6 important health benefits of Bitter kola you should know
Bitter Kola which is a common plant across Central and Western Africa is also known as Garcinia kola or bitter cola.
The plant was part of the major components of the famous Coca-cola in it’s early years but it is not flavoured with it anymore.
Bitter kola is considered to have many health benefits like fighting viral and bacteria infections which is why it has been used in traditional African medicine for centuries now.
Extensive research over the years have shown that Bitter kola is high in carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamin c, calcium, potassium, iron and caffeine.
Listed below are some of the health benefits of bitter kola:
1. Bitter kola has antibacterial qualities
Bitter kola was tested against bacterias like Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcuspyogenes, Salmonella typhi and Escherichia coli from a study published by the Science Journal of Microbiology and they found out that it was able to inhibit these microorganisms due to the presence of bioactive components in the extract such as tannin, and saponins found in both the seeds and leaves.
2. The nuts may improve the function of the lungs
Studies have also shown that extracts from Bitter kola may have some protective effects against Asthma, a respiratory disorder and the research also showed that the plant has a positive effect on the lungs and can improve ventilation levels.
3. The aphrodisiac credentials
It has also been considered to be an aphrodisiac by traditional African medical practitioners, it is said to help boost sexual performance as well as desire and pleasure.
4. The nuts may be a remedy for osteoarthritis
Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria researchers conducted a test of bitter kola on osteoarthritis, a common form of arthritis characterised by the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, causing pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, and thumb joints.
They concluded that the plant can largely reduce the inflammation and pain associated with the condition and also aid joint movement in patients.
5. Bitter kola may help to fight glaucoma
A study in the Middle East Journal for Ophthalmology has shown that Bitter kola can help in the treatment of Glaucoma, a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing a gradual loss of sight and can result in permanent blindness. The plant is believed to help in reducing the pressure in the eye for newly diagnosed patients and was as effective as more conventional treatments. It is advisable to seek professional help in cases like this before trying anything.
6. It may be an antimalarial agent
Traditional healers have for many years prescribed bitter kola for the treatment of malaria infections, and now, scientific studies are starting to support their beliefs because it contains the antioxidant kolaviron, which according to research shows positive results for antimalarial properties.