Zobo drink is produced from dried roselle or sorrel leaves (Hibiscus Sabdariffa). Here, we look at the various health benefits of Zobo drink as well as some of its side effects.
Hibiscus Sabdariffa, the leaves from which Zobo drink is made, is native to tropical Africa and is quite common in the Tropics. Nigerians love Zobo drink; it is one of the most common and most affordable drinks in the country.
Zobo drink is relatively affordable; you can buy a bottle of zobo drink for as low as N100. This means both the rich and the poor can benefit from the numerous health benefits of Zobo drink.
Zobo drink is tasty, readily available, and comes with a refreshing taste. The bright red drink is used for everyday refreshment and even for outdoor services like a house party.
The origins of Hibiscus Sabdariffa (used to prepare Zobo drink) can be traced back to Sudan. It is worthy to note that the Zobo drink was first used as a medical remedy in ancient Egypt.
Hibiscus water has always been known to increase libido in women; thus, women were forbidden from consuming hibiscus water before the advent of civilization. Perhaps, this should be listed as one of the health benefits of Zobo drink as increasing libido would help women with low libido issues.
Another good thing about the zobo drink is that it is easy to prepare and has a simple recipe. You can also read Clacified's concise article on how to make or prepare a Zobo drink.
Health Benefits of Zobo Drink
The health benefits of zobo drink cannot be overlooked. Zobo drink has been proven to contain various nutrients, making it fit for almost everyone, including pregnant women.
Zobo drink has been known to prevent leukaemia (a type of cancer), decrease blood pressure etc.
Decrease in Blood Pressure
One of the health benefits of zobo drink is that is it can stabilize blood pressure. Several studies suggest that Zobo drink reduces blood pressure very effectively, even in people with health problems that increase their high blood pressure risk.
Prevention of Oxidative Stress
Zobo drink is full of antioxidants that fight against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This is due to the anthocyanins found in the plant, the natural pigments that give the flower its red colour.
The oxidative effect of Zobo drink helps in the prevention of certain cancerous diseases like Leukaemia.
Prevention of kidney stones
Since Zobo drink is a diuretic, it is studied in connection with the renal system and the urinary system. One study found that this infusion would reduce the occurrence of compounds involved in the formation of kidney stones.
Harmful/Side effects of Zobo drink
As stated earlier, Zobo drink has proven to bear many health benefits, but the chemical composition of zobo drink has also made it harmful when abused.
Zobo drink has some harmful side effects, as listed below. The Harmful side-effects of zobo drink take effect when Zobo drink is abused recreationally.
Please note the harmful effects of the Zobo drink below:
Interacts with Estrogen
Zobo drink contains phytoestrogen, plant-based compounds that are similar to human estrogen. Phytoestrogen is known to interact with estrogen (a major female hormone). Zobo drink will disrupt the effectiveness of estrogen-based birth control.
Interacts With Medications
Because zobo drink is a herb, it can interact with medications, thereby leading to additional risks. The most concerning is interaction with acetaminophen (Paracetamol - you can read about Paracetamol abuse here).
There haven’t been enough studies to describe the risks yet fully, but we know that both are processed in your liver. So there are concerns that it could be very toxic.
Probably best to stay away from mixing Paracetamol and Zobo drink for now.
And as stated earlier, Zobo drink lowers blood pressure; thus, don’t take zobo drink if you’re on medication for blood pressure or blood sugar. The combination of both can lower either one too much.
Effect of Zobo drink on Pregnant Women
Another known side effect of Zobo drink is the potential to cause miscarriage in pregnant women. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid zobo drink.
Estrogen is one of the hormones that induce menstruation in women; as stated earlier, zobo drink affects and interacts with estrogen when abused.
There is some evidence that zobo drink could cause a pregnant woman’s period to return, which could lead to miscarriage. Its safety during breastfeeding is unknown, and therefore it is best to avoid it.