Zobo drink: 10 Amazing hibiscus tea benefits

Zobo plant when it has produced flowers

There are several hybiscus tea benefits to your health, which make it an amazing tea for both the sick as well as the healthy. In Nigeria, especially in the northern region, hybiscus tea, popularly referred to as zobo drink is one the house hold drinks, only second to tiger nut and millet milk. Understanding the best hybiscus tea recipe would help you prepare a more nutritious and healthier tea than the ones you buy in markets and stores.

Hybiscus tea (Hibiscus sabdarrifa) also known as Roselle is a tropical plant popularly grown by farmers in Nigeria. The roselle flower or calyx is used in making Zobo drink or roselle tea, and the plant grows well in regions with moderate rain fall and temperature. It grows up to 200cm and produces several branches.

The hybiscus plant is an annual plant which dries up during the dry season. The root system is fibrous and does not grow deep into the soil. The leaves of hybiscus plant can be used for skin care to maintain a glowing youthful skin texture.

The plant produces red edible calyxes that are high in Vitamin C and have pleasant sweet flavor. The flowers and seeds are usually found in shops and open markets all over Nigeria, but mostly found in high commercial quantities in the Northern region of the country, where the Sudan and Sahel weather favors its growth and production.

After flowering, hybiscus plant’s large leafy calyx is ready for harvest. The first harvest is usually not voluminous but the latter is always in large quantity.

 Hybiscus tea nutritional benefits

The various health benefits of hybiscus tea are traced to its bioactive constituents, which include vitamins, minerals and secondary metabolites.

Vitamins: the vitamins present in hybiscus tea include,

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin

Minerals include:

  • Sodium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

Secondary metabolites present in hybiscus calyx are

  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Caffeic acid
  • Gallic acid
  • Catechin
  • Rutin
  • Benzoic acid
  • Cinnamic acid

 Hybiscus Tea Health Benefits 

Zobo drink is a popular drink among the Hausa people of northern Nigeria. although commonly consumed as a beverage, Zobo drink possess several health benefits and some side effects for pregnant women. So it is very important you understand the benefits and side effects of zobo drink.

Improves eyesight

Zobo drink is fortified with vitamin A and vitamin C, among other antioxidants. These compounds are very good for protecting your eyes and macula muscles from the harmful attack of free radicals. Vitamin A also prevents nightblindness and the onset of cataract. So the more zobo drink you take, the higher your chances of maintaining good and strong vision, even at old age.

Hybiscus Tea Reduces Cholesterol Level and Blood Fat

Hybiscus tea has been proven to reduce cholesterol level and blood fat. According to a study conducted among hyper-cholesterolemic patients, two capsules of Roselle extract (1g), given three times daily significantly lowered serum cholesterol. Another study confirm that hybiscus extract significantly exhibit hypo-lipidemic effect.

Hybiscus tea would help you reduce high blood glucose, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, while increasing high density lipoprotein.

Roselle Tea Reduces High Blood Pressure

Again, Roselle tea has been proven in many studies on hibiscus flower to lower blood pressure of hypertensive patients. A daily intake of Roselle tea is sure to lower the blood pressure of patients. However, it is not advisable for patients with low blood pressure so as to avoid the blood becoming lower with its attended complication and risks.

Roselle Is Rich In Antioxidants

One of the amazing hybiscus tea benefits is its antioxidants, which are protective compounds that inhibit the oxidative mechanisms, which produce free radicals that attack lining organelles from premature cell damage. By protecting the cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, antioxidants slow aging.

The rich antioxidants of hybiscus tea will definitely help you maintain youthful body and a glowing skin.

Helps You Loose Some Weight

Hybiscus tea will help you shade off some weights. It may not be good, however to keep a daily routine of Zobo drink if you want to gain some kilogram or maintain your present body weight. But for the obese and overweight people, adding Zobo drink in their daily routine will help a long way.

Roselle Tea Promote A Good Sleep

The antioxidants and antidepressants in Roselle tea will help you treat insomnia and put the body in a relaxed manner, which leads to a better sleep hours.

Hybiscus tea combats anemia

Among the several hybiscus tea benefits is the effectiveness in combating anemia. This great roselle tea possesses iron that helps the red blood cells in the synthesis of the two oxygen carrying proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin.

Hemoglobin carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to various parts of the body while myoglobin delivers oxygenated blood to the muscle cells.

Anemia occurs when there is an iron deficiency, which hinders the synthesis of hemoglobin and myoglobin, and thus resulting in low level the two cellular levels of the two proteins for the transport of oxygenated blood to various parts of the body.

