Health Benefit of Zobo Drink in Your Daily Diet

Princess A.
19 Min Read
health benefit of zobo drink

Talking about the health benefit of zobo drink (Hibiscus Tea). Hibiscus is a popular beverage in most of the world. It has some varieties and can be served either hot or cold and is often served with added flavors. It is also known as “sour tea.”

Around the world, this drink is known by different names. But here in Nigeria, it is called Zobo drink, this drink contains numerous nutrients including vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals.

There is also various health benefit of zobo drink. 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”  Hibiscus  Sabdariffa (Roselle).

This article explores the health benefit of zobo drink and the reasons you need hibiscus tea(zobo drink) in your everyday diet.


Here is a list of what you should expect in this post:

What is Hibiscus?

Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions throughout the world.

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Hibiscus plants are known for their large, colorful flowers. These blossoms can make a decorative addition to a home or garden, but they also have medicinal uses. The flowers and leaves can be made into teas and liquid extracts that can help treat a variety of conditions.


What is Hibiscus Tea?

Hibiscus tea also known as zobo drink is a herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-colored calyces (sepals) of the roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flower. It is consumed both hot and cold. It has a tart, cranberry-like flavor, and sugar or honey is often added to sweeten it.

How to Make Hibiscus Tea (Zobo) at home

The health benefits of zobo drink make zobo a popular drink in Nigeria, not only health benefits but taste also. Here is how to make hibiscus tea(zobo) at home:

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  • 1 cup dried Hibiscus Sepal ( Zobo Leaves)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Sugar to taste


  • Set the leaves in a large bowl, and cover them with boiled water. Set aside for 2-4 hours (this will allow the drink to steep)
  • Pour the drink through a sieve or strainer to separate the fluid from the leaves
  • Add some ice, lemon juice, and sugar to taste. Combine all and Enjoy!!

The drink can be served hot or cold.  Also, the amount of water used is based on preference, you can adjust the water down or up.  Also experiment with food flavors like Pineapple, vanilla, and berries for some diversity.

Note: The drink stains easily, so be mindful when handling it.

How to Find the Best Hibiscus Tea?

Like most supplements, it’s important to purchase hibiscus leaves, powder, or extract from trustworthy sources with a good reputation. Some experts suggest that, if you purchase hibiscus in extract form, it should be in an airless pump that hasn’t touched the air so you still get the full hibiscus tea benefits.

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If you purchase dried hibiscus, you are actually getting the calyces of the plant, which surround the petals, rather than the petals themselves. All hibiscus teas are caffeine-free, so feel free to try a variety of them to find your favorite.

How Much Hibiscus Tea (Zobo Drink) Should You Drink Per Day?

There are many health benefits of zobo drink related to the amount of consumption of zobo drink. Health specialist often suggests you can drink up to three cups of hibiscus tea per day.

Experts recommend that one should mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried hibiscus flower into 1 cup of water and drink it. It also says that you can drink up to three cups of hibiscus a day.

Further recommendations of health experts suggest that before breakfast you should drink a serving of 500 milliliters of hibiscus tea per day. This will help to the level of high blood pressure.

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What Are The Health Benefit Of Zobo Drink?

1. Lowers Blood Pressure

It has been proved by a study in 2008 that zobo drink is great in reducing blood pressure. People with hypertension can get the benefits of this herbal tea since it has cardio-protective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hypertensive properties.

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However, if you want it to lower blood pressure drastically, increase your intake by 3 cups daily, three times a day; each of it is consisting of eight ounces of tea. See the result in a couple of weeks by regularly drinking it every day and you will find your blood pressure stabilized.

So rather than taking blood pressure medicines, this one is better since it is much more natural and safer. However, if you already had low blood pressure also called hypotension, try to avoid drinking this tea since it might lead to dizziness or even brain and heart damage.

A study conducted in Nigeria has found that zobo drink helps to reduce blood pressure more than the medicine hydrochlorothiazide, which is used for lowering blood pressure.

It effectively reduces blood pressure. The study also found that hibiscus does not lead to an electrolyte imbalance like that of hydrochlorothiazide.

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2. Lowering Cholesterol

Since zobo drink is effective in increasing good cholesterol, it is automatically effective in reducing the bad one. High blood pressure or hypertension leads to many harmful diseases such as heart disease. This disease is usually unpredictable, so keeping your blood pressure stabilized can lower the risk.

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The content of bioflavonoids in hibiscus tea prevents plaque buildup in your arteries walls, which is the cause of many harmful diseases, making your cholesterol low and your health better.

3. Improves Mood and Reduces Stress

Zobo drink contains vitamins and minerals like flavonoids which have anti-depressant properties that can greatly improve your mood. Also, the consumption of zobo drinks can calm down the nervous system and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body.

4. Cancer Prevention

In a laboratory study at the Medical University in Taiwan, hibiscus extracts were found to induce cell death in eight different kinds of cancer cells, most effectively in human gastric carcinoma cells (stomach cancer).

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Researchers attributed roselle potential as cancer preventative to polyphenols which are potent antioxidants and suggest that hibiscus slows down the growth of cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.

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5. Helps With Weight Loss

One of the reasons why you gain weight is because you eat too many carbohydrates. However, living without carbohydrates is not easy. Sometimes you just can’t control the intake. So if you feel that way, drinking zobo drink can be a good solution for reducing the glucose and starch absorption contained in carbohydrates.

Glucose and starch are absorbed by amylase and hibiscus tea is working by inhibiting its production. If you want to still eat more carbohydrates, but are afraid of your weight, include hibiscus tea to neutralize it. No wonder many products for weight loss out there use hibiscus tea as one of their ingredients.

