Know the herbs

Scientific name

Hibiscus sabdariffa


Malvaceae Roselle, asam susur, asam paya, red sorrel

Local name


Roselle is an erect shrub that may grow up to a height of 2.5m. The leaves are alternate, about 7 to 15cm long, green with reddish veins and have long or short petioles. It has two types of leaves. The lower leaves are ovate while the upper ones are palmate with 3–5 lobes with serrate margins. The stem is glabrous and purplish (Medicinal Herbs & Plants Database 2010–2015).


Roselle is very rich in vitamin C and believed to be able to reduce cholesterol level and high blood pressure. The calyx can be made into a cordial, which is slightly diuretic (Wahabi et al. 2010). Apart from its diuretic effects, it is known to help lower fevers and is an antiscorbutic (Pacôme et al. 2014). Roselle has been used in Thai medicine for kidney stones (Farnworth & Bunyapraphatsara 1992). It is also used as an antibacterial, antifungal and mild laxative.

Malaysia Herbal Monograph (source: Globinmed)