Bitter Kola: African Wonders Nut with Great Benefits and Side Effects
Garcinia Kola popularly known as Bitter Kola is an African wonders nut that belongs to the “guttiferal’’ family. It is found in Western and Central Africa.This bitter plant, which is believed to contain a high source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron, also carry other antioxidants and the usage is not limited to traditional activities alone.
Bitter Kola has been identified as a potent antibiotic which could be effective in the treatment of many diseases. The fruit, seeds, nuts and bark of the tropical tree have been used for centuries in traditional medicines to treat many forms of ailments.
However, bitter kola is known to be ‘Orogbo’ in Yoruba land, ‘Miji-goro’ in Hausa land and in Igbo land as Akiilu.
In West Africa, bitter kola is now being harnessed as a cure for the Ebola virus infections and also against flu. The stem, bark and the seeds are used for acute fever, inflammation of the respiratory tract and throat infections. The seeds are also chewed to relieve hoarseness of voice and cough. In traditional medicine, the seed is used for the treatment of liver disorder and it’s also used in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhea. The leaves are used for stomachache and pains and they also serve as good remedy for typhoid fever.
Every advantage has its disadvantage, and when it comes to health, it is everything you should know but don’t forget that “Health is wealth”.
Healthy Benefits of Bitter Kola
- It improves the lungs function by expanding the alveolar ducts and sac in the lungs thereby improving and strengthening the fibers in the lung tissue.
- Bitter Kola has chemical compound that could help in the breakdown of glycogen in the liver.
- It has antioxidant properties used as tonic for liver and the gall bladder, which helps detoxifies the body system.
- Biter Kola clears the voice by stimulating the production of mucus along the lining of the vocal tube which softens the dry throat.
- It acts as anti-poison. When food is suspected to be contaminated by bacteria, chewing bitter kola can prevent the development of any infection or poison.
- It can also reduce eye pressure which results in glaucoma if not treated timely.
- Relieves arthritis by reducing swelling, pain and increase joint movement.
- Prevention of malaria
- Weight loss
However, the likely side effect of eating bitter kola could be incurred when taken in excessive amount, taken by any patient on drugs or medication.
Side Effects of Bitter Kola
- It can lead to mouth cancer or gastrointestinal cancer.
- It can damage the heart. The caffeine which can be found in bitter kola can lead to severe heart issues.People with cardio issues should be aware of this when eating bitter kola.
- When eaten in excessive amount, can worsen your diarrhea
- Bitter Kola when taken excessively slows blood clotting. Since it messes up the process of blood clotting, people who underwent surgeries should abstain from eating bitter kola.
- It is not that too good for diabetic people
- Too much caffeine can cause death