zobo health benefits and side effects
Zobo drink cocktail

Zobo Drink is one of the many nutritional drinks found in West Africa, it derives its name from the Hausa name of its parent plant “Zoborodo”  Habiscus  Sabdariffa (Roselle). Although several recipes for Zobo drink preparation exist, the beverage is generally produced by steaming flower petals of the plant in hot water, additional flavorings and ginger are sometimes added to improve taste and nutritional content.

There is widespread consumption of Zobo across Nigeria, especially during festivities owing to perceived nutritional benefits. A study published in the American Journal of food technology noted the three varieties of Habiscus Sandarifa used in producing Zobo each had their own specific nutritional value. The Health Benefits of Zobo consumption are;


                                                  Health Benefits Of Zobo Drink

Zobo is An Anti-Hypertensive. Zobo drinks exert their anti-hypertensive effect as a result of their ability to reduce blood cholesterol levels. This is done by reducing the amount of plaque that accumulates and narrows blood vessels leading to higher blood pressure and atherosclerosis. A study published in the Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice showed that zobo drink was a more effective antihypertensive agent than hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), a diuretic widely used as a first‑line antihypertensive drug. The drink according to medical research did not cause electrolyte imbalance but showed a longer duration of action compared to HCTZ and a reduction in serum levels of sodium. The increased amount of sodium in your bloodstream wrecks the delicate balance in your body, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove water. This results in higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys.


Zobo Drink has Anti-cancer Properties. Zobo drink is a very rich source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that plays a significant role in the growth and repair of all body tissues. It also plays a critical role in the absorption of iron, wound healing, and the immune system. According to a study published in the International Journals of Biomedical science, zobo has a rich content of anthocyanins which has several therapeutic properties such as hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and chemoprotective properties. A new study also confirms that zobo drink help induces the destruction of human prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo making it a useful agent for persons with prostate conditions. ALSO, SEE Health Benefits Of  Tiger Nut 


Zobo Drink is An Antidiabetic Agent. Zobo drink can be very helpful in the management of diabetes, especially in Africa where the leaves are in abundant supply. A comprehensive study conducted in the Department of Biochemistry of the Ahamadu Bello University and published in the African Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy on the beneficial effects of extracts of Zobo leaves (Hibiscus sabdariffa) in diabetic rats reported that zobo extract significantly reduced the level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) and effected a considerable increase in the level of packed cell volume (PCV) when compared with the diabetic control group. A related study concluded that drinks like zobo trigger low to moderate rises in blood sugar and should be the preferred choice for diabetic patients.


Zobo Drink protects the Kidney. The kidneys perform two vital functions for the body: regulating body fluids and excreting toxic wastes. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse notes that when the kidneys are healthy, they filter and clean the blood and send waste out of the body through urine. Keeping the kidneys healthy involves various factors, including diet, exercise, and managing medical conditions. The accumulation of uric acid and oxalic acid in the kidney can lead to the formation of kidney stones and their attendant health implications. A phytochemical, pharmacological, and toxicological analysis of the plant showed that the consumption of zobo drink results in a significant decrease in the concentrations of creatinine, uric acid, citrate, tartrate, calcium, sodium, potassium, and phosphate in the urine and improved kidney function. Uric acid has long been suspected as a potentially modifiable risk factor for Chronic kidney disease (CKD) while elevated creatinine level signifies impaired kidney function or kidney disease.


What Are The Side Effects Of  Zobo Drink?

Drinking zobo drink in moderation is generally considered safe. However, if overused, zobo drink may cause side effects that might include; stomach pain, gas, constipation, nausea, painful urination, headache, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). In addition, this drink may also cause transient dizziness and fatigue due to its effect on blood pressure.


Why Zobo Is Not Safe For Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is one of the most vital and sensitive periods in a woman’s life. Therefore, it’s very important for pregnant women to eat a healthy diet. Expecting mothers have to pay close attention to what they eat and make sure to avoid harmful foods and beverages. Certain foods should only be consumed rarely, while others should be avoided completely. A study on the effect of zobo drink consumption on weight gain and postpartum weight loss during pregnancy showed a significant concentration dependent decrease in both pregnancy weight gain and postpartum weight loss.


Zobo drink and Weight loss

Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health, or physical fitness, refers to a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat, or adipose. Losing weight as part of weight management is important because weighing too much is not good for your health. Being overweight increases your risk of health conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. However, there is no conclusive evidence to show the usefulness of the zobo drink in any program geared towards losing weight as evidenced by the results from various research conducted to evaluate the impact of the drink on weight loss. One specific research published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science actually reported that the drink can be useful in regaining lost weight. It is important to note that the quantity of sugar or other sweetening agents added to the drink can promote weight gain.

Zobo Drink and Babies 

Several studies have shown that the consumption of zobo during pregnancy or lactation is not safe. A study published in the African journal of alternative and complementary medicine concluded that the consumption of zobo drinks during pregnancy increases the possibility of giving birth to babies with low birth weight (LBW). possibly through the gluconeogenic activities of the elevated serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), this is one of the major disadvantages of the zobo drink.


Why Zobo Is Not Safe For Breast Feeding Mothers

Results from a study that evaluated the effect of zobo drink during breastfeeding or lactation showed that consumption of zobo during lactation decreased maternal food and fluid intake, delays the onset of puberty in the female offspring, and increased postnatal weight gain.


