We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Uses of Hibiscus Leaves?

By Valerie Clark
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

While gardeners and horticulturists are drawn to the hibiscus plant in large part because of its large, brightly colored flowers, the petals and leaves have been used in a wide range of uses all over the globe. Hibiscus leaves have been used for cosmetics and alternative medicines, just to name a few. There are more than 250 varieties of hibiscus, and it is essential to identify the species that are safe for consumption and human use. Hibiscus should not be used as any sort of home remedy without first consulting a healthcare professional or skilled herbalist.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, otherwise known as the Chinese hibiscus, is a popular species that is used in cosmetics. Hibiscus sabdariffa and Hibiscus syriacus, also known as roselle and the Rose of Sharon, respectively, are commonly used in herbal teas and medicines. The plant is an evergreen ornamental shrub that produces large, bell-shaped flowers with bright green, oval leaves. The overall plant size can be from 5 to 8 feet tall (1.5 to 2.5 meters).

In addition to the leaves, hibiscus petals have been used to create all natural cosmetics, shampoos and conditioners. Hibiscus leaves have a blackening characteristic that is sometimes used to make black dyes for products such as mascara and shoe polish. Mild shampoos and conditioners made with the leaves are said to be effective for softening the scalp and hair. Baby shampoos and healing lotions also may contain them.

Hibiscus leaves also are used as hair oil for the treatment of dandruff. Homemade hibiscus hair oil is made with thick, juicy, sticky leaves and a few flower petals. They are crushed and ground with a mortar and pestle and combined with coconut oil or herbal oil. These hair oil treatments are said to lead to longer, silkier tresses.

In terms of health benefits, the hibiscus plant has been recognized for several therapeutic and medicinal qualities. It is said to treat hair loss and some diseases, such as tuberculosis. It also is said to reduce labor pains and menstrual cramps, though hibiscus leaves are used in the Philippines and Cook Islands for their ability to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and/or induce abortion.

Originating in Eastern India, tropical hibiscus has become one of the most popular tropical flowering bushes in the world. Plant care is simple, with a few exceptions for those who are growing it in colder climates. In colder regions, the plant must be brought indoors during winter months. Hibiscus will thrive on pruning, although it is not required. If flowering does not occur, some pruning may help stimulate flower production.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon336100 — On May 26, 2013

What is the best preservative to prolong the life of natural hibiscus leaf juice?

By anon324199 — On Mar 08, 2013

Should one drink hibiscus leaf juice for menstrual cramps or just rub it on? Also, my hibiscus leaves are red - does that make a difference?

By anon316149 — On Jan 27, 2013

The hibiscus leaf shows up on the ingredient labels of a variety of products. It is designed to make your hair grow thicker and faster, and it works. I rub the oil treatment on my scalp, and it provides so much moisture. I think my dandruff is largely caused by a dry scalp, and that is why hibiscus does so well at treating it.

By lighth0se33 — On Nov 26, 2012

The hibiscus leaf shows up on the ingredient labels of a variety of products. I bought some peach blackberry tea bags awhile back, and I was puzzled to see hibiscus leaves on the ingredient list.

Also, my shampoo contains hibiscus leaves. It is designed to make your hair grow thicker and faster, and it works. I stopped losing so much hair in the shower, and my hair has grown so much faster than it used to grow.

By feasting — On Nov 26, 2012

@Kristee – If your hibiscus gets yellow leaves in the summer, it means that the plant either isn't getting enough water, or it is getting too much water. However, if the leaves are turning yellow in the fall, it just means the plant is about to go dormant.

I like making a dandruff treatment from my hibiscus leaves. A couple of years ago, we had an extremely hot summer and no rain for months, and my hibiscus leaves turned yellow and dropped off the bushes. However, I was able to save them by using a drip hose daily.

I rub the oil treatment on my scalp, and it provides so much moisture. I think my dandruff is largely caused by a dry scalp, and that is why hibiscus does so well at treating it.

By cloudel — On Nov 24, 2012

I had no idea that there were so many uses for hibiscus leaves. I have a couple of large hibiscus plants in my yard that produce big pink blooms the size of a saucer!

The leaves look like they belong on some type of weed I would find growing out in the pasture. They definitely don't look like anything special, and if I hadn't planted the hibiscus bushes myself, I probably would have mistaken them for weeds and cut them down before they had a chance to bloom.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.