International Journal of Current Research and Review
ISSN: 2231-2196 (Print)ISSN: 0975-5241 (Online)
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IJCRR - Vol 06 Issue 21, November, 2014

Pages: 31-33

Date of Publication: 11-Nov-2014

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Author: Abd-Alhafeez Ibnouf, Esam AbdulRaheem, Mohamed SeedAhmed, Dalia Dahab

Category: Healthcare

Abstract:Objective: This experimental descriptive study aimed to explore the efficiency and resolution of Hibiscus Sabdariffa (HS) as staining dye for renal histological sections as compared to Hematoxylin-Eosin routine stain. Methods: Paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed tissue sections from kidney were stained by Hibiscus Sabdariffa solution using different concentrations and time durations in room temperature. Results: Best results were obtained by using 5% HS solution for one hour. Bad results were noticed mainly when duration of staining was only 1-2 minutes. Conclusion: Hibiscus Sabdariffa is an efficient natural cheap substitute of eosin in the ordinary stain Hand E (Hematoxylin and Eosin) for histological sections.

Keywords: Hibiscus Sabdariffa, Histological Staining

Full Text:

Histological stains have been important for better appearance of cells and tissues under the microscope to reach accurate and proper diagnosis [1]. Most of histological stains in current use are of synthetic origin; however, natural dyes are still promising to be cheaper potential sources for histological stains [2]. Any development of new histological stain is justified if the new stain is cheaper, available, harmless, and easier in application [3]. Hibiscus Sabdariffa (HS) is a plant belongs to the vascular flowering plants, known as Roselle or Red Sorrel in English and Karkade in Arabic [4]. Sudan is the largest country that produces and exports Karkade (HS) [5]. The plant has several uses; the outer thick red and fleshy cup-shaped leaves, for example, are commonly used in the production of several food products and are consumed worldwide as a cold beverage and as a hot (sour tea) drink [6]. The staining potentials of this plant were poorly explored; the current study, to our knowledge, represents the first initiative of using a pure aqueous extract of this plant in the staining of histological sections in Sudan.

This experimental descriptive study was conducted during January 2014. A healthy kidney was obtained from a healthy rabbit, sliced and fixed in 10% formalin, processed through ascending grades of ethanol, cleared in xylene, and then embedded in paraffin wax. The specimen was cut into 160 of 3-5 μ m-thick sections. These sections were divided into four equal groups; each group was stained by a different concentration of the Hibiscus solution (1%, 5%, 10%, or 100%) in different time durations (1-2 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes) at RT (room temperature). Nuclei were stained by haematoxylin stain and the cytoplasm and other structures were stained by Hibiscus solution. Stained slides were then dehydrated, cleared, mounted with DPX, and assessed under a light microscope. The obtained data was analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social sciences (SPSS) software version 16 and Ethical Clearance was obtained from the Ethical Committee of Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences Neelain University.

Preparation of Hibiscus Sabdariffa extract and staining solution
A measured quantity of the Roselle powder (1 g, 5 g, 10 g, or 100 g) was brought to boil in 100 ml distilled water with continuous mixing and shaking; allowed standing for 30 minutes, and then filtered to obtain the colored extract with the appropriate concentration.

Quality of staining by Roselle was graded into 4 grades: bad, poor, good, and very good; that was according to the microscopic appearance of cell membrane, nuclear membrane, cytoplasm transparency, and extracellular matrix. If all the four parameters were clearly seen, quality was given the grade very good; if three were clearly seen, it was good; if two, it was poor; with only one parameter clearly seen quality was considered bad. With 1% solution, no very good results obtained (Table No 1). With 5% solution, 5% of tissues showed very good staining (Table No 2). With 10% solution, 2.5% showed very good staining (Table No 3). With 100% solution, no very good results obtained (Table No 4). For all concentrations, the best time duration for better staining was 60 minutes.

