Bitter Kola also is known as Garcinia kola, is a multipurpose tree found mostly in the tropical rain forest region of Central and West Africa.
This highly preferred species is called “wonder plant” because every part of it such as the seeds, stem, and leaves has been used for medicinal purposes over many decades.
One study found that Garcinia kola acts as anti-bacteria, anti-virus and provides protection against cancer.
The most valued product of the tree are the seeds which are commonly chewed by both rural and urban populations of African region to avoid and treat gastric problems.
There is vast evidence that bioactive components of the seeds can serve as an alternative medicine to treat and cure severe ailments including:
The effect of bitter kola on diabetes is quite astounding. Findings has it that bitter kola can regulate blood sugar levels in the blood by reducing and normalizing it.
Consuming Bitter Kola seed significantly ameliorates hyperglycemia-mediated damage by decreasing the blood glucose level, enhancing the antioxidant system, inhibiting lipid peroxidation, and improving complications of diabetes mellitus.
This therapy is likely to be most effective in the early stage of diabetes as a severe state might require the services of health experts.
Over the years, traditional healers have been recommending bitter kola to their patients as a treatment to some ailments of which malaria is inclusive.
Experimental studies backed up this fact in their finding that the chemical constituents in bitter kola have anti-malaria properties and can do wonders if two or three(with some water) of the seeds are chewed when signs arise.
In addition, the stem, bark, and seeds of bitter kola are used to treat acute fever, inflammation of the respiratory tract and throat infections.
3. Immune system
Bitter kola has a high amount of antioxidant. This high amount of antioxidants found in bitter kola does not only help fight bacteria and other illnesses, it also helps the body to increase its immunity levels.
Also, when the immunity level of the body is increased, it becomes strong enough to fight against any foreign contaminant.
Glaucoma is a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing a gradual loss of sight. Glaucoma could result in permanent blindness if left untreated.
However, bitter kola has been found to be an amazing remedy for this ailment.
Researchers at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria tested the effectiveness of eye drops that contained 0.5 percent extract of Bitter Kola.
The results of their study showed that the ophthalmic solution that contained the Garcinia kola significantly reduced eye pressure when used twice a day.
The study then recommended eating Bitter kola at least twice a day to ease eye pressure
It has been observed that many arthritis sufferers prefer natural herbal medicines to other pain relievers and medications.
Studies where made and the researchers at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria found that there is a positive effect of Garcinia kola against arthritis symptoms.
The results of the study concluded that Garcinia kola significantly reduce inflammation and pain and increased joint movement in subjects that had osteoarthritis symptoms.
6. Neutralizes Snake Poison
Snakes can commonly be found in rural areas or homes that are close to the bush part. People who live in rural areas are more likely to have an encounter with snakes or experience snake bite.
However, it is important to fumigate your environment regularly so as to keep snakes away.
In the case, the compound or surrounding welcomed a snake and you got bitten in the process, you could use bitter kola to neutralize the effect of the snake venom.
Chew 5-10 pieces of bitter kola immediately and within a few seconds you will feel the need to urinate the poison out of the body. In addition, this method can also be effective for scorpion bite.
7. Helps to keep snakes away
Snakes could pose a serious health concern especially when they are creeping around the house and compound and you have got children around.
There are simple local methods you could use to totally eradicate snakes from coming around your homes.
One effective method is using grinded Bitter kola and maize to eradicate snakes from around the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter the specie, kind or size of the snake, just grind the bitter kola and mix it up with grinded maize.
Spread it around the areas you observed snakes frequently pass through or around the compound or around your house; snakes will keep their distance totally. Repeat this process at intervals of three days.
8. Anti- Food Poison
Bitter kola is anti-poisonous in nature, being that it helps in the prevention of bacterial infection caused as a result of food poisoning. The bark and seed of Garcinia kola when eaten together helps in the detoxification of the human system especially in the cases of food poisoning.
It is recommendable to chew bitter kola immediately after eating contaminated food or suspected contaminated food.
Certain parts of the African countries have the belief that chewing and holding bitter Kola helps to drive away evil people and spirits.
9. Sore Throat
Bitter kola seeds can be chewed to clear a sore throat and throat hoarseness. Bitter kola clears the throat by boosting mucus production along the vocal tube lining, which helps to soften the dry throat.
Among other health ailments Garcinia kola can cure, cough is the most common one (Trusted Source). Allowing cough to persist for too long is not healthy and thus should be treated immediately signs are noticed.
To use the Bitter kola method in curing cough, blend 8-10 bitter kola nuts and scoop the paste in a clean container with a cover.
Get a half bottle of honey and add a considerable amount to the paste about ratio 5:1 and stir very well.
Allow to stay for at least an hour, for it to ferment. Then administer to your child or an adult thrice daily, until symptoms of cough disappear.
This home remedy is very potent. Stay away from drinking cold or iced water during treatment.
11. Respiratory health
The considerate amount of consumption of bitter kola helps in strengthening and stabilizing lung tissue and maintain the respiratory tract.
Traditional healers use Bitter Kola to treat chest colds. It also has a favorably high antioxidant content for a healthy body.
Chewing at least one bitter kola seed at an interval of two to three days can help keep your respiratory health at bay.