Garcinia kola or in simple terms, bitter kola originated from the West and Central Africa. It’s an evergreen tree that grows in Nigeria and other African countries. Bitter kola belongs to the species of a tropical flowering plant. It produces brown, nut-like seeds, similar looking to the kidney beans. For many centuries, the tree bark, green leaves, bitter nuts, and fruit of this evergreen plant are used by communities, tribes, and Africans to treat different conditions, from a regular cough to extreme fever. Garcinia or bitter kola like many other plants is used for non-traditional medical treatment all over the world.
In Nigeria it is called oje in Bokyi, edun or efiari in Efik, efrie in Ejagham-Ekin, cida goro in Hausa, efiat in Ibibio, emiale in Icheve, igoligo in Idoma, aku-ilu or ugolo in Ibo, akaan in Ijo-Izon, okain in Isekiri, and orogbo in Yoruba.
Nutritionists say that while some foods are better eaten when cooked; some others such as fruits and certain vegetables are better eaten raw, in order to get the most of each nutrient. Just as we know, that the best of medicines come with a bitter taste: Undeniably, bitter kola is one of such fruits, which can be eaten raw and still benefit from its high nutritional content.
Bitter kola is believed to have a high source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron, also carry other antioxidants.
Health Benefits Of Bitter Kola
Here are some of the incredible health benefits of bitter kola
- It improves sexual impotence
- Remedy for osteoarthritis
- It combats STDs
- It improves the function of the lungs
- It improves immunity system
- It is anti-malaria agent
- It fights glaucoma
- It’s used for treating low libido
- It’s used for treating low sperm count
- It’s used for treating erectile dysfunction
- It’s used for treating arthritis
- It’s used for treating hangover
- It’s used for improving lung function
- It’s used for treating cough, sneezing, and cold
- It’s used for treating diarrhea, and tuberculosis
- It’s used for treating bacterial infections and fever
- It’s used for treating congestive heart failure
- It’s used for treating venereal diseases, and urinary tract infections
- It’s used for treating toothache and mouth inflammation
- It is a natural diuretic
- It’s used for treating high temperature
- It’s used for libido stimulation
- It’s used for treating Leptospirosis
- It’s used for treating Appendicitis
- It’s used for tumor prevention
- It lowers high blood pressure
- It’s used for treating respiratory infections
- It’s used for treating rheumatism
- It’s used for treating itching
- It’s used for treating insect bites
- It’s a remedy against hepatitis
- It’s used for treating Diabetes
- It helps to dissolve gallstones
- It’s used for treating influenza
- It’s used for treating ear infections
Side Effects Of Eating Bitter Kola
If I must be honest with you, there are no definite side effects of having bitter kola, but anything in excess or wrong proportion may show its evil side. So, on certain occasions, the consumption of bitter kola is found to have some side effects. Some of which are listed below:
- It incapacitates some drugs: It has the power to render some drugs ineffective; so, it is advisable not to be taken when on medication.
- Possible blood clotting and high sugar levels: Patients with diabetes and people who experience periodical bleedings should avoid eating bitter kola nuts because these products can cause problems with digestive system (when your body stops digesting sugar and it raises in your blood) and even blood clotting.
- Irregular heartbeat: Certain bodies might just prove allergic to the plant and develop certain reactions. In such cases, it is advisable to consult a doctor and stop use eating bitter kola.
- Diarrhea: Too many bitter kola nuts can lead to having diarrhea.
- Potential risk of cancer: It might be risky to chew huge amounts of bitter kola nuts because they can potentially cause some types of cancer (for example, gastrointestinal, abdominal or mouth disease).
- Development of glaucoma: While small amounts of nuts might help to prevent glaucoma, big quantities or your health issues might actually cause problems with your eyes.