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9 Health Benefits of Zobo Drinks without Sugar

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health benefits of zobo drinks
health benefits of zobo drinks

Zobo, also known as hibiscus tea, is a widely recognized beverage in Nigeria. Beyond its thirst-quenching quality, Zobo offers several benefits, even without additional ingredients. In this article, we explore the health benefits of Zobo drinks without sugar.

Key Facts:

  • Zobo drinks (especially when made with natural sweeteners) have more advantages than just filling your stomach or satisfying your taste buds.
  • Zobo drinks enhance weight loss.
  • It can relieve menstrual discomfort, offering a natural solution for women dealing with cramps during their period.
  • For men with low sperm count, Zobo drinks can help boost sperm health and improve fertility.
  • It can also support liver function.
  • The properties in Zobo drinks may help regulate cholesterol levels.
health benefits of zobo drinks without sugar
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Origin of Zobo Drink

Zobo (Hibiscus Sabdariffa), originating from Sudan, was historically used as a medical remedy in ancient Egypt. This plant is native to tropical Africa and commonly found in tropical regions. In Nigeria, Zobo is beloved as a widely enjoyed and easy-to-make beverage. 

The drink’s long history is intertwined with the customs of West African communities. Zobo also finds popularity in other cultures, known as “Sorrel” in the Caribbean, “Karkade” in Sudan, and “Aguas Frescas” in Mexico. 

However, in Nigeria, it’s popularly referred to as the ‘Zobo’. Enjoyed by families across the country, it holds a special place in the hearts of Nigerians. Zobo remains one of the country’s most popular and easy-to-make drinks, especially in the Northern region of Nigeria. 

Detailed in this piece are amazing health benefits of Zobo drinks that may surprise you.  

Nutritional Components of Zobo Drink.

health benefits of zobo drinks without sugar
Credit: Canva

Zobo drinks provide essential nutrients: vitamin C for the immune system, minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium) for bone health, dietary fiber for digestion, antioxidants for cell protection, and phytochemicals for overall well-being. 

Additionally, Zobo is low in calories when it is made without processed sugar.

9 Amazing health benefits of Zobo drinks without sugar

Many people think of Zobo as a regular drink for satisfaction, but it has more advantages than just filling your stomach. Here are some health benefits of Zobo drinks you should know:

1. Boost Sperm Health

Zobo could enhance sperm count and motility. According to WHO, 1 in 6 adults globally, totaling around 17.5% of the adult population, face infertility. 

Surprisingly, a lot of men have fertility challenges too, with statistics indicating that around 40–50% of infertility cases are attributed to issues related to the male partner. Approximately 10-15% of men facing infertility have a shortage of sperm.

Drinking Zobo becomes beneficial in improving sperm health, especially when combined with ginger and consumed regularly.

2.  Supports Menstrual Regularity and Relieves Menstrual Pain

One of the health benefits of Zobo drinks without sugar is that they relieve menstrual discomfort, offering a natural solution for women dealing with cramps during their period. 

However, it’s crucial to note that, unlike the benefits of Zobo drinks in men, Zobo may not be as favorable for women’s fertility. In women, it has the potential to reduce estrogen production, possibly leading to miscarriage or premature labor during pregnancy.


3. Enhances Weight Loss

Weight loss is another potential benefit of the Zobo drink. It may decrease lipid accumulation in the body, as suggested by a study in the Molecules journal. It could lower the formation of fatty tissues, contributing to weight management.

Zobo also contributes to weight loss by slowing the absorption of sugars and starches, aiding in the weight loss process. Additionally, it reduces the production of amylase, which absorbs starch and carbohydrates.

4. Supports Liver Function 

Zobo supports liver function by reducing damage, preventing fatty liver, and enhancing detoxifying enzymes. Its antioxidants, like flavonoids, protect cells from free radicals. 

Studies suggest that the antioxidants contained in Zobo can treat liver diseases by neutralizing free radicals, contributing to overall health and potentially increasing lifespan.

5. Prevents Cancer

One of the health benefits of Zobo drinks without sugar is that it can fight cancer. Zobo drink, or hibiscus tea, has anti-cancer properties.  Recent studies reveal that the protocatechuic acid in hibiscus tea (Zobo) has antitumor and antioxidant effects, slowing the growth of cancer cells.

