Mother Nature has blessed us with so many medicine and they are already packed in our foods. What we need now is (to know what to take and how to take it in different conditions) knowledge.
It is a well-known adage or belief that the best of medicines come with a bitter taste. This is true and in this post, I will be exposing you to the many benefits of one of such natural medicine – Bitter Kola.
Origin of Bitter Kola
Bitter kola also known as Garcinia kola is a specie of the Guttiferae or Clusiaceae family. It is a flowering plant found in Nigeria, Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Danxome, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leon, Senegal.
It is found abundantly in Western and Central Africa and it produces brown nuts that look like seeds. It is covered by a brown to deep brown peels.
This peel is removed and the nut eaten. It has a bitter taste which is responsible for its name. This nut has been used for centuries in Africa to both treat diseases and also for spirituality.
The powerful compound in bitter kola in called “Kolaviron”. This is responsible for its medicinal properties and it is also a powerful antioxidant. It is a phytochemical and it has powerful anti-inflammatory property.
In Nigeria, the Hausas call it “Miji-goro”, the Igbos call it “Akiilu”, the Igalas call it “Opipi” and the Yorubas call it “Orogbo”. Our ancestors ate and revered both the leaves and seeds of this herb because it was believed to prolong life.
The early Africans (especially the Yoruba race) believed that they were the original foods of the gods. They believed that when one of the gods visited the earth, he left a piece of this nut and people found it.
They also believed it has strong spiritual properties aside its healing properties. They used it for cleansing, for rituals, especially in protection against suppressing enemies. And they also used it for magic.
They also used it as an astringent. They used it as a tonic, stimulant, decongestant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant tool. It is a powerful aphrodisiac. They used it in treating dysentery, fever, exhaustion, and vomiting.
Surprisingly, science has backed most of these claims. We will be looking at the amazing health benefits of this super food in this post.
Amazing Health Benefits of Bitter Kola
It is important to note that all parts of this plant are used as medicine. This includes the fruits, nuts, bark, and seeds. And even the root of the plant is not left out.
This bitter herb is a storehouse of vitamin A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, Calcium, Iron, Fiber, potassium, and also antioxidants. Reputable and accredited institutions have carried out extensive studies on this herb and the results are amazing.
Below are some of the incredible and amazing health benefits of bitter kola.
Boosts sexual performance
One of the widely known benefits of bitter kola is its ability to cure impotence. Studies have made us know that it improves sexual performance and it also increases sex drive in men who consume it.
Men who are having erectile problems can chew bitter kola for at least two minutes before engaging in sexual intercourse.
It boosts alertness
If you have an important thing to attend to and you have to be awake at night, you can chew few bitter kolas. Their rich content of caffeine helps to prevent sleep.
However, don’t take it too much as it can lead to insomnia.
Supports respiratory health
Bitter kola strengthens and stabilizes the tissues of your lungs and also your respiratory tract. Traditional healers use bitter kola to treat chest colds.
There are high amount of antioxidants in bitter kola and all these supports and maintains a healthy body.
It protects from cold
This is a powerful natural remedy for cold. It has been used as a remedy for chest cold before the pre-colonial times.
Bitter kola enlarges the alveolar sac and the duct, and this, in turn, provides relief for chest cold. It also relieves the symptoms of cold.
This medical condition is characterized by the degeneration of the joints and its cartilage. This condition affects the knee, thumb joints, and the hip.
This is a common form of arthritis and researchers at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan Nigeria studied the effects of bitter kola against arthritis.
The results revealed that bitter kola relieved the pains and inflammation induced by this condition. It also helped in increasing the movement of joints in patients with osteoarthritis.
It regulates blood sugar
People who have type II diabetes can benefit from bitter kolas. They help to maintain stable levels of sugar in the bloodstream. Even studies have shown that plant seeds can reduce the levels of glucose in the blood.
Bitter kolas also prevent and treat the complications that are triggered by diabetes.
It is a powerful anti-poison
Bitter kola is a powerful antibiotic that has many detoxification abilities. When you accidentally consume contaminated food or water, chew biter kola immediately.
Its powerful antibacterial property will kill and help the body eliminate harmful bacteria. It also works effectively in the case of poisons.
It fights STDs
STDs are difficult to treat these days and the epidemic of antibiotic resistance is not helping matters. Apart from that, these drugs also cause severe side effects in the body.
Studies have shown us that the leaf and seed of bitter kola have powerful antibacterial activities than conventional drugs.
They have been particularly effective against isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Eschirichia coli, Salmonella typhi and Streptococcus pyrogens.
Aids weight loss
Bitter kola aids weight loss by suppressing hunger. It also increases your urge to drink more water. Eating this can help you lose weight faster than gyming.
It reduces your cravings and you can take it as snack in-between meals to help reduce hunger.
It boosts the health of your lungs
When you consume bitter kola regularly and in a considerate amount, you are strengthening the tissues and fibers of your lungs. It will also stabilize the functions of your lungs and heal it.
It cleanses your respiratory system and helps you maintain a good and healthy respiratory system. It treats chest cold and congestion. If you are trying to quit smoking, make bitter kola your friend.
It detoxifies and helps your lungs to recover from the dangerous effects of smoking.
It prevents and treats constipation
Bitter kolas are rich in dietary fibers. This helps to prevent and treat chronic digestive problems and other health problems caused by lack of dietary fiber.
It also treats bloating and other conditions that disrupt bowel movement.
It boosts your immune system
Bitter kola is a store house of many powerful antioxidants. It fortifies your immune system and also fights diseases.
When your immune system is strong, you can fight diseases and harmful parasites easily without breaking down.
