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Is Zobo Drink Good for Pregnant Women?

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Is zobo drink good for pregnant women?

Zobo drink is a popular non-alcoholic beverage in Nigeria, made from the dried calyces of the hibiscus flower. It is known for its refreshing taste and numerous health benefits, including its ability to lower blood pressure and improve digestion.

However, there are contradicting opinions when the question, is Zobo drink good for pregnant women? comes up.

Key Points:

  • Some specialists in obstetrics and gynaecology have said that it is not dangerous and can be consumed by pregnant women.
  • Other studies like the one published in the African Journal of Food Science found that Zobo could cause low birth weight in rats; hence making the consumption of Zobo during pregnancy harmful.
  • While Zobo drinks have many health benefits, pregnant women should exercise caution when consuming it.
  • To be on the safe side, pregnant women should not take Zobo to avoid the potential risks it poses to their unborn babies as a result of its acidity.  

Since many pregnant women are unsure whether or not it is safe to take Zobo drinks during pregnancy, It is recommended that pregnant women consult with a doctor before consuming Zobo drinks to determine if it is safe for them to do so. 

In this article, we will explore the safety of Zobo drinks for pregnant women.

is Zobo drink good for a pregnant woman
Credit: The Guardian

5 Health Benefits of Zobo Drink with Ginger

Before we delve into the safety of Zobo drinks for pregnant women, it is important to note that this beverage has many health benefits, especially when ginger is added.

Zobo drink, also known as hibiscus tea, is a popular beverage in many regions of the world especially Nigeria where it is consumed more often and usually used for medicinal purposes.

Zobo drinks are rich in several nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorous, niacin, riboflavin, fibre, fat, thiamine and carotene.

  • A study found that Zobo drink has antihypertensive and cardioprotective properties which may be beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure. Zobo leaves have a rich content of iron which helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Those with low pack cell volume and anaemia can start consuming Zobo drink regularly to boost the levels of iron in their blood.
  • Another study showed evidence that seeds of hibiscus flower increased breast milk production in animal experimental models. A 100g serving size of Zobo drink contains 7.5 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C fortifies the immune system and fights all kinds of diseases and infections.
  • Regular intake of Zobo drinks can balance nutritional fiber deficiencies and prevent malnutrition.
  • Due to its high content of vitamin C, it can fight colds and coughs by resisting inflammation and killing bacteria. It also has a cooling effect that can help reduce high body temperature and relieve fever.
  • Zobo drinks are low in calories except when sugar is added to it. Some studies suggest that Zobo may increase metabolism and lower the absorption of starch and glucose from meals. Zobo leaves extract is found in many weight loss products because it does not cause weight gain. It is also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against damage from free radicals.


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Is Zobo drink good for pregnant women? What the Experts Say:

Can a pregnant woman drink zobo?
Credit: Canva

Zobo drinks during pregnancy are not recommended due to the potential risks it poses to the unborn baby. Studies have shown that drinking Zobo during pregnancy or lactation can lead to low birth weight babies (LBW).

In addition, drinking, Zobo can reduce the amount of breast milk a woman produces, making it unsuitable for breastfeeding mothers.

Despite its potential health benefits, such as treating nausea and fatigue, reducing high blood pressure, and providing antioxidants, pregnant women should avoid taking Zobo due to the potential risks it poses to their unborn babies as a result of its acidity.  

For the safety of their unborn child, women should stay away from foods and drinks that can be harmful.

Pregnant women should however be encouraged to take folic acids. Increased folic acid consumption during pregnancy has been shown to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects, one of the diseases whose prevalence has been successfully minimized through dietary therapies during pregnancy.

Can a Pregnant Woman take Zobo?

Is Zobo good for pregnant people?
Credit: The Guardian

While Zobo drinks have many health benefits, pregnant women should exercise caution when consuming it. This is because some studies have suggested that consuming large amounts of hibiscus tea (the main ingredient in Zobo drink) during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage or premature labour.

However, these studies were conducted on animals, and there is currently no evidence to suggest that consuming moderate amounts of Zobo drink is harmful to pregnant women.

Specialists in obstetrics, gynaecology, and nutrition in Nigeria have disputed research findings that said pregnant women who drink Zobo, or Hibiscus sabdariffa tea, run the risk of miscarriage or early labour.

