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Family Malvaceae
Hibiscus surattensis Linn.

Ci fu rong

Scientifric names  Common names 
Fucaria suratensis Kostel Ahimit (Gad.)
HIbiscus aculeatus G. Don Andahalit (Sul.)
Hibiscus appendiculatus Stokes          Unresolved Barbarinit (Ilk.)
HIbiscus furcatus Roxb.                       [Illegitimate] Inabu (Ilk.)
HIbiscus suratensis Linn. Kalitoitoi (Tagb.)
HIbiscus trinatarius Noronha                 Unresolved Labneg (P. Bis.)
  Labog (Bis.)
  Ahimit (Gad.)
  Labuag (Ak., Bis.)
  Sabnit (Tag.)
  Sagmit (Tag.)
  Sampinit (Sul.)
  Sapinit (Tag.)
  Bush sorrel (Engl.)
  Wild sour (Engl.)
Hibiscus surattensis L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
AFRIKAAN: Kinkinrinmiyin, Akonimara, Seniferan, Emo, Sinkin-mini.
BANGLADESH: Sowa amela.
CHINESE: Ci mu jin, Wu zhao teng, Ci fu rong.
FRENCH: Liane oseille.
INDIA: Sarba-ameli.
KANNADA: Mullu gogu.
MALAYALAM: Assam susor.
MIZO: Sehnap.
NIGERIAN: Ubabara.
SRI LANKAN: Heen napirththa.
TAMIL: Kashikirai.
TELUGU: Mullugogu.
VIETNAMESE: Bụp Xước, Xương chua.

Labuag is a weak-stemmed trailing plant covered with soft hairs and scattered prickles. Leaves are rounded, toothed, and deeply and palmately 3- or 5-lobed. Flowers are yellow with a dark red center. Capsules are hairy and ovoid. Seeds are downy.

- Most islands and provinces throughout the Philippines in open grasslands, at low and medium altitudes.
- Certainly introduced.
- Also occurs in tropical Africa, Asia, and Malaya.

- Seeds yield: oil, 13-17%, with a predominance of linoleic acid in the fatty acid component of the oil, followed by palmitic and oleic acids, and small concentrations of malvalic acid, sterculic, dihydrosterculic and epoxy acids.
- Essential oil from leaves was dominated b y monoterpenes (34.1%) and sesquiterpene compounds (41.2%). Major oil constituents were ß-caryophyllene (12.9%), menthol (10.6%), methyl salicylate (9.7%), and camphor (9.2%), with significant amounts of germacrene D (5.5%), hexadecanoic acid (4.3%) α-humulene (4.0%), 1,8-cineole (3.0%) and methone (3.0%). (10)

- Rich in mucilage.
- Considered emollient,
febrifuge, laxative, abortifacient, pectoral, cardiotonic.

Parts used
Leaves, stems, fruit, flowers, and roots.

Edibility / Culinary
- Acid leaves used for salads or as a pot-herb.
- In India, fruit and tender leaves used in curries.
- In Africa, leaves used as spinach.


- In Senegal, plant used as an emollient.
- Leaves used for cough.
- Zulus use a lotion or ointment of the stem and leaf as treatment for penile irritation; including venereal sores and urethritis. Infusion used as injection into the urethra and vagina for gonorrhea and other urethral inflammations.
- Decoction of leaves or roots used for skin complaints.
- In other traditional systems, used for paralysis, epilepsy, convulsions, pregnancy; as abortifacient.
- Leaf, root and fruit juice used for cutaneous parasitic infections.
- Roots used as febrifuge, laxative; for tumors and cancers.
- In Nigeria, leaf and fruit juice given to children for cough.
- In India, among the folklore herbalists and Tripuri medical practitioners, curry is made from its tender leaves and given to patients with jaundice. (3)
- In Bangladesh, leaves are used for intestinal disorders. Mucilaginous flowers used as emollient and pectoral. (9)
- In Africa, stems used for skin ulcers; leaves for anemia; decoction of leaves for adult dyspepsia; poultice of leaves for ulcers and boils; decoction of stems with leaves used for cough; paste of pounded roots applied to burns; leaves applied as dressing on wounds; infusion of leaves used as mouth wash for oral sores in children; heated leaves applied to boils and abscesses. (11)
- In Sierra Leone, infusion of leaves with Zingiber officinale or Ocimum gratissimum drunk for cough. (12)
- In Ayurveda, leaves, roots and fruits used for epilepsy, paralysis, pulmonary diseases, venereal diseases, parasitic infections, fever, edema, abscesses, snake bites. (13)
- In Indonesia, used by ethnic Sumari as antidiabetic herbal. (14)
- In Nigeria, infusion of leaves used internally for gonorrhea. (15)
- Fiber: Plant yields a fiber of good quality. In Brazil, used as a substitute for jute.
- Provides material for roof thatching.

