Here in Bohol, no matter how modest the houses, the yards, however, are oftentimes adorned with fruit-bearing trees and attractive flowering plants. The gumamela is one of those commonly found in the local gardens and yards.
From what I was told, Boholanos nurture a certain belief that a beautifully tended yard will mesmerize the uninvited spirits who come calling at night; hence, captivated by the luscious scents and colors of the fruits and flowers, they will no longer venture inside the house.
The gumamela's scientific name is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and it belongs to the Malvaceae plant family. It’s also commonly known as hibiscus, Chinese Rose and the Shoe Flower, because it can be used as a shoe polisher. Aside from shoe polish, certain gumamela flower concoctions are used for hair care. They are also edible and used in salads, as long as the plant has not been sprayed with insecticides.
The hibiscus is also quite reknowned. It is the city flower of Manila, the national flower of Malaysia, and the state flower of Hawaii.
Aside from its popular ornamental uses, here in the Philippines, the gumamela is also used for its folkloric healing efficacies. The gumamela leaves, flowers and roots are commonly used for their medicinal values, such as emollient, expectorant, diuretic, anti-infectious antipyretic, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, to name a few.
The flower also comes in a variety of colors, while its petals in different patterns and colors as well. You can see its various images here.
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|The Creative Exchange|
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