatterzee et al.2001). In South Asian traditional medicine, various parts of the plant is used in the preparation of a variety of foods (Gilani et al.2005).The flowers have been reported in the ancient Indian medicinal literature to have beneficial effects in heart diseases, mainly in ischemic disease (Gauthaman et al.2006) and used in folklore medicine as demulscent, emollient, refrigerant, aphrodisiac, brain tonic and cardio tonic. A decoction of flowers is also useful in bronchial catarrh, menorrhagia, and fertility control (Shanmugsundaram et al.1991 and shrivastav et al.1993). The extracts showed hair growth potential (Adhirajan et al.2003), anticonvulsive activity

sinensis L. as a natural monoglycoside (Qiu et al., 1998).Two new fatty acid methyl esters having an enone ether group were isolated from the root bark of H. rosa-sinensis along with three known cyclopropenoids. The aliphatic esters, methyl (E)11-methoxy-9-oxo-10-nonadecenoate and (E)-10methoxy-8-oxo-9-octadecanoate, were chemically correlated to the corresponding cyclopropenoids (Nakatani et al., 1994). An acidic polysaccharide composed of rhamnose, galactose, galacturonic acid and glucuronic acid in molar ratio of 5.0: 8.0: 3.0: 2.0 respectively, was reported in the called Hibiscus mucilage RL obtained from the leaves of H. rosa sinensis (Shimizu et al., 1993). Twelve fractions were isolated from the ethanolic extract of the flowers of H. rosa-sinensis. Three fractions gave positive tests with Dragendorff's reagent indicating the presence of alkaloids, whereas the


Kumar L et. al. JAPHR, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 4

Review article

other fractions were non-alkaloidal. The spectral properties of the alkaline fraction indicated the presence of alkaloidal ring structures (Khokhar and Ahmad, 1992).

sterculate and malvalate were most concentrated in the roots. These cyclopropenoid fatty acids made up larger proportions of neutral lipid fractions than of phospholipids (Schmid et al., 1988). Four novel aliphatic esters were isolated in trace amount from the stem bark of H. rosa-sinensis and characterized as methyl 10-oxo-11-octadecynoate, methyl 8-oxo-9-octadecynoate, methyl 9-

methylene-8-oxoheptadecanoate and methyl 10N H HN O Me

I, R=H, II, R=Me, R1=H R1=Me



compounds inhibited the germination of lettuce seeds (Nakatani et al., 1986). Examination by qualitative TLC, reports the presence of sterols like, campesterol, sitosterol, stigmasterol,



Fig. 1 Methyl Sterculate & Malvalate Three cyclopropene compounds methyl sterculate, malvalate and 2-hydroxysterculate, and 2 esters [Me(CH2)7C(OMe):CHCO(CH2)nCO2Me, n = 6 and 7] were isolated from H. rosa-sirensis (Nakatani et al., 1990). A new sterol, -rosasterol, was isolated from H. rosa-sinensis and its structure determined by spectral analysis and chemical transformation (Yu et al., 1991).
Et Me Me Me Me Me

cholesterol and ergosterol from H. rosa-sinensis (Chauhan and Kumari, 1984).8-Nonynoic and 9decynoic acids and their methyl esters were isolated and synthesized from stem bark (Nakatani et al., 1985). Japakusum (H. rosa-sinensis) flowers were dried and successively extracted with petroleum ether, benzene, CHCl3, MeOH, and water. Cyanin chloride, quercetin, were cyanidin isolated chloride and and hentriacontane identified

(Shrivastava, 1974). Deep yellow, multipetalled flowers of H. rosa-sinensis yielded flavonoid glycosides like, quercetin-3-diglucoside, 3, 7diglucoside, cyanidin-3,5-diglucoside,andcyanidin-


3-sophoroside-5-glucoside Fig. 2 2-hydroxysterculate



Nair,1972). Taraxeryl acetate and -sitosterol were isolated from the leaves and stem of H. rosa-

Fatty acid compounds were determined for Malvaceae for vegetative plant parts of seven species including H. rosa-sinensis. In all cases,

sinensis. None of the extracts had any hypotensive activity (Agarwal and Rastogi, 1971) major constituents reported (Nakatani et al.1994).