Helps In Maintaining Healthy Kidneys And By Dissolving Kidney Stones

Another important Zobo drink benefit is the ability to dissolve of kidney stones. There’s an increasing number of kidney related diseases and mortality in Nigeria. In most cases, the kidney failure is as a result of accumulation of lead and other harmful elements in kidney cells.

The vital organic acids such as citric acid, tartaric acid, acetic acid, maleic acid and caffeic acid help the kidney eliminate uric acid, oxalic acid and in dissolving sodium and lead. Zobo drink like Luffa sponge, also reduces the concentration of creatinine and phosphate in your urine, thereby maintaining healthy and optimal functioning.

Read also (Costus afer: 6 Amazing Health Benefits of Monkey Sugarcane)

 Zobo drink Helps In Combating Constipation

Hybiscus flower contains high fibre level which makes hybiscus tea an effective means of combating constipation.

Hybiscus Tea Contains Anticancer Compounds

Zobo drink possesses anticancer properties due to the antioxidant and hypolipidemic effects. Studies show that hibiscus extract induces apoptosis in cancer cells. This makes it an effective drink for persons with breast and prostate cancer.

When taken along with chemotherapy, hybiscus tea enhances the induction of apoptosis by chemotherapeutic agents.

Read also (Sweet tomatoes: Great health benefits and side effects).

Zobo Tea Can Act As a Natural Contraceptive

Studies show that hibiscus has contraceptive properties. However, it is not recommended to depend on hybiscus tea for contraception. Couples looking for a baby should not be taking Zobo drink  as it has a negative effect on pregnancy development.

Zobo Drink Induce Menstruation?

Most people confused the stem of the hibiscus plant extract with flower extract. Whereas the plant contains Emmenagogues, which are capable of inducing menstrual flow, it has not been established that the petals contain the bioactive compound.

Is Hybiscus Tea Safe For Pregnant Women?

Despite the several Zobo drink benefits, it should not be given to pregnant women. Studies have shown that Zobo drink terminates pregnancies in 92% of cases in a research conducted on mice. The pregnancy termination was due to lower progesterol levels and increased uterine acid phosphatase levels in the body. Though this study was conducted on mice, it is not advised for pregnant women to consume hybiscus tea or hibiscus containing products.

How to make Zobo drink

There are different ways to make your zobo drinks. For some people, especially those managing diabetes, zobo drink without sugar may be great, as this will reduce their sugar consumptions, while at the same time helping to lower sugar and cholesterol levels.

For others, sugar may be added. But you may use dates as replacement for sugar, or even try out adding honey instead of dates or sugar. Below is one of the ways to make your tasty zobo drinks.

Best Zobo drink (Roselle Tea) Recipe

To prepare a tasty and nutritious drink, Assemble the dry hibiscus flower, dried ginger, a pineapple head, a honey or sugar cane juice.


  1. Wash about 10gram of the hibiscus flower, the pineapple head, and the dry ginger and allow each to dry.
  2. Cut the pineapple and ginger into smaller pieces
  3. Add the washed hibiscus flower, pineapple, and ginger into a pot and add 3 liters of water.
  4. Place the pot in a burner and heat for about 15 minutes.
  5. Sieve with a mesh and add your honey or sugarcane juice to taste.
  6. Store in a refrigerator and serve cold.



Abu-Tarboush Saif Aldin B, Hamza M, Ahmed Hassan A, et al. Some nutritional properties of Karkade (Hibiscus sabdariffa) seed products. The American Association of Cereal Chemists Inc. 1997;74:352‒355

Yadong Qi, Kit L Chin, Fatemah Malekian, et al. Biological Characteristics, Nutritional and Medicinal Value of Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa. Southern University and A & M College System; 2005;225:771‒2262.

Abbas M, Shirin M, Patricia K, et al. The effect of Hibiscus sabdariffaon lipid profile, creatinine, and serum electrolytes: a randomized clinical trial. International scholarly research network. ISRN gastroenterology. 2011;2011(2011):1‒4.

Okereke CN, Iroka FC, Chukwuma MO. Phytochemical analysis and medicinal uses of Hibiscus sabdariffa. International Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2015;2(6):16‒19.

Lin Tzu-Li, Lin Hui-Hsuan, Chen Chang-Che, et al. Hibiscus sabdariffaextract reduces serum cholesterol in men and women. Nutrition Research. 2007;27(3):140‒145.

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