I am always looking for “greens” that have medicinal value to use in cat and dog recipes. Here is one new discovery for me:
A client mentioned her cat was eating this plant: Abelmoschus manihot, an Edible Hibiscus. So I checked it out. The plant comes from Southeast Asia and India and grows here like a weed. It is considered “hurricane survival food” for both the flowers (especially) and the leaves.
I have been studying some of the tropical plants here in Hawaii that are not indigenous and wondering why they are here. Someone brought them for a reason.
This plant contains quercetin and high antioxidant levels. Cats love it. It has been used to improve insulin sensitivity (anti-diabetic) and supports the kidneys and liver. I also use quercetin to treat allergies and suppress the histamine release from Mast Cells.
From the study in research gate (see link below):
– Quercetin is a potent bioﬂavonoid commonly found in vegetables and fruit. It is a main component of the total ﬂavone glycosides of Flos Abelmoschus manihot, which is a common plant grown in eastern China and south-east Asia .
– Moreover, quercetin is a potent antioxidant that directly scavenges free radicals, inhibits xanthine oxidase and lipid peroxidation, and alters antioxidant defense pathways both in vivo and in vitro [4, 5].
– Quercetin is an efﬁcient antioxidant that has been implicated as in inhibitor of oxidative damage in renal tubular cells and renal tissues .
– Hyperoside is a major pharmacologically active constituent of the ﬂavonoid glycosides found in natural plants, and recently has attracted increasing attention due to its diverse antioxidant, anti-inﬂammatory, diuretic, anti-hyperglycemic, hypo-uricemic, hepatoprotective, and anti-fungal properties.