By Gurama A. Gurama . Phd

It can be used as food, drink and medication. For some, it is simply a nutritious drink with natural vitamins which revitalizes the body. Hibiscus, Sabdarrifa or Roselle as it’s known in the Northern Nigeria, it’s a plant grown in the tropics.

Virtually all the parts of the plant can be used for food, drink and medication. The fleshy red leaves are used to make drinks and soup called ‘Miyar taushe’ in the North.

The leaves contain antioxidants and are caffeine free. Zobo is used in medicine for the prevention of bladder infections and constipation. It is also used to reduce high blood pressure and hypertension.

The leaves can be dried, crushed and packed for future use. It can also be spiced with honey, pineapple or ginger to give a sweet taste and flavor.

Zobo can be used for juice, jam, jelly and more, of recent, it has been used in Pharmaceutical laboratories to produce antibiotics, drugs and other chemicals.

And The Reasons Why Zobo Is A Multi-purpose drink is as follows

Hibiscus also known as Zobo drink in Nigeria is ruby red in colour and has a sour taste. Therefore, it is also known as sour tea and has a flavour similar to cranberry.

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The health benefits include its ability to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, disturbed the digestive and immune system, and inflammatory problems as well.

It helps cure liver diseases and reduces the risk of cancer. It can also speed up the metabolism and help in healthy, gradual weight loss. It is rich in vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants and helps in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety.

The benefits of Hibiscus includes:

1. Manages Blood Pressure
Consuming zobo lowers the blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. A study conducted by Dr. Shu’aibu Isa from Gombe state University suggests that it has antihypertensive and cardioprotective properties, which can be beneficial for people suffering from hypertension and those at high risks of cardiovascular diseases.

2. Lowers Cholesterol
It helps to lower the levels of (bad) LDL cholesterol from the body, thereby helping to protect against heart diseases and protecting blood vessels from damage. The hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties of Zobo can be beneficial for those who suffer from blood sugar disorders like diabetes and what have you.

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3. Protects Liver
Research studies have also suggested that the antioxidant properties of Zobo also helps in treating liver diseases.

Antioxidants help protect your body from diseases because they neutralize the free radicals present in body tissues and cells. Zobo could increase your lifespan by maintaining good overall health as said by the CEO Biraj Zobo drink Gombe, Dr. Hanifa AJ.

4. Contains Anti-cancer Properties
Zobo contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid which has anti-tumour and antioxidant properties. Hibiscus slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death as described in ‘Science Of Food By Gurama’.

5. Anti-inflammatory & Antibacterial Agent
It is rich in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, an essential nutrient required by your body to boost and stimulate the activity of the immune system. It is also used to treat discomfort caused by fever, due to its cooling effect as said by Dr. Yusha’u is his boo titled ‘Basic Microbiology’.

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6. Relieves Menstrual Pain
The health benefits of hibiscus include relief from cramps and menstrual pain. It helps in restoring hormonal balance as well, which can reduce the symptoms of menstruation like mood swings, depression, and overeating as explained by ‘Dr. Gombalandi’.
7. Antidepressant Agent
Hibiscus contains vitamins and minerals like flavonoids which have antidepressant properties. Consumption of hibiscus can help calm down the nervous system, and it may reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body as said by Jabir Hamza Adam.

Gurama is a Bachelor of Science, Master of Food and a Fellow of Doctoral Degree in Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology writing from Faculty of Pharmacy, Gombe State University…

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