It is good to eat moderate amounts of bitter kola every day because it is a low-calorie fruit that contains kolaviron. Kolaviron is a potent antioxidant with anti-cancer properties.
Bitter kola can help lower blood pressure and improve mental alertness. It also has the ability to protect the nervous system from toxic effects by improving your metabolism and systems such as Parkinson’s disease (by acting on dopamine levels). One of the downsides to eating too much of it would be tooth enamel erosion, if you chew on it enough! So use water or chewing gum when possible.
Bitter kola is seen as an adaptogen that helps to promote a sense of well-being. The combination of caffeine and nicotine found in this fruit can boost your energy levels and put you in a better mood. It also supports blood flow by dilating the vessels, which delivers oxygen more efficiently to your body’s cells.
If eaten during pregnancy it can help prevent preeclampsia or an extended labor because it contains magnesium which relaxes muscles during contraction so labor may progress faster. Bitter kola dieters are often encouraged to eat because it has no fat, sugars, cholesterol or sodium so it would not increase thirst.
People in Africa have been consuming bitter kola in its raw form for centuries, which could be the reason it is thought to have numerous medicinal benefits. The caffeine found in kola nuts can help increase energy levels when consumed with breaks, though too much caffeine has the opposite effect on mental stamina.
Kola nuts are bitter in flavor and will not appeal to everyone.
It is believed that ingesting bitter kola may help with reducing the symptoms of colic in babies. It has been reported to improve gastrointestinal health. Bitter kola also helps reduce cholesterol levels in adults.
Bitter Kola can provide relief from liver function problems by acting as a cleansing agent for toxins in the bloodstream. According to African medicine, this plant brings about desired changes when applied externally on wounds, skin irritations, burns, bites, bowel complaints and so on.
The bitter kola nut is commonly used as a substitute for the more expensive cola nut, not just to create a brew with caffeine, but because it acts as an appetite suppressant. One study evaluating whether or not consuming Kola-nut extract has any significant weight reduction effect found that over the course of 12 weeks and no other lifestyle changes were made, participants lost 4 kg on average.
Some people may be sensitive to caffeine and suffer from headaches or nervousness when consuming caffeine; those should speak to their physician before changing their diet.
What is bitter kola?
The Bitter Kola tree, also known as Garcinia Kola is a tree that grows exclusively in the wetter coastlands of West Africa namely, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The fruit provides work-intense harvest-period labour for men because it is so high up on the trees. The fruits are shaped like an apple or pear with rough skin. It has a flavour similar to vanilla or kola nut so it can be used as an additive to other foods.
Garcinia Kola trees grow best under moist conditions but do not tolerate inundation during rainy seasons well . When ripe, the flesh inside will have turned into liquid containing seeds surrounded by black edible pulp that tastes mildly sweet with woody pieces mixed in.
In Nigeria, It has been used for many years to promote good urination and fat reduction, and it can be used both fresh or dried by pounding between two rocks.
The fruit of the Garcinia plant contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which suppresses appetite and serotonin production, among other things. Recent evidence suggests that HCA does not suppress serotonin production during consumption of foods.
The bark of this tree has been used by native Congolese populations for skin conditions, back pain, abdominal cramps, wounds, fever and “evil spirits”. Its leaves are given to people suffering from hypertension or heart disease for alleviating dizziness due to high blood pressure.
Bitter kola got its name from the bitter taste of its fruit, which is used in herbal medicine. It is also known to have fruits with a long shelf life and to be pest resistant. The bitter kola tree grows from 10 to 30 meter tall trees in wet savanna, coastal inundation forest and swamp forests. In West Africa it’s known as “Bitter Apple,” and in countries such as Nigeria it is important in folk medicine for curing epilepsy.
Chemical composition of bitter kola:
The chemical composition of bitter kola includes alkaloids such as nigroline, isoboldine, and meta-isoboldine.
