Hibiscus powder comes from the sepals of the hibiscus sabdariffa plant. Because of its deep burgundy color, people often assume it comes from the petals of the flower; however, the fine powder actually comes from the fleshy, trumpet-shaped fruits that grow once the flowers have bloomed. The resulting product is a deliciously fruity and tart powder.
Hibiscus grows in warm-to-tropical regions throughout the world, and its flavor and aroma matches its beautiful purple color: fresh, pleasant and tart. Hibiscus powder is also known as jaswand, and is used in Ayurvedic medicine to stimulate thicker hair growth and to prevent premature graying. The deep burgundy colors of hibiscus powder boost red tones in natural henna hair color.
Hibiscus flowers lend a floral flavor profile to drinks and soups. Hibiscus powder is used in making teas [hot or cold] and soups [hot or cold], and is used in the Caribbean for making jams. In tea, hibiscus is a natural body coolant. Hibiscus powder is also used as a natural food coloring -- try it in frosting for dainty cupcakes, or to give a gentle spring blush to the meringue of a berry Pavlova.