What Are The Health Benefits Of Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola)?

JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO Monday, September 20, 2021 Science and Nature

This post will provide information on "What are the health benefits of bitter kola (Garcinia kola)?" as well as provide answers to questions like: What are the benefits of bitter kola? When should I eat bitter kola? What are the side effects of bitter kola? What did bitter kola do in the body? Where is bitter kola from? What is botanical name of bitter kola? Which country needs bitter kola?

History of Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola)

Garcinia kola is an evergreen tree that grows wild in the wet and moist zones of Nigeria, Ghana, and the Republic of Congo. The tree is now planted in farms to serve as a shade tree in cocoa plantations; however, it has been difficult to obtain information regarding the history of GK cultivation, and this may be because the GK seed is a lesser known plant food in western parts of Nigeria despite having local commercial importance. It is traditionally used during ceremonial displays and as a gift to nobles, because it is believed to influence longevity, and has been used in the treatment of ailments since ancient times. Garcinia kola, often known as Bitter kola, is a flowering plant found mostly in the tropical rain forest region of Central and West Africa. In folkloric medicine, every part such as the seeds, stem, and leaves has medicinal value. The seeds are edible and are consumed as an adjuvant to the true kola (Cola nitida) and for medicinal purposes. In ethnomedicine, Garcinia kola has been used as a purgative, antiparasitic, and antimicrobial agent, throat infection, diarrhea, bronchitis, and as an aphrodisiac. Reported pharmacological effects of the seeds include antidiabetic, antiiflammatory, antipyretic, immunomodulatory, antiatherogenic, antimicrobial, and liver disorders. Garcinia kola has been successfully applied to treat patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is used to prevent infections and viruses, especially of the immune system. Garcinia kola is used as a substitute for hops in brewing lager beer, and is especially useful in preventing beer spoilage.

Health Benefits of Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola)

  • it is believed to increase sexual desire, pleasure and performance
  • Bitter kola can be a remedy for osteoarthritis (pains around the joint region)
  • The bioactive substance present in bitter kola (tannins and saponins) makes both the bitter kola seeds and leafs possess antibacterial properties that inhibit micro organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus Pyogenes, Salmonella typhi and Escherichia coli activities
  • Bitter kola has a positive effect on the lungs and can improve ventilation levels
  • Extracts of the plant have also been studied in relation to asthma, and there is the suggestion that bitter kola may have some protective effects against the respiratory disorder
  • Bitter kola has a high concentration of antioxidants which helps to improve the immune system
  • Bitter kola contains the antioxidant kolaviron which shows positive results for antimalarial properties
  • Bitter kola may help fight against glaucoma (Glaucoma is a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing a gradual loss of sight, and can result in permanent blindness if left untreated)

Side Effects of Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola)

  • If you're suffering from hypertension, avoid bitter kola because the nut contains a stimulant with properties that increase the blood pressure
  • 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 (an illness known as insomnia)
  • 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

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