Does zobo drink give blood?

This is one question that many have been asking, Zobo has been scientifically proven to help in the fight against anemia. It has been shown to increase blood packed cell volume or (PCV) which refers to the volume occupied by the red cells when a sample of anti-coagulated blood is centrifuged. PCV is very useful in the detection of the presence or absence of anemia or polycythemia. It is also used in the estimation of mean cell volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration.

A study published in the African Journal of Biochemistry reported that zobo extract led to increases in blood glutathione (GSH), red blood cell counts (RBC), white blood cell counts (WBC), packed cell volume (PCV) and hemoglobin (Hb) and concluded that H. sabdariffa or Zobo protects the blood against 2, 4-DNPH lipoperoxidation and hemolytic effects. A similar study conducted by the Department of Biochemistry of the Ahamadu Bello University and published in the African Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy reported that zobo extract can significantly affect a considerable increase in the level of blood packed cell volume (PCV). Check out The Health Benefits Of Kunu Drink


What is the English name of the zobo drink?

The English name of zobo drink is Hibiscus drink. The word zobo is a Hausa language word for the plant Hibiscus sabdariffa used to make the drink.


Can zobo drink cause infertility?

Scientific data shows that zobo drink has little to no effect on a woman’s fertility. However, in some cases, it can even lower your fertility. If you are trying to get pregnant it is best to avoid zobo.


Is zobo drinking well for hair growth?

Many Zobo drink recipes help with hair growth, hair loss, and hair regrowth. Hibiscus has been used for ages by traditional medical practitioners to treat hair problems. Hibiscus is rich in amino acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and alpha Hydroxyl acids along with other nutrients which are extremely beneficial for your hair.


Can zobo drink cause headaches?

Hibiscus drinks may cause blood pressure to drop. It has also been linked to dermatitis, headache, nausea, and ringing in the ear.  Avoid hibiscus if you are allergic or sensitive to it or members of the Malvaceae plant family.


What is Hibiscus used for in Africa?

In Africa, Zobo was used to treat constipation, cancer, liver disease, and cold symptoms. Pulp made from the leaves was applied to the skin to heal wounds. In Iran, drinking sour tea is still a common treatment for high blood pressure. Today, hibiscus is popular for its potential to reduce high blood pressure.


Is Hibiscus good for your kidneys?

Free radicals can be harmful to the kidneys; however, some studies found that the antioxidants in hibiscus were helpful in restoring and supporting damaged kidneys. Speaking of kidneys, zobo extracts appear to be a good friend to the entire urinary tract.


Does Zobo drink cause kidney stones?

Hibiscus has been reported to act as a diuretic and a uricosuric substance (one that increases the amount of uric acid in the urine) in patients with urologic disorders. According to Thai traditional medicine, it is used for the treatment and prevention of urinary stones.


Is it safe to drink zobo every day?

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming hibiscus drinks lowered blood pressure in people at risk of high blood pressure and those with mildly high blood pressure. Study participants consumed three 8-ounce servings of a hibiscus drink or a placebo beverage daily for 6 weeks.


How much zobo drink is too much?

Based on data from World Health Organization’s weekly safety limit, we may not want to drink more than 15 cups of zobo drink a day, (based on someone who’s about 150 pounds or 68kg) If you have a 75 pound 10-year-old, a half-gallon a day may theoretically be too much.


Is Hibiscus drinking well for hair?

Hibiscus helps with hair growth, hair loss, and hair regrowth. Hibiscus is used for ages and was used by our grandparents to treat their hair problems. Hibiscus is rich in amino acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and alpha Hydroxyl acids along with other nutrients which are extremely beneficial for your hair. It has gained popularity because of its ability to stimulate hair growth even from dormant hair follicles in bald patches. Zobo drink is an efficient remedy to put a stop to hair fall, encourage regrowth, and prevent premature graying.


What is the best time to drink zobo for high blood pressure?

The best suggestion is that you should zobo drink  3 times a day to lower blood pressure. It can be drunk hot or cold. Remember that even the Pharaohs used drinks in the heat of the desert to cool down, so it makes a wonderful summer drink.


Is Zobo drink good for your skin?

Zobo drink helps with age spots, it can encourage an all round fresher, younger, smoother looking complexion. The natural acids present in Hibiscus help to purify your skin by breaking down dead skin and increasing cell turnover, they can even help to control pimple (acne) breakouts.

Is Hibiscus poisonous?

Some varieties of hibiscus flowers are highly neurologically toxic while others are safe. “Most hibiscus is fine, but there are a couple of varieties that are poisonous to dogs in particular, and unless you know which one that is, it can be dangerous.

Is there any caffeine in Zobo’s drink?

Hibiscus tea does not contain caffeine. However, it does have antioxidant, hypocholesterolemic, and antihypertensive properties, according to the “Journal of Nutrition.”

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Public Health Ng

Public Health Nigeria an Interdisciplinary public health movement focused on health education, advancing fair public health policies, promoting fitness, healthy diets, responsible behavior, community health and general well-being.

Public Health Ng
Public Health Nigeria an Interdisciplinary public health movement focused on health education, advancing fair public health policies, promoting fitness, healthy diets, responsible behavior, community health and general well-being.


  1. Can Zobo help Cure an infection like Staphylococcus and others when mixed with Gaelic and Ginger?

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