See the three categories of people that absolutely must not drink zobo.
Zobo is one of the many nutritional and locally prepared drinks in West Africa.
It derives its common name from the Hausa name of its parent plant, Zoborodo, and its botanical name is Hibiscus sabdariffa. The juice, made from the dried calyx of the plant, is also called Hibiscus tea.
While Zobo has been posited and even confirmed by a number of research studies to be beneficial by virtue of its anti-carcinogenic property and bacteriostatic effect, its consumption is still harmful to some groups of individuals.
These groups include:
1. Lactating Mothers, Pregnant Women and Women Trying to Conceive.
Several studies have shown that the consumption of Zobo during pregnancy is not safe. This is because its consumption during pregnancy increases the possibility of giving birth to babies with Low Birth Weight (LBW).
Studies carried out on the level of heavy metals in Zobo has shown that it contains more than the tolerance limit set by the World Health Organization. While excessive consumption of Zobo can lead to heavy metal poisoning in other individuals, it increases the possibility of LBW in pregnant women.
Also, it can interfere with oestrogen secretion, preventing implantation and pregnancy. This is in addition to decreasing maternal food and fluid intake during lactation.
2. Patients with Gall Stones
Ginger is one of the key ingredients used in the preparation of Zobo. It promotes gall bladder contraction and consequent increase in the secretion of bile. This contraction causes intense pain in the upper abdominal quadrant for individuals with gall stones.
3. Individuals on a Fast
Being 'on a fast' here is not restricted to just the spiritual exercise of fasting. It refers to a prolonged period without food. This is usually overnight or at least 12 hours after the last meal.
This simply means that Zobo is not the first liquid that should be taken in the morning. It should not be taken on an empty stomach. This is because Zobo contains high levels of Iron and when in excess, especially the ferric salts, produces irritation of the gastrointestinal tract which could cause abdominal pain and diarrhea when on an empty stomach.