6 Health Benefits of Zobo Drink (Anti-cancer Beverage)

Zobo drink can be a solution to cancer and diabetes is a traditional herbalist’s statement which proven by modern researchers. There isn’t much occasion where statements from both backgrounds aren’t contradicting, but how an ancestral beverage could be proven to be so powerful against deadly diseases?

Known as Asam Paya in Malaysia, Krajeab in Thailand, Bissap in Senegal, Sorrel in Carribeans, Rosella in Indonesia, Roselle in English-speaking countries and many other names from different areas as well, Zobo drink is a familiar beverage produced from Hibiscus Sabdariffa leaves and swollen calyces.

It is drought tolerant, can take part in a multi-cropping system, and suitable for traditional harvest. Simply put: Roselle is a versatile crop that is easy to grow.

Roselle can be used for many purposes. The Chinese used oil from the seeds, West Africans found the leaves’ and powdered seeds’ taste so friendly in their mouth that they accept it as their local foodstuff, while Roselle is also known as a common commodity used in European pharmaceutical industries and the food flavoring trade as well. Still, Zobo drink is arguably the most popular and useful product of the Roselle plant.

Its involvement in various cultures means it has plenty to offer. It is well known that many cultures use Zobo for its health benefits. Well known as a traditional cure from Ayurvedic literature of India in South Asia, famous as a folk medicine across the African continent, and used as a hangover cure in Guatemala, Carribean, the health benefits of Zobo drinks are so many that it has raised the eyebrows with skepticism.

The answer, so far, is yes. The rapid development of science, especially in biomedicine aspects towards this present day of modernity, has found the health benefits of Zobo drink, such as an anticancer drink,  anti-cholesterol beverages, anti-diabetes traditional cure, anti-anemia remedy, anti-microbial cure, and another various uses.

1. Anticancer drink

Cancer has always been a threat towards the health of humanity. Made from our own cells that lose the ability to control their growth, cancerous cells harm our body from the inside. These out-of-control cells are hard to detect, even with modern and sophisticated medical instruments, making it difficult to design drugs. A permanent cure for cancer will destroy cancer cells without harming the unaffected cells in the body. Some tumors even have the ability to constantly change, changing their own biology as they grow bigger and bigger.

Having their case first recorded from the ancient dates, cancers remain a challenge to be overcome, as scientists and doctors keep on hoping that cancers soon have their own, permanent cure. The hopes of finding a cancer cure have brought the biomedical advancements to the step of which we have never seen before, only to find another step closer towards the permanent solution of this seemed-to-be-permanent ill, and this historical step lies in the history-proven health-beneficial plant, Hibiscus Sabdariffa.

Hibiscus Sabdariffa, the main ingredients of Zobo drink is rich in certain contents that help prevent cancer, such as protocatechuic acid and anthocyanins. While the former demonstrated in vitro protective effects against cancer cells and possessed the potential as a cancer chemopreventive agent, the latter’s effects have been proven to be a direct cause towards the apoptosis, the death of the cancer cells. Simply put, properties inside Zobo drink is consist of the combinations of ingredients that have proved effective against cancer. Studies conducted by Chang et al. in 2005 even proved Hibiscus Sabdariffa to be directly effective against leukemia cells. More recently, studies by Lin et al. in 2012 has shown Hibiscus’ effect of inhibiting the growth of a prostate tumour.

2. Anti Cholesterol Beverages

Drinking Zobo drink also proved to be a smart way of avoiding another biggest killer in the history of human kind, cardiovascular disease. The term itself refers to a condition that impacts the heart or blood vessels, such as coronary heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is usually associated with fatty deposits inside the arteries. Fatty deposits close the vessels, block the blood stream that flowing in or out the heart. Another mainstream case is that the fatty deposits indirectly cause the unique heart muscle to be damaged. One particular thing to note here is that heart muscle is one of the few muscles that never grow back once it damaged.

Cardiovascular disease has found itself to be a key cause of death and permanent disability in the world which find fatty deposits as the main culprit of its occurrence. Reminding how hard it is to find low-gluten foods, we are facing the high risk of cardiovascular damage. Still, it can often be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices, including consuming Zobo drink.

In one clinical trial using an oral preparation of Hibiscus Sabdariffa flower extract capsules, serum cholesterol level was reduced after 4 weeks, with the best results obtained with the dosage of two capsules per meal. Another studies has supported this case, found the Hibiscus extracts to be able to decrease LDL-Cholesterol.

Several studies suggest that extracts of Hibiscus Sabdariffa to have a lipid lowering activity.  The lipid is a class of organic compounds that are fatty acids. In fact, most of fatty deposits inside our body are consist of these molecules. So, lower amount of lipid could be synonymous as the lower level of fatty deposits. The lower level of fatty deposits mean the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease to be occurred. Simply put, consuming Zobo drink is beneficial to lower the risk of suffering the cardiovascular disease.

3. Antidiabetes Traditional Cure

Not only being powerful to prevent the occurrence of cancer and heart disease, the health benefits of Zobo drink also useful to prevent our body and protect ourselves from the risk of suffering diabetes. Having been regarded as another infamous killer throughout history, diabetes patients find the blood glucose (blood glucose) too high that it hampers the metabolism system inside the body.

