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hibiscus tea in a glass cup

What is the benefit of drinking hibiscus tea?

Health benefits of Zobo drink

Zobo drink or Hibiscus tea like it is fondly called by our western counterparts is a drink or tea gotten from zobo leaf. This drink is popular amongst people of different races, and the health benefits of the zobo drink are just too good.

Another great quality we thought to include is, there are various species of the hibiscus plant that can be found in the world. The species vary from one part to another depending on various factors such as weather condition, soil PH, topography, and other factors. Roselle is the common species of the hibiscus plant that is used in Nigeria to make the famous Zobo drink. 

A list of other hibiscus leaf species includes; hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, H. moscheutos, H. syriacus, H. coccineaus, H.brackenridgei, H. arnottianus.

There are several ways to make Hibiscus tea, and these methods also vary from one culture to another. This fact doesn’t stop the whole world from sharing a similar method too. This simple method of making Hibiscus tea involves steeping the dried hibiscus/zobo leaves in boiling water. The hibiscus tea can either be taken while it is hot or you can choose to store it in your fridge if you like it cold.

The drink gotten from steeping zobo leaves in water is usually sour and the taste can be likened to the taste of cranberry juice. For this reason, there are other ways to make hibiscus tea with an improved taste.

One of such methods is the way it is made in the Caribbean. The Caribbean usually adds ginger, sugar, and rum to improve the taste of their hibiscus drink. They call this type of hibiscus drink sorrel. 

The health benefits of hibiscus tea or Zobo drink is an important part of this article that we have to take a good look at. From managing high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and protecting the liver, to relieving menstrual cramps and acting as an antidepressant, hibiscus tea has a huge role to play in our health.

7 health benefits of zobo drink (Hibiscus tea)

  1. Zobo leaf drink may relieve menstrual pain

There have been reports that zobo leaf drink helps in relieving menstrual pain. This health benefit of the hibiscus tea is made possible because zobo drink helps in balancing the hormones that are responsible for mood swings, depression, and overeating during your menstrual cycle. 

2. Zobo drink may manage high blood pressure

Drinking zobo drink may lower the blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. 

Several studies have been carried out on zobo leaves but of particular interest is the study in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research. This study reports that hibiscus or zobo leaves contain antihypertensive and cardioprotective properties, which may be of benefits to people suffering from hypertension, and those at high risks of cardiovascular diseases.

3. Hibiscus tea may lower cholesterol

Zobo drink also contains hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties which are responsible for regulating blood sugar disorders like diabetes.

 Another key research in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reports that zobo drink helps to lower the levels of (bad) LDL cholesterol in the body, thereby helping to protect against heart diseases and protecting blood vessels from damage. 

4. Zobo drink may protect the liver

According to the BMC Complementary Medicines and Therapies journal, hibiscus tea also contains antioxidant properties. A major antioxidant present in zobo drink is flavonoids which assist in treating liver diseases. Another function of antioxidants is their ability to neutralize free radicals present in body tissues and cells. 

The anti-cancerous properties of the Hibiscus tea help to protect your body from diseases capable of breaking down your cells and their functions. 

According to research in the Cancer Letters journal, hibiscus tea contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid which has antitumor and antioxidant properties. Hibiscus may slow down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.

5. Hibiscus tea is an anti-inflammatory & antibacterial agent

Another beneficial nutrient that can be found in Zobo drink is ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. This is an essential nutrient required by your body to fight off foreign material through the activities of the immune system. 

6. Zobo leaf drink may be an antidepressant agent

Hibiscus tea contains many vitamins and minerals, while it’s the presence of flavonoids which have been found to have antidepressant properties, by a study supported by CNPq and CAPES in Brazil. Consumption of hibiscus tea may help calm down the nervous system, and it may reduce anxiety and depression by relaxing the mind and body.

7. Zobo drink may promote weight loss

A study in the Molecules Journal has shown that the consumption of hibiscus tea helps in the reduction of fat accumulation in the body. In order words, the hibiscus tea prevents the development of fat tissue in the body. Both of these benefits suggest that hibiscus tea may be a useful aid for weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Hibiscus tea benefits for hair

The benefits of hibiscus tea aren’t just health-related. Hibiscus tea also helps in the prevention of hair loss by strengthening your hair.

