The scientific name for bitter kola is Garcinia kola and belongs to the family of “Guittiferal” It is called Akiilu in Igbo , It is called Orogbo in Yoruba. The Hausas call it Miji-goro,
1. It Improves Lung Functions:
Bitter kola (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 2009 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. Written by Simon Adekunle of the Ekiti State 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 fibres in the lung tissue. Bitter kola’s beneficial lung properties are attributed to its high antioxidant content.
2. Anti-malarial Properties
Considerable experimental studies discovered that the chemical constituents in bitter kola have anti-malaria properties. Also, over the years, traditional healers have recommended 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 Quinone’s content. Furthermore, Kolaviron, the powerful chemical compound found in bitter kola, was reportedly tested on a malaria parasite and found to inhibit malarial activity.
3. Improves Male Fertility
Garcinia kola, also called bitter kola is sometimes believed to cure impotence. Frequent taking of bitter kola boosts a man’s performance in bed with a woman.
4. Reduces Eye Pressure (Glaucoma)
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 Opthamology, showed that the opthamolic solution that contained the Garcinia significantly reduced eye pressure when used twice a day.
5. Remedy For Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, characterised 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 Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, conclude that Garcinia kola significantly reduced inflammation and pain and increased joint movement in subjects that had osteoarthritis symptoms.
6. Cure For Cold
Bitter kola is often used to treat the symptoms of colds. It is suggested, in particular, for coughs and sneezing.
7. Bitter Kola Benefit for Immune System
Bitter kola is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can be used to prevent infections and viruses, especially in relation to the immune system.
8. Bitter Kola Benefit for Food Poisoning
In many rural areas of Nigeria (and other parts of Africa), when food is suspected to be contaminated by bacteria or someone accidentally eats food poison, traditional healers often recommend the mastication of bitter kola immediately after eating. This usually prevent the development of any infection or poisoning. “it helps to detoxify the system“.
9. Bitter kola is not only anti-poison, it also has the ability to repel evil spirits according to traditional beliefs. Though it sound superstitious, many (myself included) believe it works and do have spiritual benefit
In conclusion, bitter kola (garcinia kola) have for centuries been used in African culture for both traditional and medicinal purposes. Garcinia kola contains saponin, kolaviron (a natural biflavonoid), dimeric flavonoid, and lipase inhibitor all of which is believed to have many healing properties. Further more, it has shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral properties for treatment of several ailments.