Bitter kola is a type of fruit that is eaten raw. It is mostly found in several parts of Nigeria and West-Central Africa and the tree grows in the (tropical) rain forests. It is known as Garcinia kola. Eating a piece of bitter kola daily can help in the treatment for ill-health.Generally used as a social snack and offered to guests in some cultural settings, bitter kola has been indicated in the treatment and improvement of function or some organs of the body and hes little or no side effect.
Some medical experts in Lagos have said that regular intake of bitter kola has little or no side effect on human health.
Bitter Kola has been identified as a potent antibiotic which could be effective in the treatment of many diseases. The fruit, seeds, nuts and bark of the plant have been used for long in Traditional medicine to treat ailments from coughs to fever. According to Bartholomew Brai, nutritional biochemist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, bitter kola is used in the preparation of herbal drugs either as a nourishment, a supplement or a herbal remedy. He stated that there was no recorded side effect to the regular intake of bitter kola, adding that it was all round medicinal.
<<<<HEALTH BENEFITS OF BITTER KOLA>>>>
- Improves lung function>>>> A study in the 2008 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. Written by David A. Ofusori, MSc, from Igbinedion University in Nigeria, the study shows that garcinia kola works by dilating the alveolar ducts and sacs in the lungs by improving the strength of the fibers in the lung tissue.
- Treatment of Athritis>>>>>>> Medical
experts at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, OAUTH, in a
study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, said that
bitter kola has a significant analgesic/anti-inflammatory effects in knee
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. Garcinia kola is a good antoxidant.
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, conclude that garcinia kola significantly reduced inflammation and pain and increased joint movement in subjects that had osteoarthritis symptoms.
- <<<<Reduction of glaucoma>>> 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 Opthamology, showed that the opthamolic solution that contained the garcinia significantly reduced eye pressure when used twice a day. Topical Garcinia kola 0.5% aqueous eye drops are as effective as timolol maleate 0.5% eye drops in lowering IOP in newly diagnosed glaucoma and ocular hypertensive patients, according to a study published Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. Also a group of Nigerian medical doctors and researchers have released findings that Africa’s bitter kola (Garcinia Kola) was efficacious in the treatment of glaucoma, a disease that results in irreversible blindness.
- <<<<Treatment of malaria>>>>> According to Professor Olusegun Ademowo, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, South West of Nigeria, chemical constituents, which is called Kolaviron has a significant anti-malarial effect against malaria parasite. In 1999, a group of researchers in Kinshasa, Congo, attested to why people should consider feeding more on bitter kola to ward of malaria. Under laboratory conditions, they found that extracts from bark, stem and seed of bitter kola tree inhibit the growth of malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) by at least 60% at a low concentration of 6 mg/ml.
- <<<<<Improves libido>>>> The South African researchers wrote: “The present study confirmed that G. kola possesses sexual enhancing effects on male rats as evidenced by the increased MF and intromission IF frequencies with increased number of subsequent ejaculations over the 20 min observation period. These parameters are considered to be a measure of both libido and potency and indicative of improved sexual arousal and performance. Thus our results show that G. kola treatment increases both libido and potency in normal rats. The researchers noted: “In this study, G. kola treatment resulted in increased testosterone levels, which may account for the enhanced sexual activity. The mechanisms for increased total testosterone levels may be via central influences to increase gonadotropins or locally via increase in the number of Leydig cells or their sensitivity to luteinising hormone (LH).
However, The side effects reported from the Garcia kola use in this study were weight loss, increase in sex drive and extended sleep