Diabetes is a kind of disease that acts as the open gate of another deadly disease. Potential complications have been reported when the disease has left untreated. People who suffered from diabetes find their bodies unable to break sugars from their food to use them for energy in their cells. A hormone called insulin is what facilitates the process of pulling sugar from the blood and putting it into the cells for use, or energy. Insulin-deprived, diabetes sufferer have their blood glucose levels risen while the rest of their cells starved of much-needed energy. This tiny problem can lead to a wide variety of problems affecting nearly every major body system, chain reactions, domino-effect complications.

Containing polyphenol in a considerable amount to help our metabolism getting the best out of its system, Hibiscus Sabdariffa has been used to clean the liver and blood for ages. Traditionally proven, various recent research also demonstrates Zobo drink’ effectiveness in fighting diabetes. 

4. Anti Anemia Remedy

Time to look closer into the living cells that constantly moving inside our body: our blood. Look under the microscope at a sample of our blood, and we will find scores of red, doughnut shaped cells known as erythrocytes. Those red blood cells number in the millions per cubic milliliter of blood and are the most numerous cell type in the body. Anemia is a term that refers to the deficiency of red blood cells number, resulted from the lacking of iron, folate or vitamin B-12.

Red blood cells itself is functioned as the oxygen conveyor. Erythrocytes are the delivery man, transporter of the most sought-out material inside the body. Lacking this important cells, anemia sufferer finds themselves tired all time. Their skin becomes irritable, and they also find it difficult to focus with a headache hovering almost every time.

The anemia-like conditions also could be happened to all of us, reminding the possibility of the lowering consumptions of iron, folate and vitamin B-12 in every situation.

But worry not, the health benefits of Zobo drink is so broad that it reaches to the point where it can be a solution to the treatment of anemia or anemia symptoms. Hibiscus Sabdariffa decoctions has found itself used in a study where it functioned as an alternative source of iron in a treatment of anemia and some other mineral deficiency diseases.

The result showed that dry fermented calyces of hibiscus, the part that commonly used in zobo drink, exhibited a very low pH value which enhanced mineral availability. Another reason for enhancing mineral availability is the high concentration of ascorbic acid.

So, if you have difficulties focusing at times, whether you are anemia sufferer or not, drinking zobo drink is always a smart move to help getting your head down and concentrate.

5. Antimicrobial Cure

37.2 trillion living cells inside our body, and who can ensure all of them is friendly to us? The risk of infection or disease from the spread of microorganism has always been significant. From oral cavity, food poisoning, to serious memory loss diseases as dementia, bacteria, and parasites has always been the main culprit of various damages inside the body, whether they are directly or indirectly.

Various serious cases have been filed as a result of microbial activity inside the body. While microorganisms can be powerfully damage us in the worst way possible, we left with a big question mark on who, or what can save us from these potential destruction?

Surely there is no such thing as secret potions in these modern days where all eyes are wide open, judging all magic-related stuff as potentially deceiving. But, with all eyes wide open towards any knowledge on how those once-called ‘magic potions’ work, people who choose to believe in any kinds of traditional cure once again find themselves righteous, and their justification lies beneath the extract of Hibiscus Sabdariffa, the main ingredients of the famous refreshing drink of Africa and other parts of the world as well, Zobo Drink.

Hibiscus Sabdariffa has been proven inhibited the growth of various microorganisms that even antibiotics as strong as Methicillin cannot pretend to handle. Containing protocatechuic acid in a dose dependent manner, Hibiscus Sabdariffa extract has shown great antimicrobial activity against certain types of pathogens. A research conducted in 1965 even show that both the aqueous extract and the coloring matter of the Hibiscus Sabdariffa calyces to be lethal against Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

Various other bacteria such as Streptococcus mutants, cariogenic bacteria from the oral cavity, to food spoilage bacterias have found themselves powerless against the properties that contained inside hibiscus sabdariffa extracts. 

6. Various Use

Countless research also has been proven the health benefits of Zobo Drink to be countless. Regarded as an antihypertensive beverage by pharmacognosists in Senegal, Hibiscus Sabdariffa has also proved effective against Hypertensive in various research. The extract also containing a high level of antioxidant which helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.  A study also supported the facts that Hibiscus Sabdariffa could be as well used as an anti inflammatory. A research result also revealed that calyces extract might prove to be useful memory restorative agent in the treatment of dementia seen in elderly. Despite all the goods that the world offer in the form of Zobo Drink, it should be well noted that a study showed that prolonged use of an aqueous-methanol extract of the calyces could cause liver injury.

Regarded as one of the most precious traditional cure in many cultures around the world and has been proven scientifically, the health benefits of Zobo Drink has passed the toughest test this world has to offer: the test of time. As the time passed, human race develop progressively towards the deeper understanding of many aspects, and one of the most crucial aspects is biomedicine which finds out ways to cure illness, and drinking Zobo Drink is highly regarded as one of the smartest ways to make ourselves as healthy as possible. Rated as an anticancer drink,  anti cholesterol beverages, antidiabetes traditional cure, Anti anemia remedy, Antimicrobial cure, and another various usage, the health benefits of Zobo Drink make it more than worth considering to be your favourite healthy, refreshing, and cooling beverages.

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