In Ayurveda, hibiscus tea benefits have been explored and it has been established that it helps in hair growth. The presence of vitamin c in zobo leaf helps in the production of collagen, which is an essential component in hair growth.

Other benefits of hibiscus tea to our hair includes; 

The presence of amino acids in hibiscus tea helps in conditioning our hair giving us thick, healthy, and shiny hair.

The consumption of hibiscus tea also helps in treating dandruff by reducing the secretion of oil by our glands.

Lastly, the antioxidants and vitamins present in hibiscus tea control premature hair greying. These essential elements stimulate the production of melanin which is responsible for giving hair its black color.

Hibiscus tea skin benefits

Hibiscus tea benefits skin in many ways than we can mention but still, we are going to look at how our skin can benefit from the amazing zobo drink gotten from zobo leaves.

Hibiscus tea has hydrating properties which in turn helps people with really dry, itchy, and flaky skin. Drinking zobo drink is a nice way to increase water consumption, which serves a good purpose to the skin. Anthocyanin is the element that gives hibiscus tea its red color. This element is responsible for strengthening the walls of the blood vessels which in turn helps in the proper transfer of nutrients to your skin.

Lastly, drinking hibiscus tea helps in cleansing the toxins that are capable of causing aging fast in the body. The removal of these toxins prevents rapid aging which makes our skin looks and feel healthy.

How to make Zobo drink (hibiscus tea)

Now that you know the benefits that you get from drinking Zobo drink (hibiscus tea) I am going to show you how to make this amazing and delicious drink.
Zobo drink was initially popular amongst the Northern people in Nigeria, but as the years went by, more and more people in the western part of Nigeria were introduced to this drink. In this section, I am going to show you how to make this drink just like the Hausa people of Nigeria.
Wondering why I am going to show you how the Hausa people make Zobo drink? Their method is sweet with a nice kick from a secret ingredient that they add to their recipe.
Without further delay let’s dive into the how-to-make Zobo drink recipe.

Zobo recipe

Ingredients include;

  • Hibiscus leaves (Zobo leaves)
  • Water
  • Ginger
  • Sugar
  • Cloves (Ganapari like it is called in Hausa)
  • Pineapple flavor
  • Sieve with a tiny outlet (you can use clean chiffon cloth)
  • Instructions

Place your Zobo leaves inside a pot and add water till you get your desired quantity. You have to look at the look so you don’t have a watery consistency. The consistency of the Zobo should be dark red.

Place the pot on the fire. Ground your ginger and your clove together using a mortal or any milling option available. Ensure you get a smooth mixture.

Add the milled mixture to the Zobo on the fire and bring to a boil. This should take between 20 to 30 minutes.

Place your sieve inside another clean pot and pour the boiled Zobo inside to drain the Zobo drink from the Zobo leaves.

Add your sugar and pineapple flavor to suit your taste.

Pour your Zobo drink into containers and place them in the fridge.

You can now enjoy your chilled Zobo drink at any time.

How to make Zobo with dates?

A lot of health-conscious individuals are beginning to cut sugar off their drink, only to introduce healthy options like dates.
Dates are better alternatives to sugar and you can still take them even on a diet.
To make Zobo drink with dates, you are going to substitute sugar for dates. Grind the dates with a blender and add to your Zobo drink.

How to make Zobo drink with watermelon

Making Zobo drink with watermelon is one way to make the already appealing drink more appealing.

After making your Zobo drink using the instruction above or another method you prefer, cut up your watermelon into cubes (or desired shape) and add to your drink.

This is another way to add fruits to your diet.


Avoid abusing the benefits of the hibiscus tea drinking about 1 to 2 cups weekly. Consuming more than 2 cups in a week can lead to dizziness and fatigue. Also, remember to always consult with your doctor about any medical concerns, conditions, and supplements that you may be taking. Always take the advice of a medical professional on how to proceed with your treatment.