A popular belief is that ‘the best medicines are those with bitter taste,’ bitter kola is certainly one of them.
It is mostly agreed that bitter kola, not only used for traditional activities, also passes as a valuable medicine for treating various types of illnesses.
The seed, fruit, nut, and bark have been used for treating cough and fever. Bitter kola, which is generally believed to be a high source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, fiber, calcium, iron and potassium, also contains antioxidants.
Researches have been carried out on this very beneficial plant. The following are its health benefits:
- Bitter kola improves the functionalities of the lungs – it strengthens the fiber and lung tissues if consumed regularly. It also controls any counter effect.
- Helps in managing osteoarthritis – osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is the degeneration of one’s joints and underlying bones of the body.
This happens when the protective cartilage between the bones wears down due to injury, aging or obesity. It can result in pains and stiffness of the affected area, which can commonly be the knee, hip, and thumbs.
- Bitter kola improves the immune system – because it contains a
favourableamount of antioxidant, it helps in warding off bacteria. It suppresses illnesses and improves health. Due to the increase in the body’s immunity, the body becomes strong enough to fight against illnesses and contaminants.
- It battles against STDs – sexually transmitted diseases are a huge problem in our society that scientists battle hard every day to curb to the barest minimum. Although, the complicated nature of this kind of disease is hard to be reckoned with, eating a considerable amount of bitter kola and its leaves consistently have been proven to help manage them to an extent.
Results show that bitter kola and its leaf have antibacterial activities on clinical isolates of some STDs like Staphylococcus Aureus, Streptococcus Pyrogens, Escherichia Coli, and Salmonella Typhi.
- Bitter kola helps in treating respiratory tract infections – it helps in the maintenance and treatment of the respiratory tracts, coughs, throat infections, and chest cold.
- It helps to treat and prevent acute fever – it is popularly known to be an anti-malaria agent as it contains anti-malaria properties. Bitter kola, its bark, and stem have been used natively in curing malaria fever. Traditional healers have oftentimes prescribed this to their patients, especially in Africa.
- It helps to fight glaucoma – glaucoma is an eye defect that damages the optic nerve leading to permanent loss of vision. It increases pressure within the eyeballs, which leads to a gradual loss of sight if left untreated.
Garcinia kola, popularly known as bitter kola improves this kind of eye condition. It’s been shown to successfully reduce pressure in the eye, thereby helping to manage glaucoma.