True! Zobo Drinks Lower High Blood Pressure

Claim: A claim doing the rounds in most Hausa communities is that Zobo, a Hibiscus drink, can lower and manage hypertension. 

Verdict: True. Findings reveal that Zobo is effective in treating high blood pressure. 

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For generations, Zobo, a popular Nigerian beverage made from dried Hibiscus petals, has been a popular natural drink in the northern part of Nigeria. All classes of people can afford it for either personal or ceremonial purposes. It is cultivated in Northern Nigeria.

However, recently, there has been a claim that Zobo could be effective in lowering and managing hypertension in patients suffering from High Blood Pressure. Curiously, the online community in the region amplifies this submission. 

Hypertension is defined by WHO as blood pressure above 140/90. It is severe if the pressure is above 180/120. If untreated, it could cause heart disease and stroke.  In 2020, more than 28 million Nigerians live with High Blood Pressure. Also, about 10,692 hypertension patients die annually in Nigeria. 

In 2023, the Association of Hibiscus Flower Exporters of Nigeria projected about N48bn in earnings at N1.7 million per ton. Annually, Nigeria exports about 1,983 containers of Hibiscus measuring about 40ft in height, equivalent to about 23,796 metric tonnes. 

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In a video, Abubakar Isah, a resident of Gombe, echoed, saying that Hibiscus treats hypertension and emphatically recommends it to patients suffering from the ailment. Since then, the video has generated about 678 views and 26 likes. 

Considering the rich abundance of hibiscus in Nigeria coupled with the unverified allegory about it, it became imperative to curate scientific evidence and expert views to either affirm or debunk the claim to safeguard the health of Nigerians. This way, a scenario similar to ‘salt-bath Ebola therapy’ would be avoided. 


To verify the claim, WikkiTimes reviewed the findings of scientific studies about Zobo’s effect on the treatment of hypertension and interviewed medical experts.

A study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology and Research has shown that hibiscus tea can effectively lower blood pressure for stage one hypertension patients. Further, it shows a minimal effect of hibiscus in patients with systolic hypertension. The findings of the research recommended taking sour hibiscus tea two times a day for stage one hypertension patients. 

Similarly, another study’s findings show that hibiscus effectively lowers and manages blood pressure in patients with stage one and systolic hypertension. It concluded that hibiscus has no side effects on blood pressure patients. 

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Dr Sani Giade of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi (ATBUTH) said Zobo is a healthy natural drink with a competitive advantage over artificial beverages. 

“Hibiscus has health benefits, including anti-hypertensive agents. This means that it lowers blood pressure,” he explained. 

Dr Hassan Shu’aibu of the National Health Insurance Scheme Bauchi office said Zobo is helpful to human health. 

“It can be used to treat loss of appetite, respiratory tract issues, circulatory issues, and prevent Cardiovascular diseases. Evidence has shown that it increases fluid retention. Fluid retention is one of the mechanisms that bring about hypertension. It can be used as a diuretic and thereby help in lowering blood pressure,” he said.


The claim that Zobo can lower blood pressure is valid. Both scientific evidence and human intelligence have confirmed the capacity of Zobo drinks to reduce and manage hypertension. 

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame KariKari Fellowship, in partnership with WikkiTimes, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.


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