A Rose by any other name might be a “Rose of Sharon”
OK that’s just a play on words because a Rose of Sharon is really in the Hibiscus family & not the rose family. Because the Rose of Sharon is in the Hibiscus family it also has the same healing benefits, nutritional benefits & health benefits as any other Hibiscus flower & plant. Rose of Sharon being the common name & Hibiscus syriacus being the scientific name.
So a Hibiscus by any other name might be a “Rose of Sharon”
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Do you have a Hibiscus or Rose of Sharon bush or 2 or 10 in your yard? Did you know these plants have great health benefits? And did you know they are easily preserved & prepared & have great uses fresh as well?
Rose of Sharon’s come in bright vibrant colors & even some varieties have a double bloom, I have multiple bushes with the double pinks, one bush with a double white & a single pink (more like fuchsia) & a single lavender (my favorite one). When you make tea or water with the petals the color comes off the petals & turns the water the color of the petals you used leaving the petals looking like white tissue in water.
Hibiscus: In Florida almost every yard has brightly colored flower bushes & many are the Hibiscus, I have always known the flowers were edible & that Turtles & other animals loved them, & dogs will eat them when they fall on the ground. I even know people make the prettiest salads & other treats with Hibiscus flowers. (Hibiscus – Name of the Rose). But I did not really think too much about how healthy it was, OK maybe I did but just did not dwell on it 🙂
Wikipedia: (/hɨˈbɪskəs/ or /haɪˈbɪskəs/) is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is quite large, containing several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ἱβίσκος (hibískos), which was the name Pedanius Dioscorides (
Rose of Sharon: Then I move to TN & there are these large tree like bushes with what looks like miniature Hibiscus flowers blooming all over them. These bush trees with beautiful fresh flowers on them all summer long I was told where Rose of Sharon & I would be mocked if I even mentioned Hibiscus when talking about them. When we moved into our current home 7 years ago it came with about 15 Rose of Sharon’s some doubles, but always beautiful & blooming all summer & a great place to get photos of Bees, Bumble bees, butterflies, ladybugs & the flowers themselves (Yup the photographer in me loves them). But I was intrigued by how similar even the leaves were to Hibiscus so I started researching & low & behold they are basically a Hibiscus, so the mocking shall now stop on this Florida girl! LOL the mocking was always in fun so whatever 🙂 But I also found that Rose of Sharon had amazing health benefits & was also great for skin (It is all that amazing Alpha Hydroxy for sure). And I had an almost never-ending supply from July till Sept sometimes longer of flowers. So I became a Rose of Sharon gatherer & lover of all things Rose of Sharon DIY. When we did our addition 3 years ago we lost some bushes & we had 1 die so now we have 10 bushes but they are so large I can not reach the tops without tall ladders. So I have a wealth of flowers not to mention all that bark & the leaves.
Wikipedia: Hibiscus syriacus is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae, native to much of Asia (though not, as Linnaeus thought, Syria, in spite of the name he gave it).Common names include Rose of Sharon (especially in North America), rose mallow (United Kingdom) and St Joseph’s rod (Italy).
Rose of Sharon uses (Or Hibiscus): Besides loving this herb for its aesthetic charm and its appetizing culinary goodness, Rose of Sharon also has medicinal uses. Rose of Sharon is used externally as an emollient to soften and soothe the skin, as well as used internally for digestive disorders.
A tea made from the leaves and flowers are diuretic & expectorant. The essential oil is believed to smooth wrinkles, stop itching &other skin conditions. The bark contains several medically active constituents, including mucilage, carotenoids, sesquiterpenes & anthocyanidins, the root bark has anti-inflammatory, soothing, calming, fever reducing abilities. It is used in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, abdominal pain, leucorrhoea, menstruation cramping.
Culinary uses of rose of Sharon: Make one wonder why we don’t see them more on the plate. Besides the obvious use as a garnish, the flowers of rose of Sharon can be chopped and added to dishes, or left whole for salads. They make colorful, edible, presentation cups for dips. The leaves are edible when cooked, and can be added to quiche or greens. The leaves and flowers also can be brewed as an antioxidant tea.
Medicinally, rose of Sharon’s flower buds contain mucilage, a gooey medicinal compound made of polysaccharides, found in most species of the mallow family. Mucilage can be used to heal burns, wounds, gastric ulcers, inflammation & irritation, such as sore throats or urinary tract infections.
