Can You Smoke Hibiscus?

Hibiscus Flower Overview

The hibiscus flower is a large, trumpet-shaped flower that comes in a wide range of vibrant colors, from hot pink to golden yellow. There are numerous species of hibiscus flowers that are native to Hawaii, Fiji, Mauritius, Madagascar, China, and India. Hibiscus flowers make a beautiful addition to your garden, and they can also be brewed into a delicious tea!

But are there any other uses for this striking flower? For example, have you ever wondered about smoking hibiscus?

In this blog we explore whether you can smoke hibiscus, and the benefits and drawbacks this flower provides. 

hibiscus flower

Key Takeaways

  • Hibiscus is a brightly colored, trumpet-shaped flower.
  • Hibiscus can be smoked.
  • Hibiscus flowers are associated with many benefits, including improved immune system health, heart health, cognitive health, and increased energy.
  • Hibiscus flowers can interact negatively with some medications, including some painkillers and diuretics.
  • You can smoke other plants in addition to hibiscus, including sage, mugwort, diamana, and rosemary.
  • In general, hibiscus is safe to smoke and consume.

Can You Smoke Hibiscus Flowers?

Let’s start by getting the answer to this question out of the way. Yes, you can smoke hibiscus flowers. In fact, ancient civilizations have a long history (that extends back to 5,000 BC) of smoking various herbs, including blends featuring flowers like hibiscus. It’s also important to note that there is no scientific evidence suggesting hibiscus causes hallucinations or other psychoactive effects.

For most people, smoking hibiscus may provide a sense of well-being without being mind-altering (although it can be combined with plants like cannabis that can be mind-altering).

Hibiscus Benefits

Why would someone want to smoke a flower like a hibiscus? Like many plants and herbs grown throughout the world, hibiscus offers health and wellness benefits.

Although limited research exists regarding smoking hibiscus, specifically, there is plenty of research backing up the plant’s benefits. The following are some of the most well-known benefits:

Stronger Immune System

Hibiscus is known for promoting a more robust immune system and helping your body fight off foreign invaders. Hibiscus’s immune-boosting potential primarily comes from its high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C.

Antioxidants are compounds that prevent cellular damage by neutralizing free radicals. They also reduce inflammation and strengthen the body’s natural defenses.

Smoking hibiscus, along with other herbs and plants that contain healing effects, could also help you stave off infections and illnesses thanks to its inherent antibacterial properties.

Some people find that, even if they do get sick, their symptoms are less severe and that they recover faster when they increase their antioxidant consumption as well.

Improved Digestive Health

Some research suggests that hibiscus can help the body fight off bacterial infections, including those associated with severe digestive symptoms (cramping, bloating, diarrhea, etc.), like E. Coli.

This flower’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may also benefit those with digestive health issues and help keep the digestive system running as smoothly as possible.

Healthier, Smoother Skin

The antioxidants in hibiscus flowers come to the rescue once again!

Antioxidants prevent damage to the body’s cells caused by free radicals -- and the skin cells are no exception to this rule. By supporting your skin cells and preventing damage caused by the sun’s rays or exposure to pollutants, you can contribute to smoother, more even skin and slow down signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.

Reduced Stress

High antioxidant intake is associated with a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression. You may find that after smoking hibiscus, you feel calmer and more grounded, especially if it’s combined with other relaxing plants and plant compounds.

In addition to the antioxidant properties, smoking hibiscus flowers may also provide anxiety relief because of the ritualistic aspects associated with it.

For example, the process of preparing to smoke and then sitting quietly while you smoke can also help you to feel calmer and more at ease. For some people, smoking in a group could also contribute to reduced anxiety because you can enjoy social support at the same time.

Lower Blood Pressure

Another reason why hibiscus might have stress-reducing properties is that it lowers blood pressure, primarily in those who are pre-hypertensive or have mild high blood pressure.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure or pre-hypertension, or if you want to prevent these conditions, incorporating hibiscus into your routine could help you manage your stress more effectively (and reduce the number of times your blood pressure spikes throughout the day).

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Partly because of its effects on blood pressure, hibiscus also has the potential to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Some research also shows that, in addition to lowering blood pressure, its extracts are associated with lower LDL cholesterol (the kind linked to heart disease).

