Plant Profiler

Hibiscus (Hibiscus sp)

Synonyms / Common Names / Related Terms
Ambary plant (Hibiscus cannabinus), burao (Hibiscus tiliaceus), chemparathampoo, erragogu, esculetin, gogu (Hibiscus cannabinus), Hibiscus protocatechuic acid (PCA), Hibiscus mutabilis, Hibiscus rosasinensis, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Hibiscus syriacus, Hibiscus taiwanensis, Hibiscus tiliaceus, Jamaican red sorrel, Karkadi, karkada, karkade (Arabic), kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.), Malvaceae (family), red sorrel (English), roselle (English), sour tea, tellagogu, zobo drink.

Note: This monograph does not include okra (Abelmoschus esculentus, formerly classified as Hibiscus esculentus) or Norfolk Island hibiscus (Lagunaria patersonii).

Mechanism of Action


  • Chloroquine bioavailability in healthy males was examined following oral coadministration of 600mg with karkadi (Hibiscus sabdarifa). The mean (± S.E.) AUC values after administration with karkadi was 2.16 ± 0.30mg.h/L; the mean Cmax value was 148 ± 14.1mg/L; the corresponding Tmax value was 2.6 ± 0.8 hours.1
  • In six healthy male volunteers (ages 28.50 ± 1.76 years, weighing 62.67 ± 1.67kg), zobo drink was ingested 90 minutes prior the administration of acetaminophen (1g). The absorption parameters t1/2a, Ka, Tmax, Cmax and AUC0-alpha showed no statistically significant changes (p>0.05) after the administration of zobo. There were however statistically significant changes (p<0.05) in Kbeta and t1/2beta of acetaminophen when administered after the zobo drink.
  • Pharmacokinetic parameters of several dietary anthocyanins following consumption of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. extract were determined in six healthy volunteers.2 Subjects were given a single oral dose of 150mL of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. extract yielding 62.6mg of cyanidin-3-sambubioside, 81.6mg of delphindin-3-sambubioside, and 147.4mg of total anthocyanins (calculated as cyanidin equivalents). Within seven hours, the urinary excretion of cyanidin-3-sambubioside, delphinidin-3-sambubioside, and total anthocyanins (i.e., the sum of all quantifiable anthocyanidin glycosides) was 0.016%, 0.021%, and 0.018% of the administered doses, respectively. Maximum excretion rates were determined at 1.5 to 2.0 hours after intake. The dose-normalized plasma area under the curve estimates were 0.076, 0.032, and 0.050ng x h/mL/mg for cyanidin-3-sambubioside, delphinidin-3-sambubioside, and total anthocyanins, respectively. The dose-normalized Cmax estimates were 0.036, 0.015, and 0.023ng/mL/mg in the same sequence. They were reached each at 1.5 hours (median) after intake. The geometric means of t1/2 were 2.18, 3.34, and 2.63 hours for cyanidin-3-sambubioside, delphinidin-3-sambubioside, and total anthocyanins, respectively. The urinary excretion of intact anthocyanins was fast and appeared to be monoexponential.

  1. Mahmoud, B. M., Ali, H. M., Homeida, M. M., and Bennett, J. L. Significant reduction in chloroquine bioavailability following coadministration with the Sudanese beverages Aradaib, Karkadi and Lemon. J Antimicrob Chemother 1994;33(5):1005-1009. 8089046
  2. Frank, T., Janssen, M., Netzel, M., Strass, G., Kler, A., Kriesl, E., and Bitsch, I. Pharmacokinetics of anthocyanidin-3-glycosides following consumption of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. extract. J Clin Pharmacol 2005;45(2):203-210. 15647413

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