Is Zobo made from hibiscuss flower? 7+ questions on zobo answered Simply

Feel free to Share this on:

Zobo drink originally known as zoborodo is one of the most popular local drinks in Nigeria and west Africa as a whole for centuries. It is made from the roselle flower of the sorrel plant that has the signature color that zobo is known for; a deep pink/purple that sometimes looks almost black.

It is popularly called zobo the short of zoborodo in Nigeria, wonjo in The Gambia and Senegal, sobolo in Ghana, karkade among the northern and eastern Africans etc. this is a testament of its popularity and people continue to modify the original recipe and comeup with new recipes to enjoy this drink

So you might have some questions on zobo, its safety, uses etc. I did some research and I believe I have some answers for you. Lets dive in:

Q: Is zobo made from hibiscus flower? What is hibiscus flower made of? What leaf is Zobo made from?

Zobo is not made from hibiscus flower or a leaf but from the roselle flower which is from the sorrel plant (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) also known as yakuwa in Nigeria. The plant is used to make soups and has a finger like leaf and a slight sour taste.

There is a very popular misconception that the hibiscus flower is zobo but that is not so. Perhaps this happened because the botanical name of the plant is Hibiscus Sabdariffa then, people assumed that it is the hibisucus plant. But it is not.

In short, Zobo is not from the zobo leaf or the hibiscus flower but from the flower of the sorrel plant and the flower is known as sorrel flower. I hope I have cleared that up for you

Q: Is zobo good for a 1 year old baby?

Zobo is very safe for a small child such as a one year old so far it is prepared in a healthy manner. Meaning, it should be without much sugar (preferably use honey for them) which can harm their teeth and its development, artificial chemicals and the like.

If you want to give a small child zobo, then it has to be to be a very natural one so that he/she can enjoy its benefits such as its high vitamin C, only and avoid any danger that there might be.

Q: Is zobo healthy? Is Zobo good for the body?

Zobo is a very healthy drink that is good for our body. It has numerous benefits such as a good source of vitamin C, flavonoids, antioxidants, potassium, calcium, magnesium, useful plant compounds etc.

It is contains low calories and fat making it a very health drink even for those on a weight loss journey. most people can enjoy this drink at any time of the day except for some such as ulcer patients, women with an early pregnancy etc.

If only most of the Nigerian population knew of the numerous health benefits of this drink, I am sure it will become more expensive in the market as it always happen with demand and supply.

If you didn’t know, now you know as they say. The next time you feel the urge to have a drink, leave the sodas and other artificial drinks and select Zobo. Your body will thank you and your health will reward you for your wise choice. 

Q: is zobo good for weight loss?

Zobo contains very low calories that it is almost negligible. It contains about 3 calories per cup and almost no fat content about 1.3%. Even if you add blended fruits, its calories will still be low.

Perhaps the one thing that can add to the calories of the zobo drink are the artificial flavors that are unfortunately often added in the recipes in Nigeria. In that case I cannot tell you how many calories it has. To make it good for you while losing weight, use only little sugar or instead use a natural sweetener like honey and natural fruits for additional flavor.  

Enjoy your drink without any worries.

Q: Is zobo good for ulcer patients?

Zobo is not good for ulcer patients simply because of its high acidity which is one of the main triggers of ulcer symptoms in most people. Some with mild stomach ulcers (such as my sister) can tolerate the acidity of the roselle flowers and they take it without any problems. In those with an advanced ulcer, they should avoid it as much as possible to maintain their health.

It is advised that you use the pink or white zobo flowers and avoid the dark/almost black variety of the roselle flowers because they contain the highest acidity while the others are mostly made of useful minerals such as magnesium, potassium etc.  

Q: Is Zobo good for children?

Zobo is safe for children as young as 6 months because while some are worried about the acidity of the drink, they should remember that there are other compounds in the roselle flowers that balance its acidity and make it safe if prepared well without much sugar and using fruits for added flavor.

Infact, zobo can become very beneficial for children that are growing due to its numerous health benefits. So when you prepared your cup of zobo, make another cup along the way with less sugar and no artificial flavours for the little ones.

Q: Is zobo safe for pregnant women?

Zobo is not safe for pregnant women that are in their first and second trimester of pregnancy due to the acidity of the drink. For those that are in their third trimester or late pregnancy they can drink it in moderation.

From my research and to my knowledge, it does not induce labour and other claims that I see on the web but it does negatively affect pregnant women and can be potentially dangerous in the early stages of pregnancy.


Zobo is a drink that we want to enjoy all through the year so I hope I have put some of your fears and questions to rest. It is a very delicious and nutritive drink and in my opinion, we don’t drink it enough. Many at-times, we take it because it is familiar and easy to make not knowing of its numerous health benefits

I hope you enjoyed this post today. If you did or didn’t do let me know in the comments section below. If you have any comments or questions I will be glad to hear from you in the comments section.

I wish you the best. Have a nice day.

Feel free to Share this on:

Leave a Reply