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Family Malvaceae
Gumamelang asul
Hibiscus syriacus Linn.
Mu jin

Scientifric names  Common names 
Althaea frutex Mill. Gumamelang asul (Tag.)
HIbiscus rhombifolius Cavan. Rose of Althea (Engl.)
HIbiscus syriacus Linn. Rose mallow (Engl.)
Ketmia arborea Moench.                     Unresolved Rose of Sharon (Engl.)
Ketmia syriaca (L.) Scop. Shrubby althea (Engl.)
  Syrian hibiscus (Engl.)
Hibiscus syriacus L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Mu jin.
DANISH: Havehibiscus.
FRENCH: Ketmie des jardins, Mauve de Syrie.
GERMAN: Syrischer Rosen-Eibisch.
JAPANESE: Hachisu, Mokukinka, Mukuge.
KOREAN: Moo goong hwa.
POLISH: Ketmia syryjska.
PORTUGUESE: Hibisco (Brazil).
SPANISH: Rosa de Siria.
THAI: Chaba chin.
VIETNAMESE: Bông Bụp Trắng, Hồng Cận Biếc , Bụp Hồng Cận.

Gen info
Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea.

Gumamelang-asul is a smooth and erect shrub growing to a height of 2 meters. Leaves are cuneiform-ovate, about 5 cm long, nearly or quite smooth, 3-lobed with toothed margins. Flowers are pale bluish-violet that do not open fully. Petals are obovate petals. Capsules are oblong, slightly hairy. Seeds are also hairy.

- Ornamental cultivation.
- Nowhere naturalized.
- Native of tropical or subtropical Asia.
- Now widely cultivated.

• Bark contains mucilage, carotenoids, sesquiterpenes, anthocyanidins.

• Study of bark yielded seven constituents: nonanedioic acid (1), suberic acid (2), 1-octarcosanol (3), β-sitosterol (4),1,22docosanediol (5), betulin (6) and erythrotriol (7). (12)
• Methanolic formic acid extraction of the petals of Hibiscus syriacus yielded 3-0-malonylglucosides of delphinidin, cyanidin, petunidin, pelargonidin, peonidin and malvidin. (14)
• Nutrient analysis of flowers showed comparable nutrients to common vegetables, with higher content of trace elements zinc and selenium (11.04 µg/100 g). (15)
• Study of leaves yielded 15 compounds viz., β-sitosterol(1), β-daucostero (2), β-amyrin (3), oleanolic acid (4), stigmast-4-en-3-one (5), friedelin (6), syriacusin A (7), kaempferol (8), isovitexin (9), vitexin (10), apigenin (11), apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (12), luteolin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (13), vitexin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (14) and rutin (15). (see study below) (16)
• Study of root bark yielded 4 new triterpenoids viz., 3β- acetoxy-olean-11-en,28,13β-olide (1), 3β- acetoxy-11α,12α-epoxy-olean-28,13β-olide (2), 19α-epi-betulin (3), and 20, 28-epoxy-17β,19β-lupan-3β-ol (4) together with 12 known compounds. (see study below) (17)

• Considered anthelmintic, antiphlogistic, antipruritic, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge,stomachic and styptic.
• Bark and roots are mucilaginous.

• Studies have shown antioxidant, antiproliferative, MAO inhibitory, antifungal, antibacterial, apoptotic properties.

Parts used
Flowers, bark and roots.

• Flowers, leaves, root and oil are edible.
• Flowers impart a taste of lettuce.
• Tea made from flowers and leaves.
• Young leaves, eaten raw or cooked. Used as salad ingredient.
• Root is edible, though fibrous, and lacking flavor.
• In Malaya, infusion of dried flowers used as a diuretic. Also used for itches and other skin ailments.
• Decoction of flowers used for dizziness, bloody stools.
• Leaves are used as stomachic.
• In Indo-China, used for dysentery.
• Bark and roots are mucilaginous; used as demulcent, for diarrhea, dysentery and dysmenorrhea.
• Seeds used for headaches and colds: also used in combination with pig marrow as an application
to discharging ulcers.
• Flowers sometimes used as substitute for tea.

