Health Benefits of Zobo and Side Effects

Zobo also referred to as hibiscus tea, karkade, sour tea or sorrel, is a popular homemade drink in Nigerian homes because of health benefits of zobo, and can also be made for commercial uses. It can also be found in many other parts of the world, including Ghana, Egypt, Sudan, and the Caribbean. It is made from the dried calyces of the hibiscus flower and can be served hot or cold.

The drink is refreshing and delicious, with so many health benefits. Because it is consumed by many people across the country, However, it is essential to understand its side effects. In this post, we will discuss the health benefits and side effects of zobo drink.

How to Prepare Zobo drink

Just as we all know, zobo is made from the dried calyx of the hibiscus plant, which is known as “zobo” in Nigeria.
Here are the steps to make zobo drink:


  • 1 cup of dried hibiscus flowers (zobo)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup of sugar (or to taste)
  • Juice of 2-3 limes (optional)



  • Rinse the dried hibiscus flowers thoroughly in water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • In a large pot, add the hibiscus flowers, water, cinnamon stick, and sliced ginger. Boil it, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the hibiscus flowers, cinnamon stick, and ginger.
  • Add sugar to taste and stir until it dissolves. You can adjust the amount of sugar depending on your preference.
  • If you like, you can add lime juice to the zobo drink for extra flavor.
  • Stir well.
  • Allow the zobo drink to cool completely, then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to chill.
  • Serve the zobo drink and enjoy!
  • Note: You can also add other ingredients to your zobo drink, such as pineapple, orange, or mint leaves, depending on your preference. Also, if you like your zobo drink a bit fizzy, you can add a bit of soda water or sparkling water just before serving.

Health Benefits of Zobo Drink

Rich in Antioxidants

Zobo is a good source of antioxidants, that help prevent cells from damage caused by free radicals are n the body. Antioxidants help reduce the risk of cancer.

Blood Pressure Regulation

According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, zobo has proven to lower blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. In the study, they found that drinking hibiscus tea for six weeks lowered blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Improves Liver Health

The drink is also beneficial to the liver. Zobo tea can reduce liver damage caused by toxins and improve liver function.

Helps with Weight Loss

If you are considering options on how to lose weight, zobo tea is working and cheap option to consider. This is because it contains compounds that inhibit the production of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. This inhibition leads to a decrease in the absorption of carbohydrates, which helps with weight loss.

Boosts Immune System

Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, that is essential in boosting the immune system. Vitamin C helps protect the body against infections and diseases.

Side Effects of Zobo Drink

Lowers Blood Pressure

While karkade can help lower blood pressure, it can also cause hypotension, which is low blood pressure. This can lead to dizziness, light headache and fainting.

Interacts with Medications

Zobo can interact with certain medications such as diuretics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antihypertensive drugs in the human systems. If you are on any medication, it is best you consult a health professional before drinking zobo especially in high quantity.

May Cause Allergic Reactions

Some people may be allergic to hibiscus tea. And this allergic reactions can range from mild to severe, may also include symptoms such as itching, hives, and difficulty breathing.

May Cause Stomach Upset

Drinking large amount of zobo drink can lead to stomach upset in some people, including bloating, gas, and diarrhea.


Zobo has numerous health benefits as listed above, some believes zobo can be used as an emergency contraception. However, it is important to understand the potential side effects that come with drinking zobo also. Like any other drink, moderation is key.

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