Garcinia kola (bitter kola) also known as African wonder nut, Garcinia Kola (bitter kola) is known as Orogo in Yoruba land; the Hausas called it Miji Goro, while the Igbos call it Akiilu.
Many historians claimed that bitter kola is a species of flowering plants in the Clusiaceae or Guttiferae family. It’s located in Benin, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria. This edible seed is located in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
Bitter kola is widely known for its medicinal benefits, as the seeds, nuts, and bark have been and are still being used to treat varying ailments (Hertog et al., 2007).
Health Benefits Of Bitter Kola
- Anti-Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
Studies have shown that bitter kola contains antibiotic properties that could be effective to combat any sexually transmitted diseases (STD), due to its antibacterial, detoxification, and cleansing properties.
Also, this Africa seed is capable of fighting HIV/AIDs since it contains an antibacterial property that reduces flush out the disease. However, since the emergence of the STDs, respected scientist have been sourcing days and nights to proffer solutions to this deadly disease and create a permanent solution to the disease.
According to a study that confirms that the seed and leaf of bitter kola have antibacterial activity on clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi and Streptococcus pyrogens, therefore, it can easily combat and heals several diseases contracted from intercourse.
- Bitter Kola Boost Sexual Libido In Men:
Aside from being an immune booster, bitter kola for sex, it also serves the function of increasing men’s sexual prowess; which makes men perform more than the regular pace.
Bitter Kola is a potent aphrodisiac and studies have shown it can temporarily boost testosterone levels.
As a man that is willing to use bitter kola as a supplement to last longer in bed, you should chew it 30 minutes before having sexual intercourse.
Aside from bitter kola increasing sexual performances, it can also improve your sexual drive as long as you eat it on a regular basis.
- Treating malaria: Bitter kola is believed to have chemical properties that allow it to be an antimalarial catalyst. It contains Kolaviron which is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, which has high antimalarial properties (Esiegwu & Udedibie , 2009).
- 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 (Collise et al., 2011).
- Diabetes: The seeds of bitter kola are believed to possess the ability to lower blood glucose, which makes it a potential treatment for diabetes miletus (Hertog et al., 2007).
- Prevention from glaucoma: It has been proven by a group of researchers, that constant and consistent use of an eye drop made from an extract of garcinia kola can help treat glaucoma (Farombi et al., 2005).
- Cold and fever remedy: By possessing the ability to enlarge the alveolar sac and duct, Bitter kola provides relief for chest cold and goes on to prevent cold altogether (Okwu & Ekeke, 2003).
- Treatment of erectile dysfunction: Research has shown, that garcinia kola (bitter kola), has aphrodisiac effects (causes or increases sexual desire) in male folks, and as such is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (Okwu & Ekeke, 2003).
- Immunity: Bitter kola influences multiple regulatory systems in the body, the immune system inclusive. It enables the body to adapt to stress and acts as an anti-infective agent (Collise et al., 2011).
- Osteoarthritis: Bitter kola is known as an excellent disease modifier, which provides potential relief in osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that garcinia kola appears to have significant analgesic/anti-inflammatory effects on patients with knee osteoarthritis. As such, garcinia kola is considered a potential osteoarthritis disease activity modifier with a high prospect of a good outcome. It helps in the reduction of inflammation, pain, and immovable joints. The root cause of arthritis and displeasing pain may be a joint injury, obesity, aging or it may be hereditary. Thus, the consumption of this miraculous plant can help cover all these problems and cure it from its roots (Farombi et al., 2005).
- Healthy lungs: Garcinia kola contains 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 (Farombi et al., 2005).
- Helps Pregnancy: Bitter kola contrary to what some may believe, has been said to be helpful and useful in and for pregnant women, as it helps in combating nausea and vomiting, making the uterus healthier, supplies strength to the expectant mother and normalizes circulation of blood also.
OTHER USES OF BITTER KOLA
- Traditional medicine: Bitter kola is said to be anti-parasitic, anti-microbial and purgative in nature. It is used in the treatment of bronchitis, typhoid, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and bacterial infections (Atawodi et al., 2005).
- Anti-cancerous: Bitter kola can be used in treating breast cancer as it has an anti-cancerous effect. Nature has (Atawodi et al., 2005)a cure for something incurable as well (Atawodi et al., 2005).
- Anti-Poison: The bark and the seed when eaten together helps in detoxification of the human body during food poisoning. Saponin found in bitter kola is used as a liver tonic, assisting in the gall bladder functions because of its cleaning properties (Atawodi et al., 2005).
- Life Prolongation: Certain African cultures and scientific studies believe that bitter kola breaks down glycogen in the liver, prolonging life (Emmanuel & Gabriel, 2011).
- Repellant for snakes: Bitter kola is used to repel snakes in places where life is prone to snakes (Nair, 2000)
- Evil Spirits: Delving into a little bit of spirituality, although those you do not believe in spirits, may not agree, the tribes and ancient peoples believed that the plant has abilities to repel evil men and spirits (Farombi et al., 2005). Such believes are still held up by some, even today.
Bitter kola has enormous health benefits as well as nutritive benefits that could be explored by adding it to both human’s and animals’ diets.
The traditional uses of this plant have been viewed based on its historical beliefs (eg. Repelling evil spirits) and other medicinal uses (eg treating cough, relieving stomach cramps, etc).
From the information gotten about bitter kola, it can be concluded that it is a healthy, profitable, and indigenous plant that is highly underutilized and should be used for its medicinal values to alleviate this illness.
Side Effects Of Bitter Kola
It is important to take any supplement or traditional medicinal product in moderation. Bitter kola has several known side effects.
1. It can increase blood pressure
If you’re suffering from hypertension, avoid bitter kola, because as reported by Medical News Today, the nut contains a stimulant with properties that increase the blood pressure.
2. Bitter kola can cause insomnia
Due to the presence of caffeine in kola nut, you may find it difficult to sleep after consumption. Caffeine increases alertness, which may make falling asleep more difficult for some people.
3. It can cause tremors (involuntary movements)
Medical News Today also reports that bitter kola nut can have a negative impact on the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, which can lead to shakiness, anxiousness, and quivering.
Preparation and Cautions
Now that you are aware of the many potential health benefits of bitter kola, you’ll want to know how best to prepare it. In traditional medicine, all parts of the bitter kola plant may be consumed, but it is more common for the nuts to be eaten on their own and raw.
While the many health benefits of bitter kola may have you heading straight to the store to buy a supply, please always be careful when taking any dietary supplements. Always consult your doctor, remember to continue to follow their advice on how to treat any condition you may have. Bitter kola does have properties that can support the treatment of many illnesses and the prevention of others, while no dietary supplement is a substitute for professional medical advice.