Zobo drink is made from the dried calyxes (sepal) of the hibiscus plant flower. Zobo leaves are also called sorrel, flor de Jamaica and rose mallow; although the drink is known by different names all over the world, the plant is native to West Africa. It also has a unique taste that makes it pleasurable to all classes of people.
In Nigeria and Senegal for instance, Zobo drink is served cold, while in Egypt, the drink is served warm. The hibiscus plant flower can also be used in making wine, juice, tea and spices. It can also be used in preparing raw salad. Serve chilled with snacks.
Zobo drink contains about 15 to 30 percent organic acids like citric acid, maleic acid, and tartaric acid, and also contains acidic polysaccharides and flavonoid glycosides, such as cyanidin and delphinine and is known to have been used in treating several health problems such as high blood pressure, loss of appetite, liver diseases and fever among others.
The drink is popularly known as a natural diuretic and has been used traditionally as a mild medicine. Dieters and people with kidney problems often take it without adding sugar because of its beneficial properties.
Below are some of the benefits you get by taking zobo drink
The body produces an enzyme known as amylase which functions to break down complex sugar and starch molecules in food. When a person consumes too much carbohydrate-rich food (full of sugar and starch) that individual is most likely going to gain weight. According to pubmed.gov, hibiscus contains a substance that can inhibit the production of amylase, thus a person who regularly drinks hibiscus tea can prevent too much absorption of carbohydrates and consequently not gain excess weight.
Cough and Colds
According to the book “Healing Herbal Teas,” fresh hibiscus flowers contain around 6.7 mg of ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, which is one of the more essential nutrients needed by the body. Along with this significantly beneficial substance, hibiscus is known to have anti-inflammatory and mild anti-bacterial properties. Thus hibiscus tea is often used as a supplement to help treat coughs and colds. Because of its cooling effect, it is especially effective in reducing the discomfort of fevers that may accompany such ailments.
High Blood Pressure
A research carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2008 proved that consuming hibiscus tea or zobo drink lowered blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. According to The Journal of Ethnopharmacology, which was published May 2008, hibiscus tea improved the kidney’s ability to filter out waste products – the uric and oxalic acid – which can form kidney stones if they accumulate to excessively high levels.
Hibiscus tea is an antioxidant. It has properties that prevents the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins; a substance in our blood that if increased beyond normal quantities may cause high blood pressure.
Asides containing a significant amount of ascorbic acid, it has been proven that the flower contains the following nutritional substances:
- 1.145 g of protein,
- 2.61 g of fat,
- 12.0 g of fiber,
- 1,263 mg of calcium,
- 273.2 mg of phosphorus,
- 8.98 mg of iron,
- 0.029 mg of carotene,
- 0.117 mg of thiamine,
- 0.277 mg of riboflavin and
- 3.765 mg of niacin
All these makes it an excellent food supplement which can aid in boosting the body’s immune system.
Although the hibiscus drink seems to be safe for most people, research findings show that it is unsafe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it also revealed that the drink has no harmful effect on the liver but when consumed in high doses could be harmful to the kidney.