The doctors disputed assertions that the drink, which has become everyone’s favourite, increased the risk of having babies with low birth weight.

This fact is backed with the results of a research in the University of Nigeria Nsukka which showed increase in birth weight of the rats at birth and exposes the fetus to congenital birth defects

The reactions from this team of gynaecologists came after a group of researchers conducted a study on the safety of Hibiscus sabdariffa tea on female wistar rats and showed that there are enough indications that Zobo drink could be harmful to pregnant women and nursing mothers.

What are the potential risks of consuming Zobo during pregnancy?

Is Zobo good for pregnant women?
Credit: Canva

Zobo drink, also known as hibiscus sabdariffa tea, has been linked to hormonal imbalance that might delay puberty and cause miscarriage in female wistar rats.

Studies conducted on animal models show that administering Zobo drinks in rats caused maternal malnutrition, which delayed the onset of puberty in offspring.

More so, drinking Zobo during pregnancy puts the baby at a higher risk of congenital birth defects or deformities.

The experiments on animal models also suggest that Zobo drink can induce an abortion in pregnant women, miscarriage and uncontrolled bleeding.  Therefore, it is not safe to drink Zobo during pregnancy, especially in the first and second trimesters (1−6 months).

A new research suggests that Zobo drinks can trigger early menstruation and assist women with irregular menstruation to find balance, but they can cause excessive bleeding/miscarriage in pregnant women.

The African Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study which revealed that when pregnant women take Zobo, it increases the risk of them giving birth to babies with low birth weight. Therefore, it is best to Talk to a Certified OB/GYN before taking Zobo in pregnancy.

While some specialists have rejected findings from studies that claimed that pregnant women who consume hibiscus sabdariffa drink stand the risk of having a miscarriage or premature labour, others warn that Zobo drink should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation because there are warning signs about its safety for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Nevertheless, it is advisable for pregnant women to avoid consumption of Zobo drinks or at least take it with caution during pregnancy.

How Much Zobo Drink is Safe for a Pregnant Woman?

If you are pregnant and asking yourself, is zobo drink good for pregnant women? Check with a licensed doctor first. Zobo drinks are known to be rich in vitamin C, which aids the immune system in a healthy person.

However, pregnant women have a specific amount of vitamin C that is safe to consume per day to avoid an overdose.

Sufficient dosage of this vitamin is already provided in the antenatal vitamins given to pregnant mothers during antenatal visits. So, it may not be necessary for pregnant women to take Zobo drinks alongside the prescribed vitamin dosage .

The American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to no more than 200 milligrams per day.

Since Zobo drinks do not contain caffeine, it is generally considered safe to consume in moderation. However, it is important to speak with your doctor before adding any new foods or beverages to your diet during pregnancy.

Which drink is good for a pregnant woman?

When pregnant, it is important to consume healthy drinks that provide essential nutrients for both the mother and the baby.

Better alternative drinks recommended for pregnant women include fresh fruit juices and smoothies made from beetroot, apple, cucumber, carrots, and dark green leafy veggies.

What can you not drink when you’re pregnant?

Other drinks that should be avoided during pregnancy include:

  • Alcohol including herbal and cereal-based alcoholic drinks like burukutu and Ògógóró, palm wine, etc
  • Soda and carbonated drinks
  • Agbo jedi jedi (herbal concoctions) and green teas
  • Coffee including Nestlé’s Nescafé.

These drinks can harm the baby unknowingly or cause miscarriage/abortion. It is important to prioritize what will be good for the health of both the mother and the baby than what one enjoys eating or drinking during pregnancy


In conclusion, even though Zobo drinks have many health advantages, it is not worth endangering the health of your unborn child.

Instead, try other alternatives like Kunu, a healthy beverage made from guinea corn, millet, tiger nuts, and a small amount of sweet potatoes. For nursing moms in particular, Kunu is said to increase milk production. 

While there is some evidence to suggest that consuming large amounts of Zobo drink may be harmful during pregnancy, there is currently no evidence to suggest that moderate consumption of Zobo drink is unsafe.

As with any food or beverage during pregnancy, it is important to speak with a doctor before adding it to your diet.

How telemedicine can help pregnant women

Telemedicine gives pregnant women access to medical professionals services and facilities without stepping out of their space. As most expecting mothers are considered to be in a state that can be referred to as immunosuppressed and thus more susceptible to infections, telemedicine is a way to get medical advice that you will need throughout your pregnancy journey.