Kumar L et. al. JAPHR, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 4

Review article

PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY Antifertility Activity The benzene extract of flowers of Hibiscus rosasinensis showed antifertility effect in rats (Batta et al.1970). The ethanol extract showed an effect on sex ratio in favour of male pups at birth (Batta et al.1970). Flowers collected in winter season showed maximum post-coital antifertility activity (Kholkute et al.1977). Ethanol [95%] extract of dried flowers, taken orally by human females at a dose of 750.0 mg/ person, was active. The dose was divided and taken 3 times daily from the 7th to the 22

Anticonvulsive Activity The ethanol extract of flowers was active. The ethanol extract protected animals from maximum electro-shock, electrical kindling and

pentylenetetrazole induced convulsions in mice was potentiated. The brain content of gammaaminobutyric acid and serotonin were raised and the extract was found to be anxiogenic and general depressant of the central nervous system (Kasture et al.2000). Antiestrogenic Activity Studies with the total benzene extract of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers revealed antiestrogenic

day of the

menstrual cycle. Twenty-one women 15 to 35 years of age were in the test group. Seven of the women discontinued the treatment. Three of the 7 women discontinued treatment due to nonassociated illness. No pregnancies have developed in the 14 women after up to 20 months (Tiwari et al.1974). Abortifacient Activity Water insoluble and ether soluble fractions of a total benzene extract of dried flowers, administered by gastric intubation to rats at a dose of 186.0 mg / kg were active (Singh et al.1982). Ether soluble and water insoluble fractions of a total benzene extract, at a dose of 73.0 mg /kg, were active. Analgesic Activity Ethanol [70%] extract of dried leaves, administered orally to mice at a dose of 125.0 mg /kg, was active vs inhibition of aconitine-induced writhing (singh et al.1982).

activity in bilaterally ovariectomized immature albino rats. It disrupts the estrous cycle in rats, depending on the dose and duration of treatment. The extract led to a reduction in the weights of the ovary, uterus and pituitary. Ovaries showed follicular atresia and uterine atrophic changes. These effects could be reversed 30 days after withdrawal of the plant extract.In guinea pigs, the benzene and ethanolic extract of the flowers produced an increase in the ovarian weight, as well as in the weight and diameter of the corpora lutea, indicating an anti-estrogenic activity. Benzene extract of the flowers administered orally to ovariectomized rats at doses of 50.0, 100.0, 150.0, 200.0 and 250.0 mg / kg were active. Ethanol [95%] extract of the flowers, administered orally to ovariectomized rats, was inactive at a dose 100.0 mg /kg and active at doses of 150.0, 200.0 and 250.0 mg / kg (Kholkate et al.1976) and significantly decreased ovarian, uterine and


Kumar L et. al. JAPHR, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 4

Review article

pituitary weight (Kholkate et al.1976). Ethanol / Water [1:1] extract was active at a dose of 75.0 mg / kg, reduction of glycogen content in uterus of treated animals is claimed indicative of antiestogenic activity (Parkash et al.1979). Anti-implantation Activity Hibiscus rosa-sinensis has been investigated extensively for its antifertility effect. Different parts of the plant have been screened for their effect on the reproductive system. The benzene extract of Hibiscus rosa sinensis flowers [100 mg/kg] revealed postcoital antifertility effect in female albino rats, leading to 80 % reduction in the implantation site on the 10th day of pregnancy. The fetal loss in the rats was within the normal range, indicating the absence of any abortifacient effect in the benzene extract. The petroleum ether extract was devoid of antifertility effect, whereas with the ether and ethanolic extract of the flower petals, a change in the sex ratio of the pups born was observed, the incidence of male: female pups born being higher in the extract-treated rats. Benzene extract of the flower, administered orally to rats at doses of 50.0 and 250.0 mg / kg, was active (Kholkate et al.1976). It inhibited the hyperpermeability of endometrium capillaries (Pal et al.1985). Anti-inflammatory Activity Ethanol [70%] extract of dried leaves, administered intraperitoneally to rats at a dose of 100.0 mg / kg, was active vs carragenin-induced pedal edema. Antipyretic Activity Ethanol [70%] extract of dried leaves, administered intraperitoneally to rats at a dose of 100.0 mg / kg,