Several research papers discussed the nutritional and therapeutic benefits of Hibiscus Sabdariffa [7, 8, and 9]. On the contrary, few researchers tried to apply extracts of the plant in diagnostic medical laboratory procedures. This study is a new one in the track of exploring laboratory properties of Karkade; pure water extracts without additions were used instead of eosin to stain cytoplasm and extracellular elements with encouraging results. The only disadvantage noticed was that a long time (one hour) was needed to obtain better results. Eman A. Hashim [10] applied 20% concentration of Hibiscus Sabdariffa instead of eosin stain in the ordinary Hematoxylin- eosin stain to stain tissues from albino mice. She proposed the use of purified acidic part of Hibiscus Sabdariffa instead of eosin because this part has similar physical and chemical characteristics to the eosin stain. Ihuma et al [11] reported that methanolic extracts from H.sabdariffa could be used as a staining agent for some fungi and therefore reduced the problems associated with over-dependence on toxic, expensive and scarcely available exotic stains. Egbujo EC and colleagues [12] prepared Roselle (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) water extracts with various modifications and used it for the differential staining of rabbit testicular tissue sections. Various levels of differentiation of nuclear and cytoplasmic structures as well as other structures of this organ were obtained especially when 1% eosin was applied as a counter stain. The best staining result was obtained when iron alum was used to mordant the extract and when the extract mordanted with potassium alum was acidified using acetic acid and used to stain the sections. Modification of the aqueous extract to an alkaline pH using ammonia gave the poorest staining effect. Benard Solomon [13] prepared a stain composed of H.sabdariffa extract, ferric chloride, sodium chloride, and glacial acetic acid. This solution was used to stain paraffin sections of formaldehyde-fixed tissues at 4 microns along with parallel Hematoxylin and Eosin (Hand E) staining for control. Results showed that staining of nuclei with the extract solution was comparable with those sections stained with Hand E. It was therefore suggested that the extract solution could be a progressive nuclear stain substitute for hem alum in Hand E procedure due to its domestic availability, ease of preparation and use, resistance to fading and above all its good nuclear staining properties.

As a conclusion from this study, Hibiscus Sabdariffa is a cheap natural efficient staining dye for histological sections and it is comparable to the routine Hematoxylin and Eosin stain. However, larger studies with careful adjustment of temperature and time are highly recommended.

Authors acknowledge the immense help received from the scholars whose articles are cited and included in references of this manuscript. The authors are also grateful to authors / editors / publishers of all those articles, journals and books from where the literature for this article has been reviewed and discussed.


1. Avwioro OG. Histochemistry and tissue pathology. 1st ed. Ibadan, Nigeria: Claverianun Press, 2002, pp. 134−213.

2. Mattuk, H. I. Studies on the utilization of natural colorants extracted from some plant sources. Egypt J. Appl.Sci. 1998; 13: 286-303.

3. Penney DP, Powers JM, Frank M and Churukian C. Analysis and testing of Biological Stains–the Biological Stain Commission Procedures. Biotechnic and Histochemistry. 2002; 77: 237-275.

4. Ali BH, AL- Wabel N and Blunden G. Phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological aspects of a Hibiscus Sabdariffa L, a review. Phytotherapy Research. 2005; 19 (5): 369- 75.

5. Plotto A, Mazaud F, Röttger A, and Steffel K. Hibiscus: Post-production management for improved market access organization: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), AGST, 2004.

6. Qi Y, KL Chin, F Malekian, M Berhame, and J Gager. Biological characteristics, nutritional and medicinal value of Roselle Hibiscus Sabdariffa. Circular- Urban Forestry Natural Resources and Environment, No. 604, March 2005; pp 1-2.

7. Nayak BS, Raju SS, Orette FA, and Rao AVO. Effects of Hibiscus Rosa sinensis L on Wound Healing Activity: A Preclinical Study in a Sprague Dawley Rat. International Journal of Low and Extreme Wounds. 2007; 6(2):76-81.

8. Abdullah MA, Suliman AOA, Eldeen S, Idriss AA, and Abdualrahman MAY. A comparative study on red and white Karkade (Hibiscus Sabdariffa L) calyces, extracts and their products. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 2011; 10(7): 680– 683.

