Malvaceae
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis • Papoula

 

The species Hibiscus rosa-sinensis includes many different varieties. The plants are traditionally known for their medicinal applications (1). Extracts of Hibiscus rosa sinensis flowers have recently shown hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic and hypotriglyceridemic activity in animals (2). Hibiscus rosa sinensis extracts possess strong antioxidant and antiproliferation activities and can be potent enough to delay the promotion of carcinogenesis in mouse skin (3). Antioxidant properties of the flowers are also thought to be responsible for their observed cardioprotective effects (4). Flower and leaf extracts furthermore affect reproduction (5).

(1) Chin, HF (1986) The Hibiscus; Queen of tropical flowers. Tropical Press SDN BHD 151 p.

(2) Sachdewa A, Khemani LD (2003) Effect of Hibiscus rosa sinensis Linn. ethanol flower extract on blood glucose and lipid profile in streptozotocin induced diabetes in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 89(1): 61-6

(3) Sharma S, Sultana S (2004) Effect of Hibiscus rosa sinensis extract on hyperproliferation and oxidative damage caused by benzoyl peroxide and ultraviolet radiations in mouse skin. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 95(5): 220-5

(4) Gauthaman KK, Saleem MT, Thanislas PT, Prabhu VV, Krishnamoorthy KK, Devaraj NS, Somasundaram JS (2006) Cardioprotective effect of the Hibiscus rosa sinensis flowers in an oxidative stress model of myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury in rat. BMC Complement Altern Med 6: 3

(5) Nivsarkar M, Patel M, Padh H, Bapu C, Shrivastava N (2005) Blastocyst implantation failure in mice due to "nonreceptive endometrium": endometrial alterations by Hibiscus rosa-sinensis leaf extract. Contraception 71(3): 227-30


 

Pavonia sp. • Vinagreira

Vinagreira is a species growing in full sunlight at Amazonat, mainly for its beautiful flowers and purple leaves. The leaves have a slightly acidic taste, and can be used in cooking (1). It probably belongs to the genus Pavonia, although there is an edible Hibiscus species that is also known to be called Vinagreira, e.g. Hibiscus sabdariffa L.

(1) Guides at Amazonat (pers. comm.)