A recent disovery in an article published by the Journal of Histotechnology has shown that extract of Hibiscus flower can be used as a progressive stain in histopathology diagnosis and to demontrate tissues in histology.
Summary of the paper authored by Benard Solomon of the Pathology Department University Of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, Nigeria is as follows:
Title Of Paper:-Iron-Roselle: A Progressive Nuclear Stain Substitute For Haematoxylin.
Roselle, the dried calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa L., is a food colorant used in many tropical Countries. A simple hot-water extract of rosell, with added ferric chloride(FeCl3.6H20) and acetic acid, provides a progressive blue stain for cell nuclie comparable to that ssen with hemalum.
Dry, red calyces of H. sabdariffa were ground with a binatone blender. To 10g of the ground red calyces of H.sabdariffa in a conical flask, 200ml of distilled water was added and brought to boil to create the brilliant red-colored extract. It was immediately allowed to cool and filtered with a Whatman filter paper to give a clear H.sabdariffa extract.
The extract staining solution was compounded as follows:
100ml of clear H.sabdariffa extract, 5.0g of sodium chloride, 1.2ml of 10% ferric chloride solution, and 3.0ml glacial acetic acid. The solution was used to stain paraffin sections of formaldehyde-fixed tissues at 4 microns along with parallel hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stainins for a control.
Results showed that staining of nuclei with the extract solution was comparable with those sections stained with H&E. It is therefore suggested that the extract solution could be a progressive nuclear stain substitue for hemalum in H&E procedures due to its domestic availability, ease of preparation and use, resistance to fading and above all its good nuclear staining properties.(The J. Histotechnologyy 31:57,2008)
Source-The Journal of Histotechnology/Vol. 31, No.2/June 2008.