Bitter Kola, also known as Garcinia kola has been used in African culture for centuries for both traditional and medicinal purposes. It contains dimeric flavonoid, lipase inhibitor which is believed to have many healing benefits. In Yoruba land, it is called Orogbo.
Benefits Of Bitter Kola
The Hausas call it Miji-Goro, while it is called Akiilu by the Igbos. People that know the value of this kola always keep it handy and carry it along in their pockets. Bitter kola may be ancient but it’s not only meant for elders or visitors. After reading about the amazing benefits of bitter kola in this article, you will never look at it the same way.
Health benefits of Bitter Kola
- Anti-malaria properties
Considerable experimental studies found that chemical constituents in bitter kola have anti-malaria properties.
That aside, traditional healers have for many years prescribed bitter kola for the treatment of malaria infections. Researchers who reported that bitter kola had anti-malaria effect in the 2010 issue of Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, from a survey of plants used by traditional healers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, attributed this to its quinones content. Furthermore, kolaviron, the powerful chemical compound found in bitter kola, was reportedly tested on a malaria parasite and found to inhibit malarial activity.
- Lung functions
Bitter kola (Garcinia kola) has been used for centuries to treat chest colds in traditional medicine, but research has taken a look and found out why it is effective. A study in the 2009 issue of The Internet Journal of Pulmonary Medicine, performed on mice, reports that Garcinia kola improved respiratory function after 28 days of use of a Garcinia extract. The study shows that Garcinia kola works by dilating the alveolar ducts and sacs in the lungs improving the strength of the fibers in the lung tissue. Bitter kola’s beneficial lung properties are attributed to its high antioxidant content.
- Reduces eye pressure (Glaucoma)
An increase in eye pressure can lead to glaucoma, according to a report from The New York Times Health Guide. Researchers at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria tested the effectiveness of eye drops that contained 0.5 percent extract of Garcinia kola. The results of their study, published in the January 2010 issue of Middle East African Journal of Opthalmology, showed that the opthamolic solution that contained the Garcinia significantly reduced eye pressure when used twice a day.
- Enhances weight loss
Bitter Kola has been known to be a natural hunger suppressant and also increases the urge to drink more water.
- Bitter Kola and HIV/AIDS
Bitter kola is a potent antibiotic which could be efficacious in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. A researcher with the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), Mrs. Chinyere Nwokeke said that bitter kola could be used in treating opportunistic infections associated with HIV. She said: “Bitter kola is highly recommended in the treatment of HIV and AIDS because of its antibacterial, detoxification, and cleansing properties”. She also said that the chemical, Saponin, in bitter kola is responsible for its cleansing effect. Saponin is mainly used as a tonic for the liver, it enhances the functions of the liver and gallbladder.
- Enhances male fertility
Garcinia kola, also called bitter kola is sometimes believed to cure impotence. Frequent consumption of bitter kola boosts a man’s performance in bed with a woman.
- Remedy for osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, characterized by pain, inflammation and limited movement in the joints, according to the National Institutes of Health. Causes of osteoarthritis can include joint injury, obesity and aging. Since many arthritis patients prefer natural herbal medicines to other pain relievers and medications, researchers at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria tested the effects of Garcinia kola against arthritis symptoms. The results of the study, written by Olayinka O. Adegbehingbe and published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, concluded that Garcinia kola significantly reduced inflammation and pain and increased joint movement in subjects that had osteoarthritis symptoms.
- Another importance of bitter kola is that its repels snakes. It can be used to chase snakes away. For snake prevention, spread it around the building.
- Bitter kola is anti-poison too. The naturalists say that the seed and the bark of bitter kola should be eaten together in cases where food poisoning is suspected, “it helps to detoxify the system”.
- It would also be recalled that Nigeria’s world-renowned Professor, Maurice Iwu during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) said bitter kola could be used to prevent EVD.
Bitter Kola is really more powerful than it looks. As you can see, there are many benefits hidden in this small bitter plant product.