was active vs brewers yeast induced pyrexia. Ethanol / Water [1:1] extract of the aerial parts, administered intraperitoneally to mice at a dose of 500.0 mg /kg, was active (Bhakani et al.1969). Antispasmodic Activity Ethanol / Water [1:1] extract of the aerial parts was active on guinea pig ileum vs Ach and histamine induced spasms (Bhakani et al.1969). Antiovulatory Activity Benzene extract of the flowers, administered intraperitoneally to adult mice at doses of 125 and 250 mg / kg body weight, produced an increase in atretic follicles and the absence of corpora lutea. This effect may be due to an imbalance in the hormonal environment, as there may be an increase in the endogenous secretion of estrogen by the atretic follicles and to the estrogenicity of the extract (Murthy et al.1997). Antifungal Activity Ethanol / Water [50%] extract of dried leaves was active on Rhizoctonia solani. Mycelial inhibition was 34.50% (Renu et al.1983). Antiviral Activity Ethanol [80%] extract of freeze-dried plant, in cell culture at variable concentrations, was equivocal on coxsackie B2 virus, measles virus and poliovirus I, and inactive on adenovirus, Herpes virus type I and semlickiforest virus vs plaque inhibition (Berghe et al.1976). Antidiabetic Activity The flower extract of the plant was used to estimate the blood glucose level using two different method, i.e., Steptozotocin

induced(Sachdeva et al.2003) and alloxan induced (Venkatesh et al.2007) respectively.


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Diarrhoea and Constipation Presence of cholinergic and calcium channel blocking activities explains the traditional use of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in constipation and

Miscellaneous Activity The 50% ethanol and benzene extract administered orally showed partial antagonism with estradiol dipropionate on K+ content of uterine flushings in ovariectomized rats (Shukla et al.1981). Aqueous infusion of flowers reduced the duration of oestrous cycle in albino rabbits(Singwi et al.1971). The aqueous extact of the flowers lowered the lactate dehydrogenase content in males of

diarrhoea was benefited with the evident that crude extract contains spasmogenic and spasmolytic constituents mediating their effect through

cholinergic receptors. Hair Growth Potential Petroleum ether extract of leaves and flowers of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis was evaluated for its potential on hair growth by in vivo and in vitro methods. From this study it is concluded that the leaf extract, when compared to flower extract, exhibits more potency on hair growth (Bhakuni et al.1979). Hypotensive Activity A mixture of Ethanol/Water [1:1] extract of the aerial parts, administered intravenously to dogs at a dose of 50.0 mg /kg, was active (Medicinal plant of world.vol 2). CNS depressant Activity A mixture of Ethanol/Water [1:1] extract of the aerial parts, administered intraperitoneally to mice at a dose of 500mg/kg was active (Medicinal plant of world.vol 2). Hypothermic Activity A mixture of Ethanol/Water [1:1] extract of the aerial parts, administered intraperitoneally to mice at a dose of 500mg/kg, was active. Juvenile Hormone Activity Acetone extract of dried stem produced weak activity al.1996). on Dysdercus cingulatus(Praksh et

Rhinopoma kinneari (Kholkute et al.1977) Oral administration of benzene extract affected

spermatogenesis and endocrine functions of the testis of male albino rats. CONCLUSION Since ancient times, plants have been widely used as treatment against variety of ailments.

Concentrated flowers or leaves extract can be found in various herbal preparations that are in market today. Hibiscus rosa sinensis is widely employed by users of natural uterine health for




menorrhagia, venereal diseases, cough, fever, refrigerant and vitaliser in palpitation. It is reported to contain anthocyanins, flavonoids, cyclopeptide alkaloid and vitamins. The pharmacological and clinical studies reported in the present review confirm the therapeutic value of Hibiscus rosa sinensis. It is an important source of various types of compounds with diverse chemical structures as well as pharmacological activities. Presence of such wide range of chemical compounds indicates that the plant could serve as lead for the development of novel agents having good efficacy in various disorders in the upcoming years.


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