It relieves cough
Bitter kola and honey is a powerful combination that fight cough. This combination is used to treat both productive and non-productive coughs.
Both honey and bitter kola have powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties. This combination can also treat chronic rhinosinusitis, wounds, sore throat, and other bacterial infection.
Take one nut of bitter kola and 5 ml of raw honey daily for 14 days.
It fights cancer
Kolaviron, the active ingredient in bitter kola is highly effective against cancers and tumors. Bitter kola also contains phytoestrogens, they fight cancer and help reduce the growth of tumors.
There are other plant compounds in bitter kola that stop the growth and development of cancer in the body.
Bitter kola contains a phytochemical called “dimeric flavonoid” and this is widely known for treating bad breath. This compound has a strong antibacterial property.
This is why it fights bad breath and kills microbes responsible for bad breath and tooth decay. Chew two pieces of bitter kola before going to bed at night.
In the morning, your mouth will feel fresh, as if you just brushed your teeth.
It is a natural remedy for malaria
Bitter kola has natural chemicals that have powerful anti-malaria properties. Traditional healers in Africa have used bitter kola for centuries to treat and cure malaria.
They also use it in cases of throat infections, respiratory tract infections, and acute fever. The stem, bark, and seeds of bitter kola are used in treating malaria and other types of infections.
Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease. It affects millions of people worldwide and the common symptoms of this disease are fever, weight loss, fatigue, diarrhea, cramps, and abdominal pains.
Bitter kola fights inflammation and helps keep it at bay. This relieves these symptoms and helps you live your normal life.
It increases mental alertness
Bitter kola contains caffeine which acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system. It elevates mood and improves awareness.
Bitter kolas and other nuts are regarded as cognitive boosters.
It fights glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition characterized by increase eye pressure in the eye balls. This leads to a gradual loss of vision and it can lead to permanent blindness if something is not done fast.
Studies have proven that bitter kola is an effective home remedy for glaucoma. Take at least two daily to successfully reduce the pressure in your eyes.
It promotes diuresis
Bitter kola has natural chemicals like theobromine and caffeine which act as natural diuretics. They help to increase the expulsion of salt and water from your body.
Some germs are also flushed out of the body through the urine. This improves your health in many ways.
In addition to all these health benefits above, bitter kola is also a powerful snake repellent.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the side effects of bitter kolas?
People who consume bitter kola excessively have noticed:
- Stomach irritation
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Headaches (another sign of dehydration)
- Rapid heartbeat
- Stomach cramps
- Dry mouth (a sign of dehydration)
I don’t advise people to eat more than two bitter kolas daily because of the excess caffeine in it. Excess caffeine in your body can cause a lot of problems.
How many bitter kolas can I take in a day?
To be on the safe side, I would advise you take only two bitter kolas daily. This is enough to give your body enough kolaviron for the day. if you take it in excess, you might increase the levels of caffeine in your body and this has adverse side effects.
Due to its immense health benefits, bitter kola is now the new apple and it is now said that “taking bitter kola a day” keeps the doctor away.
Can pregnant women eat bitter kola?
I wouldn’t advise a pregnant woman to eat bitter kola daily. It might not affect the unborn baby adversely but the high content of caffeine in this nut can give the baby insomnia in the womb.
It can make the baby restless and also lead to premature delivery in severe conditions. Pregnant women should avoid bitter kola and products that contain caffeine.
How can I take bitter kola for low sperm count?
Soak two bitter kolas with the skin on for 2 days and afterwards blend it using warm water. The skins of bitter kolas also contain active substances. This will help you extract the juice. I would not advise you to sieve.
Drink everything, it is more potent this way. You can add raw honey if you can’t stand the bitter taste. Honey will also boost the effectiveness of the herb.
Do this on a daily basis.
Does bitter kola extend lifespan?
Some African cultures believe chewing bitter kola extend lifespan. And a study has confirmed this. The result revealed that bitter kola breaks down glycogen in the liver and this leads to longevity.
Can bitter kola cure ebola and HIV?
Researchers are seriously looking for cures for HIV and bitter kola has been studied and its rich nutrient content has shown promise.
In the case of Ebola, it can be true, because in every rumor there is an iota of truth. Even if it doesn’t cure it completely, I believe bitter kola can relieve the symptoms.
Does bitter kola react with drugs?
Yes, it can react with sedatives and liver medication. Do not use it few weeks to your surgery.
- A descriptive cross-sectional study on various uses and outcomes of Garcinia kola among people of Oshimili North in the Delta State of Nigeria NCBI
- Garcinia Kola SD
- Caffeine ingestion increases the insulin response to an oral-glucose-tolerance test in obese men before and after weight loss AJCN
- Antibacterial effect of Zingiber officinale and Garcinia kola on respiratory tract pathogens. NCBI
- Efficacy of Garcinia kola 0.5% Aqueous Eye Drops in Patients with Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma or Ocular Hypertension NCBI
- Environmental factors and semen quality. NCBI
- The comparative effects of chronic consumption of kola nut (Cola nitida) and caffeine diets on locomotor behaviour and body weights in mice. NCBI
- Kolaviron, a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemical prevents dextran sulphate sodium-induced colitis in rats. NCBI
- Kolaviron protects against ethylene glycol monoethyl ether-induced toxicity in boar spermatozoa. NCBI
- Antioxidants may still have a role in HIV treatment. NCBI
- Garcinia kola seed ameliorates renal, hepatic, and testicular oxidative damage in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. NCBI
- PDF 1, PDF 2,
- 457New Antimicrobials of Plant Origin PDF