Hibiscus Tea Around the World and its History
In Nigeria, the hibiscus drink is called Zobo. It is most popular in northern Nigeria but has spread across the rest of the country. However, the drink is popular in other parts of the world. For example, in the french speaking parts of West Africa, the hibiscus drink is known as bissap and in the Caribbean, it is known as Sorrel. Hibiscus has been used as a remedy to treat various conditions. According to Rena Goldman, Egyptians used the tea to treat nerve and heart diseases to reduce body temperature and as a “diuretic to increase urine production.” In Africa, the hibiscus tea was used to treat cancer, liver disease, constipation, and cold symptoms. Also, pulp made from the leaves was used to heal wounds. In Iran, the tea is still commonly used as a treatment for high blood pressure.
While in the United States, it is called Fresh Hibiscus Tea with roots in Nigeria. Made locally with only the freshest of ingredients used as a smooth transition to healthy beverages. Modern studies show that the tea and hibiscus plant helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. “Although more research is still needed, this could be the future of heart disease treatments.” (Goldman)
So the next time you visit these countries, use these names to request their version of hibiscus tea.
In Ghana and Senegal its called Sobolo
In St. Kitts and Trinidad & Tobago its called Sorrel juice
In Libya and Oman, it’s called Karkadeh
In China, it’s called Fu Sang Hua Cha
In Azerbaijan its called itburnu cayi (eetburnu chai)
In Turkey, it’s called Sorbet
In Latin America, its called Te de Jamaica
And Lastly, in Tanzania, it’s called Rosella