Kola nut scientifically known as Cola acuminata belongs to the family Sterculiaceae. It is a plant with great medicinal potentials.
Both Cola acuminata and Cola nitida have interesting medicinal applications however, in this post we are concerned about the medicinal uses of Cola acuminata. But how can you differentiate one from the other?
Cola nitida kolanuts can be split into two halves (they have 2 cotyledons) whereas Cola acuminata kolanuts can be split in 3, 4 or more parts (more than two halves).
Research shows that the following health challenges are helped by the intake of Cola acuminata seeds.
1. MOTION SICKNESS : Many individuals experience the disturbing symptoms that accompany motion sickness while traveling. These include dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Kolanut is good for motion sickness.
2. It STIMULATES the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM , increases alertness, combats fatigue due to its caffeine , theobromine and kolatin content. It acts as an antidepressant. It can also help in attaining a state of euphoria.
3. CANCER Treatment : ongoing research across the scientific world on the extract of Kola nut seeds for the treatment of certain forms of cancers all show promising results.
4. MIGRAINE is relieved by the administration of Cola acuminata seeds.
5. Cola acuminata stimulates digestion.
6. ANTIMICROBIAL ACTION: “Research shows that methanolic and aqueous (water) extracts of Cola acuminata seeds displayed antimicrobial activity against; BACILLUS SUBTILIS , STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS , ESCHERICHIA COLI , KLEBSIELLA PNEUMONAE , PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA and CANDIDA ALBICANS ….. and results compared well with GENTAMICIN and NYSTATIN ” (Promising Efficacy of the Cola acuminata Plant: A Mini Review- Henry I. C. Lowe etal 2014)
7. Cola acuminata seeds ease CRAMPS .
8. Kola nut SUPPRESSES APPETITE and helps to ACHIEVE WEIGHT LOSS . Furthermore, it is has LIPOLYTIC ( fat burning) property.
9. Kola nut increases low blood pressure and may be useful for HYPOTENSIVE patients.
10. As an astringent, it is good for DIARRHEA and DYSENTERY .
Are there variations of minerals and phytochemical constituents in the red and white variety of Cola acuminata (Kola nut)? . Certainly yes.
According to the research conducted by A. O. Abiodun etal 2014 titled Biochemical and Phytochemical Properties of Cola acuminata Varieties, the red variety of Kola nut has higher content of CALCIUM , MAGNESIUM , POTASSIUM , CAROTENOIDS , PHENOL, FLAVONOIDS and FATS. The white variety is richer in SODIUM , PHOSPHORUS , ALKALOIDS , TANNIN , PROTEIN and CARBOHYDRATE .
“He who brings kola brings life” (Onye wetara oji wetara ndu).
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Dr Gilbert Ezengige is a licensed natural medicine practitioner, lecturer and writer on health and social issues.