Bitter Kola, botanically called garcinia kola has other different names; the Yoruba call it Orogbo, the Hausa call it Namijin-goro, and the Igbo call it Aki-ilu.
Bitter kola has been used over the years in traditional medicine to treat a host of ailments due to its antibiotic nature. Bitter kola (garcinia kola) has 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. Furthermore, it has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral properties for treatment of several ailments. A recent report by the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) shows that Bitter Kola has been found to be very efficacious in the treatment of Ebola, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Son of the former President of Kaduna Herbalist Association Mr. Oliver Afemikhe Oviani, an Edo-born herbalist, revealed that he uses Bitter Kola in treating his patients. According to him, Bitter Kola could be used in treating liver, kidney, and gall bladder infections. He said there is a chemical compound which helps to break down glycogen in the liver and which has other medicinal uses responsible for longevity in man.
“It is also effective in the treatment of cough, diarrhoea, tuberculosis and several bacteria infections,” said: Mr. Oliver.
He also maintained that Bitter Kola is anti poison and has the power to repel evil men and spirits.
Therefore, when food is suspected to be contaminated with any kind of poison, chew Bitter Kola immediately. It will forestall the development of any infection or poison. The herbalist recommends that the seed and the bark of bitter kola be eaten together in the case of food poisoning. It helps to detoxify the whole system.
Bitter Kola is anti-position too. It can also be used to repel snakes for those who live in areas that are prone to snakes bites,” she said. She also said that Bitter Kola could be used in the treatment of breast cancer as it has anti-cancerous effect. For children, when ground and mixed with honey, Bitter Kola could be used in the treatment of measles and mumps. It should be taken orally and also applied externally in the case of mumps.” She also revealed the efficacy of the Bitter Kola in vomiting for both children and adults.” It can be used to clear coarse voice. It clears the voice by stimulating the production of mucus along the lining of the vocal tube which softens the dry throat,” she added. She also said that the body craves for bitter foods from time to time. “Nature advocates a balance in everything, when sweet foods are eaten in excess, the body tends to be more acidic. In order to balance this, bitter foods should be eaten occasionally. “The body is at its optimum health when it is slightly alkaline.
Other health benefits of Bitter Kola as revealed by inform African.com are as follows:
Bitter Kola Health Benefit for Glaucoma (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 Opthamology, showed that the opthamolic solution that contained the Garcinia significantly reduced eye pressure when used twice a day.
Bitter Kola Health Benefits for HIV
Bitter kola is a potent antibiotic which could be efficacious in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. A researcher with the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), Mrs. Chinyere Nwokeke told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Bitter Kola could be used in treating opportunistic infections associated with HIV. “Bitter kola is highly recommended in the treatment of HIV and AIDS because of its antibacterial, detoxification, and cleansing properties”, she said.
Mrs Chinyere Nwokeke also said that the chemical Saponin in bitter kola is responsible for its cleansing effect. Saponin is mainly used as tonic for the liver. It enhances the functions of the liver and gall bladder.
Bitter Kola Health Benefits for Cold
Bitter kola is often used to treat the symptoms of colds. It is suggested, in particular, for coughs and sneezing.
Bitter Kola Benefits for Male Fertility (Impotence)
Garcinia kola, also called Bitter Kola is sometimes believed to cure impotence. Frequent taking of bitter kola boosts man performance in bed with a woman.
Bitter Kola Benefits 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.
Bitter Kola Benefits for Food Poisoning
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 prevents the development of any infection or poisoning. Herbalists even recommend the seed and the bark of Bitter Kola should be eaten together in cases where food poisoning is suspected, “it helps to detoxify the system.”
Bitter kola is not only anti-poison, it also has the ability to repel evil spirits according to traditional beliefs. Though it sounds superstitious, many (myself included) believe it works and do have spiritual benefits.
Bitter Kola Benefits for treating Ebola
Update: It is no surprise to me that bitter kola has been reported in Africa to be an effective natural treatment for Ebola. It should be common among Africans to think that any immune system boosting food, fruits and nuts may be good for alleviating and treating the symptoms of Ebola.
The amazing health benefits of Bitter Kola (Garcinia Kola)
Bitter Kola Improves Lung Functions
Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola) has been used for centuries to treat chest colds in traditional medicine.
Bitter Kola Health Benefits 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.
Furthermore, kolaviron, the powerful chemical compound found in Bitter Kola, was reportedly tested on a malaria parasite and found to inhibit malarial activity.
Bitter Kola Health Benefits for Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, characterized by pain, inflammation and limited movement in the joints, according to the National Institute of Health.