9. Sharma S et al. Study on prevention of two- stage skin carcinogenesis by Hibiscus Rosa sinensis extract and the role of its chemical constituent, gentisic acid, in the inhibition of tumor promotion response and oxidative stress in mice. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2004; 13(1) : 53-63.

10. Eman A Hashim. The use of watery extract of Kujarat flowers Hibiscus Sabdariffa as a natural histological stain. Iraqi J Med Sci. 2006; 5 (1): 29-33.

11. Ihuma JO, GH Asenge, JOK Abioye, and SK Dick. Application of Methanolic extracts from Hibiscus Sabdariffa Linn as a biological staining agent for some fungal species. International Journal of Plant, Animal and Environmental Sciences. 2012; 2 (2): 254-9.

12. Egbujo EC, Adisa OJ, and Yahaya AB. A Study of the Staining Effect of Roselle (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) on the Histologic Section of the Testis. Int. J. Morphol. 2008; 26(4):927-930.

13. Benard Solomon. Iron-Roselle: A Progressive Nuclear Stain Substitute For Haematoxylin. J. Histotechnologyy. 2008; 31:57.

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Best Article Award

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A Study by Sudha Ramachandra & Vinay Chavan entitled "Enhanced-Hybrid-Age Layered Population Structure (E-Hybrid-ALPS): A Genetic Algorithm with Adaptive Crossover for Molecular Docking Studies of Drug Discovery Process" is awarded Best article for Vol 12 issue 15
A Study by Varsha M. Shindhe et al. entitled "A Study on Effect of Smokeless Tobacco on Pulmonary Function Tests in Class IV Workers of USM-KLE (Universiti Sains Malaysia-Karnataka Lingayat Education Society) International Medical Programme, Belagavi" is awarded Best article of Vol 12 issue 14, July 2020
A study by Amruta Choudhary et al. entitled "Family Planning Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Among Women of Reproductive Age from Rural Area of Central India" is awarded Best Article for special issue "Modern Therapeutics Applications"
A study by Raunak Das entitled "Study of Cardiovascular Dysfunctions in Interstitial Lung Diseas epatients by Correlating the Levels of Serum NT PRO BNP and Microalbuminuria (Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Dysfunction) with Echocardiographic, Bronchoscopic and HighResolution Computed Tomography Findings of These ILD Patients" is awarded Best Article of Vol 12 issue 13 
A Study by Kannamani Ramasamy et al. entitled "COVID-19 Situation at Chennai City – Forecasting for the Better Pandemic Management" is awarded best article for  Vol 12 issue 12
A Study by Muhammet Lutfi SELCUK and Fatma COLAKOGLU entitled "Distinction of Gray and White Matter for Some Histological Staining Methods in New Zealand Rabbit's Brain" is awarded best article for  Vol 12 issue 11
A Study by Anamul Haq et al. entitled "Etiology of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding in Adolescents – Emphasis Upon Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome" is awarded best article for  Vol 12 issue 10
A Study by Arpita M. et al entitled "Estimation of Reference Interval of Serum Progesterone During Three Trimesters of Normal Pregnancy in a Tertiary Care Hospital of Kolkata" is awarded best article for  Vol 12 issue 09
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A study by Asha Menon "Women in Child Care and Early Education: Truly Nontraditional Work" is awarded Best Article for Vol 10 issue 13
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Awardees of COVID-19 Research

Woman Researcher Award

A Study by Neha Garg et al. entitled "Optimization of the Response to nCOVID-19 Pandemic in Pregnant Women – An Urgent Appeal in Indian Scenario" published in Vol 12 issue 09

A Study by Sana Parveen and Shraddha Jain entitled "Pathophysiologic Enigma of COVID-19 Pandemic with Clinical Correlates" published in Vol 12 issue 13

A Study by Rashmi Jain et al. entitled "Current Consensus Review Article on Drugs and Biologics against nCOVID-19 – A Systematic Review" published in Vol 12 issue 09

Emerging Researcher Award

A Study by Madhan Jeyaraman et al. entitled "Vitamin-D: An Immune Shield Against nCOVID-19" published in Vol 12 issue 09

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