Herbs – Hibiscus

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This lovely plant with its large, trumpet-like flowers is actually part of an extensive family—there are over 200 species of Hibiscus. The one we are most familiar with in Western culture is the tropical hibiscus. This beautiful equatorial plant, associated with the planet Venus, has been linked with all things feminine for thousands of years. In Hindu worship, the hibiscus is an offering to both the powerful Goddess Kali, known for the ferocity of her love for her children as well as her ferocity in battle. A Hawaiian woman who wears a hibiscus in her hair is signaling her availability for marriage, according to which side she wears the flower on.

In Greek, the name is hibiscus rosa-sinesis, or “rose of china.” In Singapore, it is called bunga raya, or “flower of celebration.” In the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda, hibiscus is used in multiple concoctions to cure a variety of ailments including hair loss, anemia and skin inflammation. Today, the tea has become popular as a way of boosting vitamin C, aiding digestion, and healing the liver. In ancient Egypt, hibiscus tea was actually forbidden to women because of its ability to induce lust. Wiccans and other magical folk have also noted this tendency, and have used hibiscus in spells to bring on passion, love and lust. Associated with the Element of Water, hibiscus is also excellent for gently encouraging inner sight and strengthening clairvoyance. The petals are particularly good for scrying—the art of looking for images in water or on other surfaces to gain answers to questions and insight into the future. Because hibiscus strengthens psychic abilities, it is an attractant to good spirits and a protection against negativity and malevolence.