Like other foods rich in antioxidants, Zobo strengthens the immune system, helping combat free radicals and reducing the risk of cancer.

6. Serves as Antidepressant

Depression is a common global problem, impacting about 3.8% of the population, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). While tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have been successful in treating this condition, the encouraging news is that plants like Hibiscus sabdariffa (Zobo leaves) can contribute to depression treatment.

Research, supported by CNPq and CAPES in Brazil, also indicates that Zobo drink may serve as a natural antidepressant. This suggests that regularly consuming Zobo drinks could have a calming effect on the nervous system, potentially reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.

7. Reduces Cholesterol 

Zobo drinks may reduce (bad) LDL cholesterol levels in the body. One benefit of Zobo drink is that it protects against heart diseases and prevents damage to blood vessels. The properties of Zobo drinks that regulate lipid and glucose levels may be advantageous for individuals dealing with blood sugar disorders such as diabetes.

8. Manage Blood Pressure

Zobo has been shown to effectively manage high blood pressure, particularly in individuals with mild hypertension and prehypertension. 

The enzyme inhibitors present in Zobo leaves play a role in reducing the production of amylase—an enzyme linked to the breakdown of starches and complex sugars. 

9. Boosts Appetite

Zobo aids digestion and boosts appetite with its antibacterial properties. Packed with nutrients like calcium, riboflavin, iron, niacin, thiamine, and fiber, Zobo works to repair your digestive system and revitalize your appetite.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Health Benefits of Zobo Drinks without sugar

1. How long does Zobo drink last?

Zobo drinks have a short shelf life. Making a large batch may be convenient, but without proper preservation, it will spoil in just a few days.

2. Is Zobo Drink expensive?

No, it is one of the cheapest drinks in Nigeria. You can get it for as low as 100 Naira only (depending on the quality of ingredients).

3. Is Zobo drink good for the brain?

Yes, Zobo drinks are beneficial for the brain. The presence of niacin or vitamin B3 in Zobo leaves promotes brain health, addressing issues and mood disorders like depression.

4. Is Zobo drink good for hormonal imbalance?

Yes, one of the benefits of the Zobo drink is that it contributes to regulating hormone levels in the body, which is good for those experiencing irregular menstrual cycles due to hormone imbalances during menopause.

5. Is Zobo Good For Diabetes?

Zobo drink has been indicated by various studies as potentially beneficial for individuals with type II diabetes and other blood sugar-related disorders, due to its hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties. 


Zobo drink, or hibiscus tea, stands out as more than just a beloved beverage in Nigeria. Beyond its refreshing taste, the health benefits of Zobo drinks are numerous.

Among these benefits are: potential improvements in fertility, relieving menstrual pain, supporting weight loss, and even demonstrating anticancer and antidepressant properties. Zobo also proves to be a versatile and health-conscious choice for people seeking to stick to a health diet. 

Remember, these findings highlight the positive aspects of Zobo drink, but as with any health-related information, it’s advisable to consult with a doctor for personalized advice and recommendation if you feel Zobo may not be suitable for you. 

So, whether you enjoy it for its taste or the potential health benefits of Zobo drinks, it continues to hold a special place in the hearts and cups of many. 


Hopkins AL, sabdariffa L. in the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia: a comprehensive review of animal and human studies. Fitoterapia. 

Hritcu L, Ionita R,et al.(2017)Antidepressant flavonoids and their relationship with oxidative stress. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 

Adeyemi, David O et al. (2014). Anti-hepatotoxic activities of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in animal model of streptozotocin diabetes-induced liver damage.

Ojulari OV, Lee SG, Beneficial effects of natural bioactive compounds from hibiscus sabdariffa l. On obesity. Molecules. 

WHO.1 in 6 people globally affected by infertility

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Anita Mgbakor

Anita Mgbakor is a healthcare professional and freelance health writer. She loves to write on health, wellness, and lifestyle. She strives to make valuable information accessible and easy to understand, promoting a healthier and happier life for her readers.

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