Bitter kola has been beneficial to man since time immemorial, African traditional medicine being the first to tap into its benefits. Virtually all its parts are used for health purposes, hence the name African wonder nut.
Coca-cola got their name from this nut, and some of their first recipes for Coca-Cola drink were made using extract from this bitter kola plant. Though the company hasn’t used actual kola to flavor their sodas in years.
Just as the name implies, the seed is bitter flavor, that eases into a slight sweetness as you chew, and they’re typically eaten raw. Research has show that the nut is packed with nutrients which includes; carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamin c, calcium, potassium, iron and caffeine.
Health Benefits Of Bitter Kola
1. Boost Immunity
Bitter kola helps in boosting the body immune system. This is due to the high amount of antioxidants present and helps to combat foreign materials attacking the body.
2. Fights Infection
Since the introduction of African traditional medicine, bitter kola has been used to fight infections like common cold, hepatitis, cough bacterial and viral infections. Just by eating the kola nut, these curative effects can be rapidly seen.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Studies have linked bitter kola with fight against inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis which is a common type of arthritis.
The nut is packed with potassium which could be responsible for this effect.
4. Weight Loss
Bitter kola is known for being a natural hunger suppressant and a great thirst stimulant, and as such helps to reduce weight loss, as a reduced intake of food and a large intake of water is needed by the body to get rid of excess fat and stay healthy.
Bitter kola is known for its aphrodisiac properties, it improves erectile dysfunction and performance in males without any known side effect.
6. Improve Lungs Function
There contain saponin which is an antioxidant. It has detoxifying and cleansing effects. This goes on to improve the function of the lungs by expanding the alveolar ducts and sacs, and as such, strengthens the fiber in the tissue of the lungs. It has favorably high antioxidant content for a healthy body.
7. Fights Type 2 Diabetes
Research on rats showed a protective effect of a chemical kolaviron against hypoglycemia in people with type 2 diabetics. Although this first study was done on rats and has not yet been reproduced on humans, these early findings are promising.
Glaucoma is a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing a gradual loss of sight. It could result in permanent blindness if left untreated. However, bitter kola has been found to be an amazing remedy for the eye.
The use of eye drop from bitter kola or daily consumption of the helps treat this condition.
The bark and the seed when eaten together helps in detoxification of the human body during food poisoning. Saponin found in the nut is used as a liver tonic, assisting in the gall bladder functions because of its cleaning properties
10. Repellent For Snakes
Bitter kola has this beautiful property of repelling snakes in particular. Both the seed and tree.
Side Effects Of Eating Bitter Kola
The side effect that comes from eating bitter kola is as a result of its high caffeine content.
Caffeine has been known to
- Stimulating your central nervous system, making you feel awake and energetic
- Acting as a diuretic, helping your body expel extra salt and water through increased urination
- Increasing the release of stomach acid, which can lead to heartburn and stomach upset
- Interfere with calcium absorption in the body
- Increase blood pressure.
Too much caffeine can produce unwanted side effects, such as:
- Abnormal heart beat
- Dependency and withdrawal syndrome