Today, I bring to you a very popular plant, one which we would hardly find anyone who does not about it.
No, it is not that people eat for the fun of it like the oranges, apples, carrots, watermelons, dates, (hmm dates, I just love this plant and can form countless wordplays from its name) or the other plants you buy from abokis, market women or from grocery stores generally for this purpose.
No, it is not one that you use in your food like tomatoes, pepper, cucumbers (don’t forget your salad, fruit or vegetable) melon (known as egusi with the Yorubas) or a vegetable.
But then wait, which plant is so popular and doesn’t fall in the categories above?? Before I start talking about this plant and its benefits, I need to remind you in case you are among those who don’t know, that plants are so much more.
The advantages of plants (or crops if you choose) are not limited to devouring them or using them as food plants in form of spices and seasonings alone, rather they are so much more as we have said earlier.
Have you heard about the plant Garcinia kola? You certainly have. Away with the suspense now, we are talking about the kola (or kolanut). The kolanut is although not eaten like the fruits mentioned above but it is devoured like some other plants for some specific purposes.
It is very uncommon to find youths chewing kola but it is the norm for older people to chow down on this fruit. This is simply because they know well what they want to derive from it. So, why should anyone aside the oldies desire to chew a kolanut?
As the Yorubas will say, “if we do not because of yam consume the red oil, then we will because of the red oil eat yam”.
This is just a word for word translation of a popular proverb which actually means: if we do not have any interest in a particular thing, then a specific reason or benefit will make us have need for that very thing.
If you do not desire to eat kola especially due to its bitter taste, then you definitely should due to its numerous benefits. So, what are these benefits? Read on!
It is common knowledge that kolanut is used to increase energy levels and improve the health of an individual. Kolanut is also commonly used to boost the immunity.
It has a high amount of antioxidants which counteracts free radicals in the body and thus greatly helps to increase immunity levels in a human. And of course, when the immune system is strong, the antibodies fights easily against infections.
Perhaps this is why this plant is used for fighting certain diseases. Want to know more about the health benefits of kolanut? Just you wait, you will read them as you move on.
Kola can be used to fight the malaria organism, Plasmodium spp (note that mosquito is only a vector and not the disease itself so don’t act funny thinking it will kill your mosquitoes). Traditionally, this is known in Nigeria for many years.
Scientists have also confirmed that the presence of the antioxidant, kolaviron, aids in fighting malaria. In a research which was published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, kolaviron which is an antioxidant that can be found in kola is said to possess antimalarial properties.
Given that malaria is the highest killer of mankind worldwide and most deaths occur in Africa, it is high time we used what we have to get what we need. Take caution though as reading is only a way to knowledge, consulting with alternative or traditional health practitioners is vital. N.B: We do not mean sorcerers popularly known as babalawo or dibia.
For healthy lungs
Kola has been proven to help humans with the functioning of the lungs. Research from some Nigerian universities has shown that kolanut helps to enhance the workability of the respiratory system.
In a report by the Middle East African Journal of Opthalmology, kola is an effective medicine against the eye disease known as glaucoma which is characterized by increased pressure within the eyeball which gradually leads to loss of sight. This is one grace that we have and we should harness this plant and get the benefits out of it.
Wow! This is one aspect of life that we all love to read. And lucky you, we love to write and talk about it as well. There exists so many plants which have aphrodisiac properties in them like dates (we have said we love talking about this plant), cucumber, tigernut and others. Here is another but for you to get grinding.
In the world of traditional medicine, kolanut is believed to act as an aphrodisiac and that it increases libido and performance. This will go a long way to boost your potency. Yes, it is helpful for LSC too (low sperm count). Sweet to hear, bitter to taste, right?
Come on, get some kola, forget the bitter taste and grind it in your teeth, then you can grind your Mrs well. We are already saying “you’re welcome” before your “thank you”. So, don’t mention.
A remedy for osteoarthritis
Quick fact: When you see the word “osteo”, think of bone. Osteoarthritis is a form of the popular bacterial/viral disease; arthritis. While it may seem like a semblance to arthritis, it is characterised by the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, most common from middle age onward.
It causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, and thumb joints as dictated by the Oxford Dictionary of English. An experimental result from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) showed that bitter kola can reduce the inflammation and pain which is a result of arthritis.
It was also found to enhance joint movement in arthritic patients.
An infection fighter.
By this point, we mean that kola has been proven to fight and suppress bacterial and viral infections especially those caused by Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi. In an article on webmd.com on 22nd August, 2021, it is said that bitter kola can fight infections from the common cold, cough and hepatitis.
It is also advised to commence eating it early on after an infection for quick action.
Let us mention here as our conclusion that kolanut is also an efficient antidote. kola is also used as an antidote against some forms of poison. Matter of fact, bitter kola has been utilised traditionally long before now to counter infections or poisons.
Reminder: “Knowledge is light” and “too much of something is bad enough”. Consult the experts before your kolanut journey.