Nigroline has been shown to induce necrosis of fat tissue in the presence of ultraviolet light. Isoboldine is a monoamine oxidase A inhibitor that may have a beneficial effect against depression and stroke therapy.
Meta-isoboldine, which was not previously known to exist, has been found to inhibit platelet aggregation with moderately less potency than that reported for other related compounds containing this structural moiety including cilostazol and ISA101-C3.
One major component of bitter kola is cinchonine, which was the first plant-derived alkaloid to be isolated by chemists. Cinchonine’s uses over the years have grown and grown, with one common use of it being in medicine for treating diarrhea. Research has shown that even though its unpleasant taste is hard to bear at times, cinchonine does hold potential benefits if taken in small doses on occasion.
Both natural and synthetic forms of bitter kola contain glyceryl nitrate, synephrine, caffeine and other xanthine alkaloids.
Bitter kola fights infections:
Many studies have concluded that bitter kola has been found to be useful for fighting certain bacterial and viral infections. Researchers have found evidence for this in animal studies where animals given extract from Bitter Kola were less likely to get sick from bacterial or viral infections not only during their treatment but throughout the experiment.
In one report it was shown to induce “immune stimulation” through T helper cells type 1 (Th1). The Th2 response increases inflammation while Th1 is responsible for fighting against bacteria and viruses. More research will need to be done on humans before there can be recommendations for use in prevention or treatment.
Bitter kola is high in kaempferol, which has been shown to have potential antibacterial and antioxidant properties. While there isn’t any conclusive research on the effects of bitter kola, it seems to be a promising plant for protecting against bacterial infections and giving the immune system a boost.
Bitter kola contains an alkaloid called beta-amyrin which has shown antiviral properties when tested on animals. Much still needs to be researched in the relationship between this plant and viruses in humans before it can be determined that bitter kola is or isn’t antiviral.
Better kola is anti-inflammatory:
Emerging evidence suggests that kola nut extract may have the potential to be a beneficial adjunct therapy for inflammatory bowel disease.
Results from recent studies suggest that kola extract administration inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in intestinal tissue. This study found that pretreatment with 10 mg/kg of kola extract reduced colonic inflammation and increased colonocyte proliferation in a ulcerative colitis rat model. The results from this animal model warrant future clinical investigation in human IBD patients.
The leaves of the plant are used in West African medicine as a remedy for fevers and chest pain, while others use it externally to treat earwax buildup.
Kola nut extract is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules with a role of blocking reactive oxygen species production and scavenging them so they cannot do any damage to cells. There are three primary categories of these molecules that are found naturally in various foods – vitamin A carotenoids, phenolic compounds (aromatic components), and ascorbic acid (a type of vitamin C).
Antioxidants may offer protection against some age-related nervous system disorders or illnesses by scavenging free radicals or reducing oxidative stress within neural tissue. Furthermore, antioxidants are anti-inflammatory.
Bitter kola contains caffeine. Recent studies have shown that caffeine reduces inflammation.
Bitter Kola helps with blood glucose control:
The chemical, hydroxycitric acid (HCA) in bitter kola has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels and body fat mass
Fats are converted into ketones by beta-oxidation within fatty acid cells; however, the process is slowed when insulin levels exceed metabolism and inhibit the breakdown of fatty acids. Consequently, HCA’s ability to increase insulin secretion and inhibition of lipolysis at higher doses prevents obesity and diabetes by regulating energy intake and expenditure.
Muscle isn’t perfect for losing weight because it requires a lot of energy; this reduces calorie internal generation without lowering calories consumed as many people think.
Bitter kola contains caffeine which is dangerous when taken in large quantities so make sure to know your limits with this herb. Keep in mind that some people react more strongly than others.
Symptoms you may see with both bitter kola overdoses and chronic use include gastrointestinal problems like stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea-like symptoms; headaches; palpitations (feeling your heartbeat); high blood pressure or low blood pressure; constipation or diarrhea. In acute cases of overdose worse symptoms are often seen including hallucinations, agitation and confusion.