Zobo Drink and Fibroid: Can It Shrink Fibroid Tumors? 

Have you heard someone say zobo can treat fibroids? Did you believe it? They could be right. Or maybe not.

A picture showing a person carrying a cup of red zobo drink standing in front of a shelf containing herbs and leaves, including Hibiscus Sabdariffa

Key takeaways:

  • Fibroids affect about 20–80 percent of women but usually don’t cause symptoms.
  • Excess estrogen can fuel the growth of fibroids. 
  • Some people believe zobo drinks can treat fibroid. But, scientific evidence does not support this. Zobo may not be effective for shrinking fibroid tumors. In fact, evidence suggests it may increase estrogen levels, meaning it may promote the growth of fibroids instead.  
  • Treatment for fibroids includes medication and surgery. 

Fibroids are tumors made of muscle tissue and fibrous connective tissue that form in or on the uterus wall. Most fibroids are non-cancerous, but in rare cases (less than one in 1,000), cancerous fibroids do occur. 

The exact cause of fibroids is unknown. However, experts suspect elevated estrogen levels and genetics play a significant role. 

Fibroids are quite common, especially among black women. According to the United States Office on Women’s Health, about 20 to 80 percent of people with uteruses develop fibroids before age 50.

As medical research continues to explore alternative ways to complement conventional treatments, traditional remedies have garnered increasing attention. 

Hibiscus tea, popularly known in Nigeria as zoborodo or zobo for short, is a herbal beverage believed to have many health benefits, including the ability to shrink fibroid tumors.

Keep reading to find out if zobo can be used as a natural remedy to manage fibroid growth or if this is just another unverified claim being propagated by the proponents of the vibrant red drink.

What is zobo drink?

Zobo is a drink produced from dried Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) leaves. The leaves are washed and boiled in a pot for about 30 minutes. Afterward, the mixture is strained to remove the leaves, leaving only the dark-colored liquid. It is often sweetened with sugar or honey and can be flavored with spices like ginger or cloves.  

There are indications that zobo may have some health benefits. But, not all claims are backed by reliable scientific evidence.

Can zobo drink treat fibroids?

There is no scientific evidence that proves zobo drink can treat fibroids. Rather, zobo contains phytoestrogens. These compounds mimic the effects of estrogen and bind to estrogen receptors in the body. 

Since fibroids tend to grow when there’s excess estrogen, it is safe to say that drinking zobo cannot treat fibroids. As a matter of fact, it’s best to avoid taking zobo if you have fibroids. 

Symptoms of fibroids

Small fibroids usually don’t cause any symptoms. On the other hand, large fibroids tend to cause symptoms such as: 

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Prolonged menstruation 
  • Intense menstrual cramps 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Painful sex
  • Lower back pain 
  • Constipation 
  • Enlargement of the lower abdomen
  • Reproductive complications  

Effects of zobo drink on female fertility

Regularly consuming large quantities of zobo may have a negative impact on female fertility. This is because the phytoestrogens it contains can cause hormonal imbalance, which leads to difficulty in conception.

Thankfully, this effect is temporary and easily reversed once you quit drinking too much zobo. 

How fibroids affect fertility

Fibroids can affect your ability to get pregnant, depending on their type, size, and location. There are three types of fibroids: 

  • Submucosal: These fibroids grow underneath the inner lining of the uterus and can protrude into the uterine cavity. 
  • Intramural: They are the most common type of fibroids and develop within the muscular wall of the uterus. 
  • Subserosal: These fibroids grow on the outer surface of the uterus and can project outward, putting pressure on surrounding organs. 
  • Pedunculated: This type of fibroid attaches to the uterus with a stalk or a stem. Pedunculated fibroids can be submucosal or subserosal. 

Uterine fibroids can affect your fertility by: 

  • Changing the shape of your uterus and making it difficult for a fertilized egg to attach properly to the uterine wall. 
  • Blocking the fallopian tube, thereby preventing sperm from reaching the mature egg released from the ovary. 
  • Disrupting blood flow to the uterine cavity, which decreases the likelihood of successful embryo implantation. 

Treatment for fibroids

Most fibroids do not cause symptoms or affect fertility. However, if they do, there are many available treatment options. 

The treatment option your doctor may recommend will depend on factors like the symptoms you’re experiencing, the size of the fibroids, their location, and whether you would like to have children in the future. 

Medications for fibroids

Medications are usually the first line of treatment for fibroids. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like Ibuprofen are used to manage pain caused by fibroids. 

Birth control pills can also help control fibroid symptoms such as heavy bleeding and menstrual pain. If you have iron-deficiency anemia due to excess bleeding, your doctor may prescribe an iron supplement to correct it. 

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists temporarily shrink fibroids by reducing estrogen production. They are often used to reduce the size of large fibroid tumors before surgery. 

Surgical treatments for fibroids

Surgery is used to treat fibroids when more conservative approaches do not work. Your doctor may perform any of the following procedures to get rid of your fibroids: 

  • Myomectomy: This involves the removal of fibroid tumors from the uterus. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, the surgeon may make a large cut on the abdomen or use minimally invasive techniques. 
  • Hysterectomy: In this procedure, the uterus is removed. This prevents the growth of new fibroids and improves symptoms. Women who have a hysterectomy cannot get pregnant in the future. 
  • Uterine fibroid embolization: Small particles are injected into arteries supplying fibroids to cut off their blood supply. The loss of supply makes the fibroids shrink. 
  • Radiofrequency ablation: Ultrasound is used to identify the location of fibroids. Afterward, thin needles are inserted into the fibroids via the abdomen or vagina to heat and destroy them. 

Seeking medical care for fibroids

Contact your doctor if you’re experiencing severe menstrual bleeding, abnormal bleeding between periods, or if your lower abdomen is getting bigger without any known cause. 

It’s important to note that fibroids can return after surgery, especially in younger women. If this happens, your doctor may recommend a hysterectomy to prevent the development of new fibroids.