Bitter Kola, also known as Garcinia kola, is widely known for its characteristic bitter taste. It’s often served as kola for visitors in Igboland. It’s served with kola nut and garden egg, it can also be served alone.
Many people enjoy chewing this nut probably because of the general belief that it can neutralize drugs and poisons. Some just use it to keep a cough and even hunger at bay.
In ancient times, every part of the bitter kola plant was used to treat different ailments. There are so many health claims associated with this nut, let’s see how true some of them are.
Health Benefits Of Bitter Kola
- Remedy for fever and cold – Bitter kola enhances lung function, hence, it can serve as a short-term remedy for cold, fever and flu.
- Aids in Weight loss – since bitter kola keeps hunger at bay, those planning to lose some weight can add bitter kola to their diet. It will help you to eat less.
- Prevents malaria – Bitter kola can also prevent malaria and provide relief from its symptoms.
- Handles infertility – Nigerian women who experience infertility problems sometimes eat bitter kola to improve fertility.
- Curing eye problems – Bitter kola may help cure glaucoma and relieve your eyes from pressure. So if you spend a lot of time working at night or have significant pressure on your eyes, bitter kola might be of help to you.
How many bitter kola a day?
If there is one fault natural products have, it is the lack of prescriptions. Too little may have no effect, too much of it might be dangerous.
There is no specified number to be taken in a day, but take only a few nuts in between meals. It is important to know that eating too much bitter kola has side effects which will be examined shortly. So, don’t just assume you can take as much as you like because it’s natural.
Here are the Side Effects:
- Bad diarrhea – consuming too many bitter nuts can lead to serious diarrhea in some individuals.
- Potential risk of cancer – it might be risky to chew huge amounts of garcinia kola nuts because they can potentially cause certain types of cancer which can be – gastrointestinal, abdominal or mouth cancer.
- Risk of death – it is common knowledge that too much caffeine is not good for the body and bitter kola contains a good dose of this element. So, if you have a health condition that does not accept caffeine, you need to stay away from bitter kola completely or it might kill you.
- Development of glaucoma – while small amounts of nuts might help to prevent glaucoma, big quantities might actually cause problems with your eyes.
- Possible blood clotting and high sugar levels – patients with diabetes and people who experience periodical bleedings should avoid eating bitter kola because these products can cause problems with your sugar level (when your body stops digesting sugar, it rises in your blood) and even blood clotting.
The active ingredient in bitter kola that causes health issues when consumed in large quantities is caffeine. People easily get addicted to this element, so it’s important to watch your intake to avoid harming your nervous system.