Just from the comfort of your home, through information and communication technology, your conditions are diagnosed, treated, and followed on without having to inconvenience yourself that much. Drinking too much Zobo can cause some harm to the baby. If you are pregnant and you notice any side effects from consuming Zobo, do not hesitate to consult a doctor. Telemedicine offers mutual trust between medical professionals and you.

Is Zobo drink good for pregnant women? Get all the advice you need concerning your health and that of your unborn baby.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is hibiscus drink good for pregnancy?

Hibiscus has various health benefits; however, its consumption during pregnancy should be reduced. Hibiscus could be harmful when consumed in large quantities while pregnant; it can reduce your blood pressure and also cause contractions in your uterus.

It will be best to avoid hibiscus or Zobo drinks while pregnant and breast feeding. Zobo drinks can induce your menstruation flow, which could cause the miscarriage of your baby. The effect of Zobo drink on breastfeeding is not well established, and you should limit or avoid it.

2. Which drink is good for a pregnant woman?

There are healthy and nourishing drinks that can give you refreshing effects and provide you with vitamins and minerals. Here are some drinks you can drink as a pregnant woman:

  • Water: water keeps you hydrated all through your pregnancy journey.
  • Fresh fruit juices: a blend of nutritious fresh juices will give you the taste and nutrients you and your baby need.
  • Coconut water: coconut water gives you refreshing effect you could ever sort after.  
  • Teas. Both herbal tea and black tea are good for pregnant women; however, you might avoid green tea due to the caffeine content, which is not good for your baby.
  • Smoothies: you can blend yogurt and any fruits of your choice.  
  • Infused water: infused water is water that has flavour or minerals added to it.

3. Does Zobo contain folic acid?

The micronutrients contained in Zobo drink are iron and zinc. However, folic acid, vitamin C, and anthocyanins are also found in boiled turmeric Zobo.

4. What does Zobo do to the body?

Zobo has a lot of health benefits for your body.

Zobo has anti-hypertensive, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties as a result of having abundant flavonoids. These properties can protect your organs from certain diseases, such as cardiovascular and liver disease.

5. What is the English name for the Zobo leaf?

Zobo leaf is called Roselle in English. The scientific name is Hibiscus sabdariffa.

6. Does Zobo drink burn belly fat?

Zobo drink is made from dried hibiscus flower, which is enriched with lots of health benefits like weight loss, better bowel movement, burning belly fat, and heal your gut.

7. Can Zobo cure anemia?

Zobo drink is good for you; continuous consumption of this nutritious drink can help fight against anemia through its ability to help the body make new red blood cells.

8. Is it good to take Zobo every day?

You can drink a healthy amount of Zobo every day because it is enriched with flavonoids that are anti-hypertensive. The ability of Zobo lower your blood pressure does not mean it has not replaced your hypertensive drugs, nor should you drink more than a recommended portion in a day.

9. What is the best way to prepare a Zobo drink?

Zobo drinks can be prepared with the following steps:

  • Clean the hibiscus petal by rinsing it thoroughly under running water. Add them to a pot.
  • Add the hibiscus petals, ginger, clove, black pepper, pineapple peel, and cinnamon.
  • Add water to a pot.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  • Sieve the mixture, add your Zobo drink a a container, and serve it chilled or any other way you want.


Adebayo, F. I., Toohey, M. J., Fogliano, V., & Linnemann, A. R. (2021). Enriching street-vended Zobo (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) drink with turmeric (Cucuma Longa) to increase its health-supporting properties.

Adeyanju, B. (n.d). Zobo drink.

Emokpare, D. (2020). Zobo drink for heart health.

Koru. (2023). Hibiscus tea: Benefits and preparation.

Smith-Garcia, D. (2021). Is Hibiscus safe while you’re pregnant?

Zobo Crush. (2023). Zobo drink and weight loss: Does Zobo drink burn belly fat.

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Chioma Okwara

Chioma Okwara is an Anatomist and a health content writer. She specializes in topics related to public health, mental health and infertility. Chioma is a Volunteer for Whispering Hope Africa Initiative ( WHAiafrica) where she offers her services to helping the poor in the rural areas of the Nigeria.

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