7 amazing health benefits of zobo drink

Zobo drink is a popular beverage drink known for its medicinal benefits. Made from Roselle leaves, zobo has health benefits such as reducing blood pressure and boosting fertility.

hibiscus sabdariffa (zobo drink)

Zobo drink is the name given to a drink made from Roselle leaves. The botanical name for the zobo plant is Hibiscus sabdariffa. Hibiscus drink is common in Africa and is given different names in different countries. In countries like Nigeria, it is called Zobo drink, while in Sudan, it is called Karkade.

Zobo is taken in all regions of Nigeria- at parties, at home, in markets, in offices and restaurants. This drink does not only taste good, but it is also refreshing.

The hibiscus leaves used to make zobo drinks are highly nutritious; thus, zobo drinks have many health benefits. This article discusses some fantastic zobo benefits you may not know about.

7 fantastic zobo benefits

There are many species of the Hibiscus plant, but the specie commonly used for making zobo drink in places like Nigeria is roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa). Below are some zobo benefits.

1.Regulate blood pressure

People who are pre-hypertensive or mildly hypertensive may find zobo useful. One of the zobo benefits is that it may help manage high blood pressure.

A study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology and Research found that zobo has cardioprotective and antihypertensive properties. This zobo benefit will help hypertensive people and people at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

2.Lower cholesterol level

One of the fantastic zobo benefits is its ability to reduce cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance needed by the body to build healthy cells, produce hormones and make vitamins. However, there are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

HDL is known as the good cholesterol, while LDL is the bad cholesterol. Too much LDL in the blood has been associated with cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and coronary heart disease.

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that zobo drink could help lower LDL cholesterol, thus protecting the heart and blood vessels from damage. This zobo benefit may help people with diabetes manage their blood cholesterol levels.

3.Fight cancer

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Zobo still has other amazing health benefits. One of such fantastic zobo benefits is its anti-cancerous potentials. A study in the Cancer Letters found that zobo (Hibiscus sabdariffa) contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid.

Hibiscus protocatechuic acid has an antitumor and antioxidant property. This means zobo drink (also called hibiscus drink) may slow down cancerous cell growth by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death).

4.Boost fertility

Another benefit of the zobo drink is that it can help boost fertility. There are several ways zobo can help boost fertility. When it comes to sperm health, zobo may help improve sperm count and sperm motility. It can also help regulate menstrual flow.

Since there is evidence that zobo might kickstart menstruation, it is best to avoid taking zobo drinks during pregnancy to prevent a miscarriage. It also should not be taken during breastfeeding to be on the safer side.

Another zobo benefit includes providing relief from pain and cramps experienced during menstruation. Some researchers also suggest that zobo may help restore hormonal balance, reducing some menstruation symptoms like mood swings and overeating.

5.Weight loss

Weight loss is another possible zobo benefit. Zobo may reduce the accumulation of lipid in the body. According to a study in the Molecules journal, the hibiscus, which is the flower for making zobo drink, may reduce lipid accumulation and lower the formation of fatty tissues in the body.

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These two effects show that zobo may benefit weight loss, especially when combined with lifestyle changes, exercising and healthy dieting.

6.Liver protection

Zobo has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are natural molecules that fight harmful free radicals in the body, thus preventing cell damages. One example of an antioxidant contained in Hibiscus is flavonoids. Another zobo benefit is to protect cells and organs of the body using the antioxidants it contains.

A study in the BMC Complementary Medicines and Therapies suggests that the flavonoids and other antioxidants contained in zobo drink (or hibiscus tea) may help treat liver diseases.

7.Antidepressant agent

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is a common global illness, with about 3.8% of the population affected. Medications like tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have been effective for treating this condition. The good news is that plants like Hibiscus sabdariffa can help treat depression.

A study by CNPc and CAPES in Brazil supports this zobo benefit. The study shows that consumption of zobo drinks may help calm the nervous system, reducing anxiety and depression.


Hibiscus sabdariffa or its product (zobo drink) must not be taken in place of medication. It should be consumed in moderation. Also, if you are on medication, it would be better to stay off zobo to avoid drug interaction.