Roots used for treatment of athlete's foot.
Fiber: Stems yield a fiber, used for making paper and rope.
Shampoo: Hair shampoo made from the leaves.
Dye: Blue dye obtained from the flowers.

Study on the stems and roots of Hibiscus syriacus showed the extract of heat-treated HS was more effective than those of non-treated HS in reducing the stable free radical DPPH. (2)
Antiproliferative /
Apoptosis by Activation of p53 and AIF in Human Lung Cancer cells: Study showed the acetone extract of HS exhibited better cytotoxic effect on lung cancer cells than the methanol and water extract. Results show HS-AE suppresses exerts significant dose-dependent anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. (3)
Naphthalenes / Cytotoxicity / Anti-Lipid
Peroxidation: Study isolated three naphthalenes from the root bark of Hibiscus syriacus – syriacusins A, B and C. The compounds exhibited lipid peroxidation and one showed cytotoxicity against some human cancer cell lines. (4)
Anthocyanidin Malonylglucosides: Methanolic formic acid extract of petals yielded 3-O-malonylglucosides of delphinidin, cyanidin, pentunidin, pelargonidin, peonidin and malvidin. (6)
Triterpene Esters / Lipid Peroxidation Inhibition /
Anticancer: Root bark yielded two triterpene caffeates. Both compounds exhibited lipid peroxidation inhibitory activity and significant cytotoxicity against a panel of human cancer lines. (7)
Coumarins / MAO Inhibitory Activity: Root bark yielded a coumarin, a new coumarin lignan, and known compounds scopoletin and cleomisconsins A, C, and D, The coumarin analogue and scopoletin inhibited MAO, while the coumarin lignan and cleomiscosin C exhibited lipid peroxidation inhibitory activity comparable to vitamin E.
Nonanoic Acid / Mutant H. syriacus / Antifungal Activity: Study of a methanolic extract of roots of H. syriacus Ggoma, produced by mutation breeding. The extract exhibited four time higher antifungal activity than its parent type against Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Spectroscopic analysis identified the antifungal substance as nonanoic acid. (10)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic extract and fractions of leaves for antioxidant activity in invitro and ex vivo models. Results showed the CMF of leaves to scavenge superoxide radical, nitric oxide radical, reducing power and inhibited lipid peroxidation. The antioxidant activity can be attributed to phenolic compounds such as delphinidin, petunidin, malvidin, and quercetin. (11)
Triterpenoids / Apoptosis / Anti-Breast Cancer: Screening of H. syriacus extracts identified a novel anti-cancer drug for patients with ER-negative breast cancer. The natural compound betulin (K02) and its derivatives (K03, K04, and K06) induced human breast cancer cell apoptosis and inhibited cell proliferation. Results suggest H. syriacus extracts might inhibit breast cancer cell viability and induce apoptosis by activating p53 family regulated pathways and inhibiting AKT activation. (13)
α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated H. syriascus for chemical constituents and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Fifteen compounds were isolated from the leaves. Compounds 7 and 9—syriacusin and isovitexin, showed strong α-glucosidase inhibitory activities with IC50 of 39.03 ± 0.38 and 32.12 ± 0.62 mg/L, inhibition ration of 94.95% and 97.15%. (see constituents above) (16)
Cytotoxic Effect of Triterpenoids / Root Bark: Study of root bark yielded 4 new triterpenoids together with 12 known compounds. Extract and the compounds were evaluated for cytotoxicity against A549 human lung cancer cells. Compound 12, betulin-3-caffeate, significantly reduced cell viability (IC50 4.3 µM. (see constituents above) (17)

- Wild-crafted.
- Cultivated.
- Hibiscus syriacus flower tea.

