Benefits of Jamaican sorrel and Recipe

Recipe Introduction

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), is also known as Jamaican sorrel, red sorrel, Florida cranberry, or Guinea sorrel. It has a sharp cranberry flavor and used to flavor drinks, jams, jellies, wine, and sauces. Jamaican sorrel is not a true green leafy herb sorrel.  Its dried flowers are used to make the non-alcoholic beverage during the Christmas and New Year season. Some of the benefits of Jamaican sorrel and recipes are as follows.

Common name

it is known as Bissap in Senegal, Jamaica in Mexico and Spain, Congo in France, Wonjo in the Gambia, Zobo in Nigeria, Karkade in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan

Nutritional value of Jamaican sorrel 

The high amount of zinc, calcium, iron, sodium, and vitamin C content is present in Jamaican sorrel.  This nutrient serves as a good replacement for expensive carbonated drinks. 

Geographical distribution

It is widely cultivated in both tropical and subtropical regions including India, Saudi Arabia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, and México

jamaican sorrel benefits

Health Benefits of Jamaican Sorrel

 Jamaican sorrel is a good source of nutrients and has various health benefits.  

1. Lose weight

Jamaican sorrel contains polyphenol which helps to reduce body weight (1).

2. Reduce blood pressure and cholesterol level

Daily consumption of tea or extract helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol level (2).

3. Treat neurodegenerative disease

The phenolic compound found in Jamaican sorrel helps to treat Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (3).

4. Good for lungs

Polyphenol present Jamaican sorrel is effective to reduce oxidants and inflammation in the lung thus treats lung diseases (4).

5. Antimicrobial properties

Jamaican sorrel inhibits the growth of bacteria such as E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and prevents its infection (5).

6. Antiviral properties

Tea of Jamaican sorrel show antiviral activity against human influenza viruses, herpes simplex virus-2, feline calicivirus, murine norovirus-1, hepatitis A virus, and Aichi virus (6).

7. Keep heart healthy

Consumption of Jamaican sorrel drink reduces the risk of heart diseases because it contains polyphenols which improve heart function (7).

8. Wound healing properties

Jamaican sorrel extract acts as natural wound healing agents that help to the healing of the wound (8).

9. Treat anemia

Intake of Jamaican leaf meal helps to improve the iron status of women of childbearing age and protect stunting among toddlers (9).

10. Anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties

Jamaican sorrel tea help to reduce swelling and increase oxalate and citrate, uric acid output. Thus this sorrel prevents heart failure, liver failure, tissue swelling (edema), and certain kidney disorders, such as kidney stones (10).

Side effect of Jamaican sorrel

  1. Children and pregnant women should avoid the intake of roselle tea due to the possibility of herb-drug interactions.
  2. Long term intake of Jamaican sorrel at high may cause liver injury.

Therefore Jamaican sorrel should be consumed with care as higher doses may have a toxic effect (10).

Jamaican Sorrel drink or tea recipe


  • 2 cups whole, dried Jamaican sorrel 
  • 2 inches ginger, chopped/grated for a stronger flavor.
  • Orange juice ½ cup 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tsp clove


  1. Wash sorrel thoroughly, using the fingers to lift it from the water.
  2. Add in sorrel, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and water in a large saucepan and boil for 10 min. 
  3. Allow to stand 8 hours or overnight in the fridge. 
  4. Strain, add orange juice, lime juice, and serve with ice cubes.
  5. You can also use rum or wine (Optional)


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