Apart from the general believe (you may want to call it superstition) that Bitter Kola is an anti-poison; repels snakes or serves as a sexual stimulant, does not undermine the inherent health components of this wonder Kola. The fruit, seeds, nuts and bark of the plant have been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat ailments from coughs to fever. Common to the tropical region of West Africa, this nut according to a report from the Center for International Forestry Research, garcinia kola trade is still important to the tribes and villages in Nigeria. As with any herb, never consume garcinia kola without first discussing its use and benefits with your physician, especially if you are currently being treated for other medical conditions or are on any medications.
Improve Lung Function
Garcinia kola has been used for centuries to treat chest colds in traditional medicine, but research has taken a look and found out why it is effective. 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. A publication 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. Garcinia kola beneficial lung properties are attributed to its high antioxidant content.
Reduce Eye Pressure
An increase in eye pressure can lead to glaucoma, according to a report from The New York Times Health Guide. 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 Ophthalmology, showed that the opthamolic solution that contained the garcinia significantly reduced eye pressure when used twice a day.
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. Causes of osteoarthritis can include joint injury, obesity and aging. Since many arthritis sufferers prefer natural herbal medicines to other pain relievers and medications, researchers at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria tested the effects of garcinia kola against arthritis symptoms. The results of the study, written by Olayinka O. Adegbehingbe and published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Orthopedics Surgery and Research, conclude that garcinia kola significantly reduced inflammation and pain and increased joint movement in subjects that had osteoarthritis symptoms. It is believed that garcinia kola works well as a result of its antioxidant properties.
Bitter Kola health benefit for malaria
Considerable experimental studies found the chemical constituents in bitter kola have anti-malaria properties. That aside, traditional healers have for many years prescribed bitter kola for the treatment of malaria infections. Researchers who reported that bitter kola had anti-malaria effect in the 2010 issue of Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, from a survey of plants used by traditional healers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, attributed this to its quinones content.
Further more, kolaviron, the powerful chemical compound found in bitter kola, was reportedly tested on a malaria parasite and found to inhibit malarial activity.
Tones the Liver
Emeka Amaechi, a general physician, said that bitter kola had chemical compounds that could help the breakdown of glycogen in the liver. “Bitter kola has antioxidant properties used as tonic for the liver and the gall bladder, which helps detoxifies the body system,” he said. “It clears the voice by stimulating the production of mucus along the lining of the vocal tube which softens the dry throat.”
He also said that bitter kola was anti-poison. According to him, when food is suspected to be contaminated by bacteria, chewing of bitter kola will prevent the development of any infection or poison.
Serves as Food Supplement
Bartholomew Brai, the Nutritional Biochemist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, said on Thursday that bitter kola was used in the preparation of herbal drugs either as nourishment, supplement or herbal remedy.
In conclusion, Bitter kola has lots of health benefits, like the treatment of cough, sneezing, cold, diarrhea, tuberculosis, bacterial infection and fever. It improves lungs function by expanding the alveolar ducts and sac in the lungs thereby improving and strengthening the fibres in the lung tissue.”