Cholesterol/LipidsHibiscusHigh Blood Pressure

Lack of effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. on cholesterol

hisbiscus_0Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (roselle, red sorrel; Arabic: karkade) grows as large shrubs or small trees that produce huge, colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers promoted to reduce cholesterol levels.

Researchers at the University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, reviewed the data on its effectiveness and safety.

First, the details.

  • 6 studies involving 474 people were included.
  • These studies varied in terms of the types of treatments, comparators used, and duration of treatment.

And, the results.

  • Hibiscus sabdariffa L. did not produce significant effects on blood levels of total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “The available evidence from randomized clinical trials does not support the efficacy of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in lowering serum lipids.”

Hibiscus sabdariffa L. is most commonly promoted to lower blood pressure. The data supporting its role in lowering cholesterol are base on animal studies, which have not been supported in people.

More on Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) is here.

103013 19:17 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.