Some benefits of using Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus): lowering blood pressure, lowering
cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, helping to treat liver disease, helps to dilate blood vessels, works as a blood purifier, high in Vitamin C, contains flavonoids, contains minerals and other nutrients, natural diuretic, prevents oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, treatment for premature ejaculation
Safety of Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus): The safety profile of hibiscus is excellent, with no proven adverse reactions. (Article & safe dosage here)
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus) tea: Many describe it as a sweet-tart tasting tea kinda similar to cranberries. Refreshing hot or cold.
Edible parts of Rose of Sharon: Young leaves can be eaten or used for tea, .Tea can also be made made from the flowers & flowers are great to use raw or cooked & eaten.
Rose of Sharon Bark: (article here)
Hibiscus (or Rose of Sharon) tea: also offers the benefit of lowering cholesterol.
Preparing Rose of Sharon
So what are the best ways to use the flowers? You can eat them fresh, make a tea with them, make Rose of Sharon water, Rose of Sharon powder. For other uses you can also make Rose of Sharon infused oil. & in this blog I will give you info on how. (Warnings: With any herb, there is the risk of an allergic reaction. Small children and pregnant women should use additional caution when considering the use of herbal remedies.)
Powder from dried Rose of Sharon flowers:
So you can use them all year in teas, drinks, smoothies cooking etc. Pick flowers that are already starting to dry out, close up & die,. Pull the petals off & wash & either pat dry or lay out to dry, they can now be dried by laying in the sun on a screen, in a dehydrator or on a cookie sheet on a very low temp in the oven (for more info search dehydrating flowers). After they are totally dry, some of these methods can take a few weeks to a few hours. Add to food processor & grind up, store in a seal tight jar for later use. This powder could also be used in your DIY tooth powder recipe or in your DIY deodorant recipes & even mixed with baking soda & water in a paste to exfoliate your skin/face. It can also be mixed in your favorite body butter.
Rose of Sharon tea:
Add the petals from a flower or 2 to your mug & pour your boiling water over the petals & let steep. You could even use white, green or black tea to add the petals to & let steep. It is especially tasty & recommended to add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice from a wedge in the finished tea. You can even leave the petals in the tea, they look pretty & have added health benefits. You Rose of Sharon powder can also be added to water & drank as tea or you can add it to white, green or black tea, add the amount to taste desired.
Rose of Sharon water:
Gather the fresh Rose of Sharon flowers, wash with cool water to remove any dirt or pests, try to at least start off with 1 cup of firmly packed flowers.
The ratio is 1 part flowers to 2 parts boiling water, so if you gather one firmly packed cup of flowers (add in a few leaves) you will need 2 cups of boiling water & so on. Use only distilled water, filtered water or pure spring water, add the washed flowers to a heat-resistant bowl & pour the hot water over them.
Then just cover the bowl with a lid or plate & let the flowers steep for 30 to 40 minutes. Then simply scoop out as many of the flowers as you can with clean hands, making sure to squeeze the petals to get as much moisture out as possible. then strain the Rose of Sharon water through a coffee filter into a jar.
Rose of Sharon water will last about a week to 10 days if stored in the refrigerator when not in use. to help extend its shelf life either add 1 tbsp. of colloidal silver (safe to drink) per 2 cups of Rose of Sharon water, or for beauty products only (do not drink with alcohol added) add 1 tbsp. rubbing alcohol, grain alcohol or Vodka per 2 cups of Rose of Sharon water.
Rose of Sharon water can be used to drink, in coffee, smoothies, slushies’, protein shakes, in tea, used in a soaking bath or a foot soak in DIY cleaners, in skin care, body care, in your no poo routine as conditioner or a final rinse, & in other DIY ideas, get creative! A favorite use I already found was mixed with baking soda to wash my face & skin. (you can also use Rose of Sharon water in your morning oil pulling routine info here)
Rose of Sharon floral infused oil:
Go here to learn to make floral infused oil.
Love of “Rose of Sharon”
In closing I have loved Hibiscus & now Rose of Sharon as long as I can remember, we have fed the flowers to horses, goats, turtles, lizards, cows, chickens, finches on & on & to eat them yourself might become an addiction.
I love photography & love photographing these bright vibrant flowers & love also using these beauties for health. So get out your camera & take a photo then pluck some petals & leaves & get creative & enjoy yourself.
Photo credits: Photos by Cheree
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