Health Benefits of Zobo drink and side effects

Health Benefits of Zobo drink
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By Franklin Izuchukwu

Zobo drink is produced from dried roselle or sorrel leaves (Hibiscus Sabdariffa). The bright red drink is used for everyday refreshment and even for outdoor services like a house party.

Zobo drink is relatively affordable; you can buy a zobo drink for as low as N100. Zobo drink is tasty, readily available, and comes with a refreshing taste.  

Zobo drink is recognised in almost every part of Nigeria but commonly found in Nigeria's southeastern part.

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.

You can also read Clacified's concise article on how to make or prepare a Zobo drink.

Zobo drink is produced from dried roselle or sorrel leaves (Hibiscus Sabdariffa).

Health Benefits of Zobo Drink

Zobo drink has been proven to contain various nutrients, making it fit for some of the benefits listed below. Zobo drink has been known to prevent leukaemia (a type of cancer), decrease blood pressure etc.

Decrease in 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.

Zobo Drink is increasingly being studied about its effects on cancer

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.

There is some evidence that zobo drink could cause a pregnant woman’s period to return.

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.

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