Last Update October 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Flower closeup / File:Hibiscus syriacus 01.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / 18 July 2009 / Kuebi = Armin Kübelbeck / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license./ Click on photo to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Hibiscus syriacus Blanco2.346-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Seeds / Hibiscus syriacus L. - rose of Sharon / Steve Hurst@USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Hibiscus syriacus / Rose of Sharon / Plants For A Future

Antioxidant Properties of Heat-treated Hibiscus syriacus / Sung Won Kwon et al / Biology Bulletin • Volume 30, Number 1 / January, 2003 / DOI 10.1023/A:1022055224858 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0192415X08005680
The extract of Hibiscus syriacus inducing apoptosis by activating p53 and AIF in human lung cancer cells. / Cheng Y L et al / Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(1):171-84.
Three naphthalenes from root bark of Hibiscus syriacus / Ick-Dong Yoo et al / Phytochemistry
Volume 47, Issue 5, March 1998, Pages 799-802 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(97)00674-2
Biologically Active Compounds from the Genus Hibiscus. / Neeru Vasudeva and S K Sharma / Summary
Pharmaceutical Biology • 2008, Vol. 46, No. 3, Pages 145-153 , DOI 10.1080/13880200701575320
Anthocyanidin malonylglucosides in flowers of Hibiscus syriacus / Jong Hwa Kim, Gen-Ichiro Nonaka et al / Phytochemistry, Volume 28, Issue 5, 1989, Pages 1503-1506 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)97774-4 |
Two bioactive pentacyclic triterpene esters from the root bark of Hibiscus syriacus. / Yun BS, Ryoo IJ, Lee IK et al / J Nat Prod. 1999 May;62(5):764-6.
Coumarins with monoamine oxidase inhibitory activity and antioxidative coumarino-lignans from Hibiscus syriacus./ Yun BS, Lee IK, Ryoo IJ, Yoo ID / J Nat Prod. 2001 Sep;64(9):1238-40.

Sorting Hibiscus names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne
Nonanoic Acid, an Antifungal Compound from Hibiscus syriacus Ggoma / Yun-Woo Jang, Jin-Young Jung, and Bong-Sik Yun / Mycobiology, 2012, June; 40(2): 145-146.
EVALUATION OF ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES OF LEAVES OF HIBISCUS SYRIACUS / L. Sanjay Prahalad Umachigi*, Jayaveera K.N., Ashok kumar C.K2., T. Bharathi, G.S. Kumar / Pharmacologyonline 1: 51-65 (2008)
Studies onChemical Constituents from the Bark of Hibiscus syriacus L. / Zhang Enjuan, Kang Qinshu and Zhangzhao / China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica,1993-01
The triterpenoids of Hibiscus syriacus induce apoptosis and inhibit cell migration in breast cancer cells /
Ren-Jun Hsu, Yao-Chin Hsu, Shu-Pin Chen, Chia-Lynn Fu, Jyh-Cherng Yu, Fung-Wei Chang, Ying-Hsin Chen, Jui-Ming Liu, Jar-Yi Ho, and Cheng-Ping Yu / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015, 15:65 / DOI: 10.1186/s12906-015-0592-9
Pharmacognostic and Pharmacological overview on Hibiscus syriacus L.
/ R. Punasiya*, K. Devre and S. Pillai / INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACY & LIFE SCIENCES,June 2014, 5(6)
Analysis of Nutrient in Hibiscus syriacus L.flower / ZHANG Xiaoling,LIU Qing,TANG Zheng,LUO Tiankuan / Journal of Changjiang Vegetables, 2008-12
Chemical Constituents from Leaves of Hibiscus syriacus and Their α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activities /
Wei Q, Ji XY, Xu F, Li QR, Yin H. / Zhong Yao Cai. 2015 May;38(5):975-9.
Cytotoxic effect of triterpenoids from the root bark of Hibiscus syriacus.
/ Shi LS, Wu CH, Yang TC, Yao CW, Lin HC, Chang WL / Fitoterapia. 2014 Sep;97:184-91 / doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2014.05.006.

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