The Hibiscus drink popularly known as Zobo is a super drink which is slightly thick, colourful, pleasant and tasty. The Hibiscus leaf is used in many parts of the world to make both cold and hot drinks. It contains a high concentration of water-soluble antioxidants and is filled with huge amount of Vitamin C. Zobo is served cold in Nigeria and Senegal while it is served warm in Egypt. Here are some of its health wonders:
- Reduction in blood pressure: Hibiscus is an anti-oxidant. 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.
- Aids weight loss: 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. Hibiscus contains a substance that can inhibit the production of amylase. A person regularly drinking hibiscus tea can thus prevent too much absorption of carbohydrates and consequently not gain excess weight.
- Treats cough and cold: Fresh hibiscus flower contains around 6.7 mg of ascorbic acid, a form of Vitamin c which is one of the more essential nutrients needed by the body. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory and mild anti-bacterial properties. 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.
- Satiate thirst: Hibiscus tea can be drunk hot or cold. As iced tea, the infusion is known to satiate thirst quite effectively to avoid further temptation of intake of carbonated or other types of drink. It is often recommended as an alternative to artificially made commercial “sports drink” that are marketed to physically active individuals.
- It can serve as food supplement because of the other contents like calcium, iron, phosphorous, protein, fiber, carotene, thiamine, niacine, riboflavin and also boosts the immune system.
Here’s a quick tip on how to prepare Zobo drink at your convenience:
- 1 cup of dried Hibiscus sepal (Zobo leaves) depending on the number of people being prepared for.
- 4 cups of boiling water
- Juice of one lemon
- Ginger (optional)
- Sugar in small quantity
. Briskly wash the leaves to ensure the dust and sand are washed off.
. Set the leaves in a large bowl, dice some ginger into tiny pieces or grate and pour it in the bowl as well, cover with boiled water. Set aside for 2-4 hours to allow the drink to steep.
. Pour the drink through a sieve to separate the fluid from the leaves.
. Add some ice, lemon juice and sugar to taste. Combine and enjoy.
Note: The drink can be served cold or hot. Also the amount of water used is based on preference. Also, experiment with food flavours like pineapple, vanilla and berries for some diversity. Also note that the drink stains easily, so be mindful when handling it.