Moreover, hibiscus tea can make your body absorb fat slower, allowing you to burn more fat than storing it. The weight caused by water can be also reduced as hibiscus tea can flush out the impurities. So it is very helpful in cleaning your system, reducing your weight, and keeping you healthy.

6. Improves Digestion

Hibiscus tea is containing diuretic properties that can help to increase urination. Moreover, these properties can also improve the movement of your bowel and prevent constipation.

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Those who are trying to lose weight would get some benefits from this herbal tea. If you drink a cup of zobo drink after a meal, you will notice a great improvement in your digestive system.

7. Relieving Menstrual Pain

It is very common to feel some cramps when you are getting your period. However, this is very uncomfortable and that is why you need a reliever and hibiscus tea is a natural solution.

Not only relieving the pain, but hibiscus tea is also good in balancing your hormones to reduce your depression during menstruation. The minerals and vitamins in hibiscus tea are also offering anti-depressant properties, which are good for calming your nervous system.

Your mind and body can feel more relaxed even when you are having your period, so drink it and feel the calming sensation. Some problems related to the mind can be calmed down simply by drinking 8 ounces of hibiscus tea daily. It is very easy and simple.

8. Boosting Immune System

Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in hibiscus tea are excellent in boosting your immune system and preventing flu and colds. If you are having a fever, drink hibiscus tea to reduce the symptoms and make you feel better.

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This is cool, healthy, and natural, so taking this safe medicine can heal your cold while stimulating your immune system to be more powerful in fighting diseases. You don’t have to wait till you get a cold, drink the tea once the symptoms come. This will be quick and more effective.

9. Protects The Liver

Containing antioxidants, the zobo drink is excellent in protecting your liver. Antioxidants are useful to prevent some diseases caused by free radicals since they work by neutralizing them and cleaning the liver.

It has been proven in a study using mice that hibiscus tea can protect the liver from damage. Not only your liver but also other important organs in your body can be protected from free radicals with the help of antioxidants.

10. Richness of Vitamin C

While antioxidants have provided many benefits for your body, vitamin C can do the same thing. The combination of antioxidants and vitamin C in zobo drinks can help you maintain your wellness without having to struggle too much.

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Like antioxidants, vitamin C is also boosting your immune system and lowering the risks of some chronic diseases. With these health benefits of the zobo drink offered, you should include a cup of hibiscus tea daily in your healthy daily meals.

What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Hibiscus Tea (Zobo Drink)?

Everything in this world, no matter how wonderful it always has some disadvantages. It is true that hibiscus tea is all-natural, healthy, safe, and good for your health but despite the health benefit of zobo drink, It may have hazardous side effects. Some of the side effects of hibiscus tea are as follows:

1. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnant women shouldn’t drink hibiscus tea as it might give blood flow stimulation that leads to menstruation since it can make your estrogen low.

If you take birth control pills or other types of hormone replacement, it is also not recommended for you unless you have consulted it with your doctor or specialist to see whether or not it is safe.

2. Low blood pressure

Hibiscus might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking hibiscus might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure. So if you are suffering from hypotension or low blood pressure, don’t drink zobo drink. You can make it even lower, which is not good for your health.

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3. Surgery

Hibiscus might affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control difficult during and after surgery. Stop using hibiscus at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

4. Allergies

There are some allergic symptoms such as sinus and red eyes. If you don’t know whether you are having allergies, you shouldn’t drink it too much to see the reactions of your body. When these symptoms are coming, stop consuming this herbal tea.

5. Drowsiness

Zobo drink is effective in calming your nerves, making you feel more relaxed.

However, sometimes the effects can make you fall asleep, which means it is not recommended to drink hibiscus tea before driving or going to work.

Drink this when you are at home and don’t plan to do something. This would be a great treatment to help you rest better.

6. Hallucinations

It doesn’t happen to all people consuming this tea, but a few of them experienced some mild hallucination effects.

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To prevent such a thing happens because you don’t know how your body will react to the tea, it is better to not drive a car right after drinking the tea. Just wait and see what happens.

Can I Take Hibiscus Tea (Zobo Drink) With Other Medications?

It is possible for hibiscus tea to interact with certain medications. For example:

  • If you are taking medicines for lowering your blood pressure, you should avoid drinking hibiscus tea. It may counter the effects of these medicines.
  • Hibiscus can inhibit the actions of some medications that use what are called Cytochrome P450 enzymes, so see a doctor before beginning to drink hibiscus tea to ensure it will not interact negatively with any current prescriptions you may have.
  • Patients on diabetes medications should probably also avoid hibiscus tea, as it can lower blood sugar levels and increase the effect of blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Hibiscus tea may impact the way your body metabolizes acetaminophen, although it’s not clear how significant this risk is.
  • People taking chloroquine for malaria should avoid drinking hibiscus tea, as it greatly diminishes how much of the medication your body can absorb.
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History and Interesting Facts About Hibiscus Tea (Zobo Drink)

Around the world, hibiscus tea has been a favorite in many cultures for centuries. Although its popularity is increasing in the United States as more research supports hibiscus tea’s benefits for health, it is very popular in Mexico, Central America, parts of South America, and the Caribbean.

In Panama, hibiscus is used to make sailor sorrel tea, a holiday drink flavored with ginger, cinnamon, clove, sugar, and nutmeg. Egyptians and the Sudanese traditionally drink hibiscus tea at wedding celebrations. Bissap, a variation of hibiscus tea, is known as the “national drink of Senegal.”

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In the book “Edible and Medicinal Flowers,” author Margaret Roberts even suggests that hibiscus tea sweetened with honey is an excellent hangover remedy.

Many countries use hibiscus tea in their traditional practices to treat a variety of illnesses. In traditional Chinese medicine, hibiscus leaves are used to topically treat herpes zoster, also known as shingles or a recurrence of chickenpox.


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