Also known as
Tropical Africa is the native home of the towering kola tree growing up to 40 feet (13 meters) tall. Its yellow flowers tinged with purple bear reddish-brown seeds about the size of a walnut with almost no taste but rich in caffeine. The Igbo, a tribe in southern Nigeria, consider the kola nut tree to be the first tree (and fruit) on earth. They consider the nut to be a symbol of hospitality, kindness and fraternity. Throughout Western Africa, a small piece of nut is chewed before each meal to promote digestion. It was introduced to Europe in the mid 16th century by Portuguese traders. The nut is also thought to improve the flavor of any food and to counteract the effects of drinking tainted water.
Caffeine, Theobromine, kolatin, and kolanin
Origin: Ivory coast, Nigeria
Kola, as its name suggests, is a main ingredient in many traditional colas. In herbal medicine, the nut is usually soaked in alcohol to make tinctures. May be taken as tea although bitter, and the powder can be taken as a capsule.
Kola nut was used as the main ingredient in cola drinks for many years, but is now mainly used as a flavoring agent. Kola is a traditional energy tonic and antidepressant. In Western Uganda, kola nut is thought to enhance male potency. The nut may contain compounds effect against the trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). The German E Commission considers it safe, and lists its uses for mental and physical fatigue.
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