The Amazing Benefits of Zobo Drink Recipe & its Side Effects

A few years ago when I was still tender, my mother prepared a zobo drink recipe for us on Christmas Eve.

We rejected the sorrel because we knew nothing about the Jamaica juice.

As I grew older, I went into research where I discovered all the health benefits of zobo drinks, their side effects, and reasons to avoid it while pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

health benefits of zobo drink recipe

The hibiscus tea, popularly known in Nigeria as a zobo drink, is a healthy beverage with international recognition.

The tea is consumed nationwide which makes it attract different names like sorrel, karkade, Jamaica tea, gumamela, roselle drink, and many other names. It is produced from dried hibiscus leaves (Hibiscus). The juice is easy to prepare coupled with its many health benefits.

 Nutritional Values of Roselle Leaves

  • Carbohydrate-10.00 g
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium – 213.00 mg
  • Ascorbic Acid –  6.70 mg
  • Protein –  3.30g
  • Iron-   4.80 mg
  • Niacin- 3.77 mg
  • Riboflavin-  0.28 mg
  • Fibre- 10.00%
  • Fat –  0.30g
  • Thiamine-  0.2 mg
  • Carotene-  4135 μg
  • Energy –  43 kcal
  • Ash –  1.00 g
  • Phosphorous –  93.00 mg
  • Anthocyanins. (2)

Health benefits of Zobo drink

  • It aids in weight loss
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Prevent premature ageing because of anthocyanins and vitamin C from it
  • Boost liver performance
  • Helps fight colds and infections due to its antibacterial property
  • Essential for reducing bad cholesterol levels because of anthocyanins in it
  • It lowers body temperature
  • It helps to reduce menstrual pain.
  • Extracts from Rosella are used to treat leukaemia, liver damage,
    hypertension and pyrexia because of its high content of protocatechuic acid
  • The extracts from calyces help to reduce the deposit of calcium oxalate crystal on the kidney, because of its uricosuric effect with no negative side effects.
  •  It shows strong anticancer properties against prostate cancer cells.
  • The boiled leaves of zobo help to heal cracks in the feet and speed
    up the maturation of ulcers. (3)
Zobo drink and weight loss

Hibiscus juice is a recipe that most weight watchers never know can help them lose kilos of weight with less stress. This is because of the high fibre content which helps to ease digestion, it also inhibits the production of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down complex starch into a smaller absorbable form.

This act of preventing the production of amylase means that less energy/ fats are absorbed into the body, leading to weight loss.

Zobo drink and diabetes

Roselle extracts have been reported to have antidiabetic properties. This is in line with a publication in the African Journal of Pharmacology and Physiotherapy on the effects of hibiscus extracts on a diabetic rat.
The report showed that zobo extract lowered the level of thiobarbituric acid and subsequently increased the level packed cell volume when compared with the diabetic control group.

Zobo drink and fertility

Zobo drink is beneficial to man’s health, it improves their sperm quality.

However, the opposite is the case for women’s fertility. Zobo recipes reduce the oestrogen levels in their body, preventing ovulation. This can cause infertility.

Zobo drink and menstruation

For ladies who experience irregular monthly bleeding, drinking hibiscus tea can help correct the defect. Zobo juice stimulates the normal menstrual flow, correcting all the defects and also reducing menstrual pains. However, women taking birth control pills should always abstain from this recipe because of its effects.

Side effects of drinking hibiscus tea

Even though there were so many benefits of zobo drink on humans, it still has some side effects especially on women that are still bearing children. It also has a negative effect on those with low blood pressure as it further lowers their BP.

Zobo drink and pregnancy

Studies have shown that zobo drink interferes with the level of estrogen in the body. It also stimulates menstrual flow, which can lead to miscarriage in early pregnancy or premature birth in late pregnancies.

It is always advisable for pregnant mums to avoid regular intake of the juice to help guard their unborn child.

Zobo drink, and breastfeeding mothers

The effects of Zobo drinks on breastfeeding mothers have not been fully investigated. However, some research showed that frequent intake of zobo during lactation prevents maternal food and fluid intake.

How to prepare a Zobo drink recipe

It is very easy to prepare your own hibiscus tea at home. All you need are the following items:


  • Dried hibiscus leaves
  • Water
  • Spices like cinnamon, ginger, etc
  • Fruits like pineapple, orange, lemon, etc
  • Sugar (optional)


  • Wash the roselle leaves with clean water
  • Put it inside, add water and boil it for about 15 minutes.
  • Add your sliced fruits and spices
  • Boil it for an additional 20 minutes
  • Remove it from the fire and sieve off the chaffs
  • Your zobo drink is ready.


Having seen all the health benefits and side effects of taking hibiscus drinks, also known as zobo, it is now your choice to plan your diets inline with these tips.

Aspiring mums should also avoid it to boost their chances of becoming pregnant.