Sunday, 14 December 2014


Other Names:
Ambashthaki, Bissap, Gongura, Groseille de Guinée, Guinea Sorrel, Hibisco, Hibiscus Calyx, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Jamaica Sorrel, Karkade, Karkadé, Oseille de Guinée, Oseille Rouge, Pulicha Keerai, Red Sorrel, Red Tea, Rosa de Jamaica, Roselle, Sour Tea, Sudanese Tea, Thé Rose d’Abyssinie, Thé Rouge, Zobo, Zobo Tea.

Hibiscus is a bushy annual plant. Parts of the flower are used to make a popular drink in Egypt called Karkade, Zobo in Nigeria, Sorrel in Jamaica. Various parts of the plant are also used to make jams, spices, soups, and sauces. The flowers are used to make medicine.

Hibiscus is used for treating loss of appetite, colds, heart and nerve diseases, upper respiratory tract pain and swelling (inflammation), fluid retention, stomach irritation, and disorders of circulation; for dissolving phlegm; as a gentle laxative; and as a diuretic to increase urine output.

In foods and beverages, hibiscus is used as a flavoring. It is also used to improve the odor, flavor, or appearance of tea mixtures.

How does it work?
The fruit acids in hibiscus may work like a laxative. Some researchers think that other chemicals in hibiscus might be able to lower blood pressure; decrease spasms in the stomach, intestines, and uterus; and work like antibiotics to kill bacteria and worms.

More Info...

Nutritional Benefits...

Zobo/Sorrel was a must have during family gatherings. As children, we loved drinking it, not only because of how nice it tasted, but also because it coloured our lips and tongues red. Zobo (Nigerian) or Sorrel (Jamaican) is a red coloured drink made from a flower called Hibiscus sabdariffa.

The sorrel plant contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, calcium, niacin, riboflavin and a group of compounds called flavonoids. Flavanoids not only gives the sorrel plant its deep red colour, but, are also rich in antioxidants which rids the body of toxins. The sorrel plant also contains nutraceleuticals, which are said to be helpful to the health. Nutraceleuticals can help prevent and treat several diseases including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer.

Here is a quick recipe on how to prepare a drink from the plant. This can be served at occasions, or for your personal daily enjoyment.


*6 handfuls of sorrel/zobo plant

*3 ginger roots (optional)

*Granulated sugar (optional)

*5 fresh limes (optional)



*Rinse off the zobo plant to get off the sand.

*Rinse off the ginger roots and chop them into smaller pieces.

*Pour 5-8 litres of water into a cooking pot. Put the water to boil.

*At boiling point, put in your zobo leaves and the chopped ginger roots into the pot. Leave for about 5-10 minutes, then switch off the gas.

You can begin the next steps once the mix has cooled, or you could leave the mix overnight for more concentration, or if prepared in the morning, you could let it sit until evening.

Using a sieve, filter the liquid from the leaves. Be sure to use a sieve with tiny holes as there is usually a lot of sand in the mix. Squeeze the plant with your hands to get out all the liquid.
Add sugar as desired. The zobo plant is quite bitter so it would take a lot of sugar to sweeten your mix.

Squeeze your limes into the mix, using the sieve to filter the fibre and seeds.
Stir the mix thoroughly with a spoon. Pour out into jug(s) and refrigerate.
Once cool, pour into a glass and enjoy.

Note: The above are guidelines, you could substitute any of the ingredients, you could also add more or less of any of the ingredients. It all depends on the taste desired by you. If you are Diabetic, better avoid sugars and use natural honey.

Source: WebMd

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