Written by Temitope Alao-Sanni, RD, LD July 2020

Hibiscus sabdariffa is also known as zoborodo, zobo, hibiscus calyx, sorrel, or roselle capsule. Farmers who cultivate it call it the “red diamond” reports have it that this plant was accidentally discovered. Most of the zobo cultivation in Nigeria is done in the North and the world’s best roselle comes from the African countries, Nigeria and Sudan.
FUN FACT: some reports have it that over 80% of Nigerian roselle is consumed in mexico! Meanwhile, the demand for it in Europe, Asia and North America is on the rise. Zobo has become a major raw ingredient in the confectionery industry, globally.

Zobo drink is rich in micronutrients necessary for the body’s optimal function. It also promotes health by reducing high blood pressure, reducing high cholesterol, reducing stress etc. It is a healthier alternative to sugar sweetened juices (made from concentrate) and carbonated drinks. However, even though zobo has therapeutic benefits, it should not replace medication or routine drugs except recommended by your Doctor or Dietitian.

See a recipe/step by step preparation guide below:


Dry zobo calyx

Clove powder (optional)

Sugar (optional)

Ginger juice (optional)

Cloves (optional)

Frozen fruit cubes of choice (optional)




Wash your hands an all utensils to be used use

Sort and rinse the zobo calyx with clean water

Add the desired quantity into a pot and power water that submerges the calyx

Cover and heat over medium cooking temperature for at least 15minutes

Allow to cool ad strain the extract into a bowl

Add ginger juice, cloves, or sugar and stir until well dissolved

Fill your cup with frozen fruits chunks or cubes and pour in the zobo extract


Some people use the peels of pineapples to prepare zobo, however it is not compulsory to do this and pregnant women should avoid consuming pineapple peels due to it’s high concentrations of bromelain.

For nutrition counselling, education or consultations, please reach out to speak to one of our Registered Dietitians here