Bitter Kola, also known as Garcinia kola, is a famous herb that grows on the evergreen kola tree and has long been prized for its therapeutic benefits throughout Central and Western Africa.
It’s also known as Kolanut, and it’s normally eaten raw. It has a harsh, bitter flavor that fades into a faint sweetness as you chew.
It is a significant cultural symbol for many ethnic groups in Nigeria. It’s presented as a gift during weddings, funerals, and naming rituals, as well as being utilized in medicine.
The breaking of the kola nut in a ceremonial manner is vital for making guests feel welcome in a village or gathering. Bitter kola is known in Yoruba country as ‘Orogbo,’ in Hausa land as ‘Miji-goro,’ and in Igbo land as Akiilu.
Bitter kola offers a wide range of health advantages and chemical components, some of which are listed here.
1. It helps to strengthen the immune system.
Bitter kola gives the immune system all of the tools it needs to defend against dangerous poisons and mount an effective immunological response to foreign particles.
Bitter kola contains a large number of antioxidants that not only assist the body fight germs and other ailments, but it also helps the body boost its immune levels, and when the body’s immunity level is enhanced, it becomes powerful enough to battle any foreign contaminant.
2.It has anti-malaria properties.
Chemical components in bitter kola have been demonstrated to have anti-malarial effects in studies.
This is why traditional healers have recommended bitter kola for the treatment of malaria infections for many years.
Bitter kola’s stem, bark, and seeds are also used to treat high fever, respiratory tract irritation, and throat infections.
3.It works well in the treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STDs)
Bitter kola has also been discovered to be a strong antibiotic with antimicrobial, detoxifying, and cleansing qualities, which could make it useful in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
Despite the fact that their fight may appear to be tough due to the intricacy of the diseases, research has revealed that bitter kola seed and leaf have antibacterial action against clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Streptococcus pyrogens.
4.It helps to prevent glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a disorder in which the pressure inside the eyeball rises, causing gradual vision loss and, if left untreated, total blindness.
Bitter kola, on the other hand, has been discovered to be an effective treatment for the condition.
5. It aids in the treatment of food poisoning
Bitter kola is anti-poisonous in nature, since it aids in the prevention of bacterial infection brought on by food poisoning. When consumed together, the bark and seed of Garcinia kola aid in the detoxification of the human system, particularly in cases of food poisoning.
Chewing bitter kola shortly after eating contaminated or suspected contaminated food is recommended.
6.It helps to increase fertility.
Bitter kola is sometimes used by infertile women in order to boost their fertility.
7. It helps to keep blood sugar levels in check.
Bitter kola is effective for more than only curing malaria. It’s also useful for those with type 2 diabetes who want to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
The plant’s seeds have been shown in studies to be capable of lowering high blood glucose levels.
This makes it suitable for both treating type 2 diabetes and any complications that may emerge as a result of the disease. It aids with weight loss.
Bitter Kola has been shown to be a natural appetite reducer as well as an increase in the desire to drink more water. People on a special diet who want to lose weight can add bitter kola nuts to their meals and have less food cravings throughout the day; snacking on nuts can also help reduce hunger between meals.
9. It is used to treat osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a painful and stiffening condition caused by the degradation of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, particularly in the hip, knee, and thumb joints. It’s a rather frequent type of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by a variety of factors, including joint injury, obesity, and aging, according to the National Institutes of Health.
However, researchers at Nigeria’s Obafemi Awolowo University studied the effects of bitter kola on arthritis symptoms and found that it greatly reduced inflammation and discomfort.
In patients with osteoarthritis symptoms, it also improved joint movement.