Improved Cognitive Health

The antioxidants in hibiscus may promote better cognitive help by protecting the brain cells against damage caused by free radicals. Some early studies also show a link between hibiscus and fighting back against Alzheimer’s disease.

A compound in hibiscus called gossypetin activates the microglia, which are the brain’s immune cells. Microglia can scavenge amyloid beta, the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and improve cognitive function in those struggling with this heartbreaking condition.

Hibiscus Risks

Are hibiscus flowers poisonous? No, not to most people (although if you have an allergy to hibiscus, you definitely shouldn’t smoke it or consume it in any other form).

Despite it being generally safe, as is the case when combining smoke and flowers of any kind, there are some potential downsides to smoking hibiscus.

Here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind:

  • Excessive smoke exposure (even the smoke from smoking hibiscus) may cause lung damage.
  • Hibiscus may contribute to liver damage when consumed in very high doses (primarily in those who already have liver problems).
  • Hibiscus may interact negatively with certain medications, including the painkiller acetaminophen and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.
  • Hibiscus may interfere with blood pressure medications because of its blood pressure-lowering effects.
  • It’s also recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid smoking hibiscus flowers.

Always consult a doctor before consuming or smoking any type of herb or flower, especially if you are concerned that any of these side effects could affect you.

What Plants Can You Smoke?

You now know the answer to the questions “Is hibiscus toxic?” and “Can you smoke hibiscus? However, you might have additional questions like, “Can I smoke other flowers and herbs?” The short answer to this question is “yes.” The following are some other plants you can smoke:


Sage is an herb that has long been used in the purification rituals practiced by ancient and indigenous peoples. It’s native to Southern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, but it also grows throughout the world.

Sage may produce many health and wellness benefits when smoked or consumed in other ways. For example, sage has been linked to improved memory and cognitive function. Another study shows that it can reduce feelings of anxiety (primarily when consumed in low doses). 


Mugwort is a flowering plant and a member of the daisy family. It’s native to Northern Europe, Asia, and certain parts of North America.

This plant is often used in beer-making, but it also offers some noteworthy health benefits. For example, it has been linked to reduced anxiety, improved digestion, and more regular menstrual cycles.


Damiana is a shrub that produces small, aromatic flowers. It is native to South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Texas, and Mexico.

Traditionally, Damiana has been used to manage the symptoms of several health conditions, including the following:

  • Anemia
  • Bronchitis
  • Diabetes
  • Fungal infections
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Pain
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Skin conditions

Many of these benefits likely have to do with the antioxidants and other plant compounds found in Damiana. These compounds reduce inflammation and strengthen the body’s immune system, helping it to combat foreign bodies and recover faster.


Rosemary is an herb that is native to the Mediterranean, Portugal, and northwestern Spain and is useful for much more than adding flavor to your meals. This plant is also loaded with antioxidants that reduce inflammation and prevent cellular damage.

Rosemary is also associated with lowering blood sugar levels and improving memory (while also reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality).

Final Thoughts

Hibiscus is a powerful flower associated with a variety of health benefits, from lower blood pressure to better digestive health. It makes an excellent addition to other smoking blends, including cannabis blends.

This flower can be smoked in moderation without any severe side effects. However, those who take certain medications should be wary, as hibiscus may interact negatively with them. The same goes for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Do you still have lingering questions about the hibiscus flower? Don’t worry!

Here are some of the most frequently asked ones (with answers):

What Happens if You Smoke a Hibiscus Flower?

If you smoke a hibiscus flower occasionally or in moderation, you will likely notice that you feel grounded and less stressed. Long-term, you might also notice some modest improvements in your overall health and well-being.

It’s important to note that inhaling significant amounts of smoke can harm your lungs. That’s why it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional before you consume any type of herbal or plant medicine.

A physician can also let you know if the hibiscus flower (or any other plant) will interact negatively with the other medications you take.

Is Hibiscus Safe to Use?

Generally, yes, hibiscus is safe to use.

Some people should avoid it or use it with caution, such as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding or those who take diuretics or blood pressure medication. However, most people do not experience any adverse side effects when they smoke it or consume it in other ways (such as brewed into tea).

The information provided in this blog and by this website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional medical advice, a medical diagnosis, or medical treatment. Please consult your health practitioner with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. 

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