There are more than 300 species of Hibiscus that grow throughout the world, ranging from tropical to temperate regions. These Malvaceae family plants almost all have showy flowers and are appreciated for their ornamental value, as well as a number of culinary and medicinal uses.
Flor de Jamaica (Hibiscus sabdariffa), also commonly known as roselle, is a type of hibiscus that produces large, deep red calyces. They are rich in anthocyanins, which give them their vibrant color. In Mexico and parts of Central America, these calyces are commonly made into a tea that is enjoyed for its tart flavor and health benefits.
Flor de jamaica, and other types of hibiscus, are also a valuable addition to cosmetic preparations, like this herbal hair rinse.
Flor de jamaica has antioxidant properties and is rich in vitamins, minerals, & other nutrients, helping to boost hair health. The mucilaginous quality of flor de jamaica is highly beneficial to hair. It soothes and nourishes the scalp, which may help to prevent dandruff and hair loss. It has conditioning properties, reducing split ends, breakage, dryness, & frizziness, and leaving hair smooth & shiny. It also adds natural volume to hair.
Studies have shown that hibiscus extracts (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) boost hair growth (Adhirajan et al., 2003; Putra et al., 2020), so it’s possible that flor de jamaica could have a similar effect.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is fresh and invigorating. It helps boost circulation to the scalp and promotes hair growth (Oh et al., 2014).
To make this herbal hair rinse, you will need:
- Fresh flor de jamaica calyces
- Peppermint essential oil
Add water and the flour de jamaica to a pot. Use 5 calyces per cup of water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Strain out the herb. Pour the tea into a bottle. Add 1 drop of peppermint essential oil for every 1/2 cup (4oz) of hibiscus tea.
You will probably want between a half cup and a cup of rinse per use, depending on the length of your hair. You can store unused rinse in the refrigerator for a day or two, but after that it will begin to spoil.
To use: Slowly pour the rinse over damp hair and massage into scalp and locks. Leave in, if desired, or rinse with cool water.
Adhirajan, N., Ravi Kumar, T., Shanmugasundaram, N., & Babu, M. (2003). In vivo and in vitro evaluation of hair growth potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 88(2-3), 235–239. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0378-8741(03)00231-9
Islam, A. K. M. Aminul & Jamini, Tahmina & Islam, A.K.M. Mominul & Yeasmin, Sabina. (2016). Roselle: A Functional Food with High Nutritional and Medicinal Values. Fundamental and Applied Agriculture. 1. 44-49. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306938195_Roselle_A_Functional_Food_with_High_Nutritional_and_Medicinal_Values
Oh, J.Y., Park, M.A., and Kim, Y.C. (2014). Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs. Toxicological Research, 30(4): 297–304. doi: 10.5487/TR.2014.30.4.297
Putra, I. B., Jusuf, N. K., & Sumantri, I. B. (2020). The Potency of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. Leaves Ethanol Extract as Hair Growth. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 8(A), 89–92. https://doi.org/10.3889/oamjms.2020.4211