Ever wondered the source of the word ‘cola’? It is kola nut (also called kolanut) found in energy drinks, dietary supplements, flavouring agents in soda and performance boosters.
Quite bitter in taste, the bitter kola nut is grown in tropical rainforests in Africa namely Nigeria. Since it contains caffeine, it is a food source we have been relishing for long.
[Also Read: The Health Benefits of Hazelnuts]
Scientifically known as Garcinia kola, the kola nut is a potent antibiotic that treats many diseases. This agricultural produce bitter kola nut is effective in treating cough, tuberculosis, diarrhoea and bacterial infections.
In fact the plant’s fruit, seeds, bark and nuts have been used to fight fever and cough as a part of folk medicine for centuries.
Kola Nut Benefits
Travel to the international market, and you will find cola nut being used in herbal drug preparation and herbal remedies. Kola nut benefits can be attributed to a flavonoid which is said to have influenced its use for medicinal purposes in African culture.
How small or big are kola nuts? They are actually very small, a bit round, a bit oval-shaped. The colours of bitter kola nut are quite many – brownish-white, light green and pink to dark purple. They smell a bit like nutmeg and look like large chestnuts.
The African kola nuts have more caffeine than coffee. However, few studies show that kola nuts have only 2% caffeine, while the balance ingredients include glucose, starch, betaine and protein.
Some of the popular Kola nuts health benefits include the following:
1. Lung Function
Because of the high antioxidants present, bitter kola nut is effective in treating chest colds. As per a published study in the 2008 issue of The Internet Journal of Pulmonary Medicine where lab test was done on mice, bitter kola nut improved the respiratory function after use of Garcinia extract for 28 days. A closer look reveals that Garcinia kola improved the strength of the fibers in the lung tissue.
[Also Read: Health Benefits Of Peppers]
2. Relieves Arthritis
Yet another scientific study published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research revealed that Garcinia kola reduced joint inflammation in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
3. Boosts Immunity
Kola Nut Health Benefits include anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. This helps in preventing viruses and infections of the immune system.
4. Weight Loss
Among the many bitter kola nut benefits, hunger suppressant is a major advantage. The bitter kola also increases the urge to drink water and more water, which reduces hunger pangs.
[Also Read: Best Fruits For Weight Loss]
5. Metabolism Booster
Those of you who suffer from slow metabolism can turn to kola nut benefits. The bitter kola nut optimises heart health when taken in moderate doses.
In fact, kola nuts have been chewed in Africa in ceremonies as well as in the treatment of upset stomachs.
No doubt, kola nuts have the power to improve digestion and reduce bloating, constipation and gastrointestinal disorders.
Usage Tips Of Bitter Kola Nut
It is easy to encash upon kola nut benefits. Collect a handful of kola nuts. Remove the brownish outer skin and grind it. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of powdered kola nut with water or milk and then take it.
If sexual performance is on your mind, take 3 seeds of bitter kola nut before indulging in intercourse without taking water.
Scared of snakes and want to shoo them away? Spread kola nuts around the building where you are living.
[Also Read: Bloating Remedies]
Since the kola nut stores caffeine better than the powder form, you should ideally grind the nut before using it. You can add the kola nut powder to coffee to increase the caffeine content. It can also be had in the form of tea. The powder of kola nut can also be taken in capsule form.
Side Effects Of Cola Nuts
Every good thing has a flip side too. It’s the same with kola nut. Some of the side effects of this nut include weight loss, extended sleep and increase in sex drive.
[Also Read: Health Benefits of Walnuts]
In case you suffer from diarrhoea, irregular heartbeat or allergy after consuming bitter kola nut, then discontinue its use immediately and consult a doctor.
The nuts health benefits as you can see are vast and interesting. Now that we have shared with you the kola nut benefits, let us know how you found them.