Bitter kola or Garcinia kola is a plant that originated in Africa with a plethora of uses. People in western and central Africa have been using this plant in their daily aspects of life. A lot of the African tribes hold this plant in high regard and using it for their ritual and ceremonial practices. Many African people also use this plant as an effective insect and vermin repellent – they believed that it repels ghosts and evil spirits. But the most important use for this plant is their amazing healing benefits.
Most parts of this plant like the seed, bark, fruit, and nuts can be used as a traditional medicine, a practice that has been done for centuries by the African medicine man. This practice has intrigued the medical world to study this bitter-tasted plant to find out whether those healing attributes were just a rumor or real. The results are amazing, bitter kola possesses a wide array of benefits that will surely help everyone to stay healthy.
Bitter kola is widely taken raw and not prepared as food because of its medicinal attributes. Due to its medicinal attributes, Bitter Kola (G. kola) seeds are used in folk medicine. This seed is also known to have no serious or harmful side effects, other than its neutralizing effects of other medicinal drugs if taken together. It is eaten by removing the outer brown coated skin, and as the name implies, it is very bitter to eat.
Meanwhile, bitter kola contains a high source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, fiber, calcium, potassium and iron. That is why bitter kola is good for us. Thus, here are several known benefits commonly found in bitter kola.
SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF BITTER KOLA
There are many health benefits that can be derived from eating of Bitter Kola. Below are some of the benefits;
• Bitter kola has a significant analgesic/anti-inflammatory effects in knee osteoarthritis patients.
• The seed and leaf of bitter kola have antibacterial activity on clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi and Streptococcus pyrogens.
• Bitter kola has been proved to be a popular treatment for diarrhoea and fever.
• The seed extract of bitter kola is antiseptic and is active mostly against gram-positive bacteria, while the leaf, is active mostly against gram-negative bacteria.
• Bitter kola is also very efficient for hepatitis treatment.
• In West Africa, bitter kola is now being harnessed as a cure for the Ebola virus infections and also against the flu.
• The stem, bark and seeds of bitter kola are used to treat acute fever, inflammation of the respiratory tract and throat infections.
• The sees can also be chewed to relieve the hoarseness of voice, sore throat and cough.
• The seed of bitter kola is used for the treatment of liver disorder, dysentery and diarrhoea.
• The leaves are used to cure stomach ache and pains, also they serve as a good remedy for typhoid fever.