Fatty Acid Composition: In a study of the fatty acid composition of seed oils of seven Hibiscus species of malvaceae, all contained 13-17% oil. Linoleic acid predominated in the component fatty acids of all oils, followed by palmitic acid and oleic acid. (1)
Biodiesel Source: Study investigated the viability of using locally available vegetable seed oils to produce biodiesel. Two indigenous seeds - Hibiscus surattensis and Hibiscus sabdariffa were used in the study. Results suggest H. sabdariffa blend of 40:60 and H. surattensis blend of 30:70 can be recommended for use in diesel engines without any engine modifications. (6)
• Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study investigated the antidiabetic activity of ethanolic extract and fractions of leaves and fractions in invitro and in vivo models. Results showed the extract and fraction of HS leaves in vitro had no effect on α -glucosidase inhibition but exhibited antihypoglycemic effect on ethyl acetate and water fractions. (14)


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated March 2018 / March 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / File:Hibiscus surattensis.jpg / 1 January 2010 / Lalithamba from India/ Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license / Click on photo to go to source image / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / File:Hibiscus surattensis Blanco2.347-original.png / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Fatty acid compositions of seed oils of seven hibiscus species of malvaceae / K Sundar et al / Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society • Volume 62, Number 4 / April, 1985 / DOI 10.1007/BF03028736
Hibiscus surattensis Linn. [family MALVACEAE] / Burkill, H.M. 1985. The useful plants of west tropical Africa, Vol 4 / Aluka
A study on ethnomedicinal usage of plants among the folklore herbalists and Tripuri medical practitioners: Part-II / Koushik Majumdar and B K Datta / Natural Product Radiance, Vol. 6(1), 2007, pp.66-73
Fatty acid compositions of seed oils of seven hibiscus species of malvaceae / K. Sundar Rao and G. Lakshminarayana / JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN OIL CHEMISTS' SOCIETY, Vol 62, No 4, 714-715 / DOI: 10.1007/BF03028736
Wild edible plants traditionally used by the tribves in the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, India / K Yesodharan and K A Sujana / Natural Product Radiance, Vol 6 (1), 2007, Pp74-80

Hibiscus surattensis L. (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Hibiscus surattensis L. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Essential oil of the leaves of Hibiscus surattensis L. from Nigeria / Akintayo L. Ogundajo, Isiaka A. Ogunwande*, Teniola M. Bolarinwa, Olumide R. Joseph & Guido Flamini / Journal of Essential Oil Research, Volume 26, Issue 2, 2014 / DOI:10.1080/10412905.2013.860410
Hibiscus surratensis / Prelude Medicinal Plants Database
Hibisccus surratensis / Cyrus Macfoy / Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine in Sierra Leone
Hibiscus surattensis / Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants of Sri Lanka
In Vitro And in Vivo Antidiabetic Activity of Ethanol Extract and Fractions of Hibiscus surattensis L Leaves / Yuliet Yuliet, Elin Yulinah Sukandar, I Ketut Adnyana / Indonesian Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Suppl 1, No 1 (2018)
The use of medicinal plants to treat sexually transmitted diseases in Nigeria: Ethnomedicinal survey of Niger Delta Region / Kola‘ K. Ajibesin, Danladi N. Bala, Uwemedimo F. Umoh / International Journal of Green Pharmacy, July-September 2011

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.
Potential Herbal Medicines and Drug Interactions
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