Hibiscus forms the basis of a traditional Eastern remedy and researchers suggest an extract from the flower could have the same health benefits for the heart as red wine and tea.

A team from the Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan says the flower contains antioxidants that help control cholesterol.

The study, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, found the hibiscus extract significantly reduced the build up of fatty deposits in arteries and reduced blood cholesterol levels..

Norwich Union Health, UK