Is zobo drink good for pregnant people?

A pregnant woman carrying a glass of zobo drink

Key takeaways:

  • Studies have indicated that zobo may not be good for pregnant people as it can cause side effects like miscarriage.
  • Zobo drink, also called hibiscus tea, is a popular drink in Nigeria made from Hibiscus (roselle) leaves.
  • Even though some of the available evidence that suggests zobo may not be safe for pregnant people are older studies, with some carried out on animal models, it is best to speak with your gynecologist before taking Zobo. Also, take the drink in moderation.

Zobo drink, also known as hibiscus tea, is enjoyed by many. It is made from hibiscus, a flowering plant that serves different purposes. Zobo drink, when prepared, can be taken hot or cold.

Zobo drink has been found to have many health benefits, which explains why the intake and popularity are increasing.

However, no matter how beneficial zobo drink is, it may not be suitable for everyone. Amongst the people who shouldn't consume zobo drinks are pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. You may be wondering why since zobo drinks have so many health benefits.

In this article, we will discuss the nutritional content of zobo drinks, possible health benefits, safety for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and why pregnant and breastfeeding people should take zobo drinks with caution.

One good food that can greatly benefit pregnant people is unripe plantain. Read more about unripe plantain and its benefits for pregnant people.

The nutritional content of zobo drink

Zobo drink, also known as hibiscus tea, is packed with many healthy and beneficial nutrients. Some of these nutrients include:


Zobo drink contains iron which is good for the body and the immune system. The iron content aids cell division, reduces fatigue, promotes red blood cell formation, and improves our ability to process information properly.


Thiamine is an important nutrient needed in the body. The thiamine content of zobo drink helps in replenishing energy in the body. This is because thiamine enables the body to properly convert carbohydrates into energy, and carbohydrate functions primarily as the body's source of energy.

Thiamine also functions to improve the conduction of nerve signals and aids in muscle contraction.


Zobo drink contains riboflavin which is an essential nutrient needed in the body. Riboflavin is not stored in the body, so it needs to be taken regularly to maintain the little reserve in the body.

Therefore, the riboflavin found in zobo drink will function with other vitamins in the body to promote body growth. Riboflavin also aids red blood cell production and helps the body convert proteins to energy.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid plays many roles in the body system. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps to fight against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms in the body that can cause illness, aging, and damage to cells.

Also, vitamin C contributes to the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues. It helps in the absorption of iron, wound healing, proper maintenance of cartilages and bone, and helps in the formation of collagen.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so it cant be stored in the body. Zobo drink is a good way to keep vitamin C in the body.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is actively involved in forming and maintaining skeletal and soft tissue, healthy teeth, and skin. Also, it produces the pigment in the eye's retina, promoting good eyesight.

Vitamin A has also been found to be useful in pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Copper combines with iron to help the body form red blood cells. It also helps in the healthy maintenance of nerves, immune system, bones, and blood vessels.

Possible health benefits of zobo drinks

Hibiscus seeds, flowers, stems, and leaves are used for different purposes. They are also believed to have some health benefits, which explains why the consumption rate increases.

The antioxidant property of zobo drinks makes them useful in destroying the harmful molecules in the body. Those harmful molecules, if not destroyed, lead to diseases in the body.

Zobo drinks are also useful in fighting inflammation in the body. Inflammations in the body generally lead to diseases like cancer (3), asthma, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Also, zobo drinks play a role in slightly reducing blood pressure. However, they should not substitute for medication made to lower blood pressure.

Zobo drink, not considered safe during pregnancy

Different researches have been conducted using rat models to ascertain the safety of zobo drink (hibiscus tea) in pregnant rats.

Most of this research with animal models indicated that pregnant people should avoid zobo drink or at least take it with caution, especially in their first and last trimester.

Even if zobo drink is one of your favorite drinks before you got pregnant, you should be careful with its consumption and usage during pregnancy. While zobo drink has its benefits, it also has some side effects, especially for pregnant people.

The most common possible risks of taking zobo drinks during pregnancy are delayed puberty in the offspring and miscarriage.

Different researches found that administering hibiscus tea in rats caused maternal malnutrition. Maternal malnutrition leads to delayed onset of puberty in offspring. Delayed puberty is also linked to increased body mass index and an increased risk of obesity.

Even though some studies indicate that taking zobo drink can cause early menstruation and can help achieve a balance for those having irregular menstruation, for pregnant people, zobo drink can cause excessive bleeding.

Is it good to take a zobo drink while breastfeeding?

There is limited knowledge on whether zobo drink is safe for breastfeeding women. This is because there is little research on it.

However, zobo drink has been classified as a galactagogue. A galactagogue is any food or drink that promotes the flow of a mother's milk. Most galactagogues cause increased lactation, especially in mothers with premature babies.

However, more research still needs to be conducted to ascertain hibiscus tea's and other galactagogues' full effect on breastfeeding mothers.

Why pregnant and lactating mothers should take zobo drinks with caution

The period of pregnancy is sensitive and should be approached with care. The most sensitive period in pregnancy is always the first and last trimester.

Within this period, it is always advised that pregnant people should be careful of the things they consume. There are things you take when you are not pregnant that won't be safe for you when you are pregnant.

So, in pregnancy, it is always about what will be good for your health and that of your baby than what you enjoy eating.

Even though there is no substantial evidence to prove whether zobo drink is good or bad for pregnant people, few studies indicate it may not be entirely safe. Therefore, you should try to avoid zobo drinks when you are pregnant.

The main potential dangers of zobo drink during pregnancy are delayed puberty in offspring, early onset of menstruation, and sometimes miscarriage. Until counter research is done on these side effects, you should avoid taking zobo drinks when pregnant.

Also, even though one study indicates that zobo drink is a galactagogue, it is not enough to conclude that the drink is safe for consumption during lactation. It is best to consume healthy and safe diets that will not only boost your milk production but also provide enough nutrients for you and your baby.

Wrap up

Owing to all the numerous health benefits associated with zobo drink, it makes sense to ask questions regarding its safety for pregnant people.

When you are pregnant, you will notice that you will be asked to stay clear of so many things you enjoy. The same applies to zobo drink. You should avoid taking it when pregnant until enough substantial evidence is provided regarding the safety of its consumption during pregnancy.

Also, if you must take zobo drinks for their health benefits, avoid the ones made with refined sugary additives as such sweeteners can lead to health problems such as tooth decay, poor nutrition, and weight gain.