Garcinia kola popularly known as bitter cola is a kind of fruit packed with enormous health benefits.
The fruit as the name suggests is bitter to taste but offers amazing health benefits to those who consume it.
Garcinia kola is cultivated from a flowering plant which is native to subtropical or tropical areas of Africa.
Traditionally, bitter cola is used for cultural ceremonies (Marriage, Child naming or even welcome visitors to homes especially in Nigeria) and treatment of a wide range of ailments.
Bitter cola has been identified as a kind of fruit that cures a number of health issues including vision losing condition ‘glaucoma’.
Read further to find out how you can improve your overall health by eating this fruit.
Bitter Kola Can Help Prevent Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition that affects the eyes, causing optic nerves to weaken over time. If the process is not halted (mostly via surgery) it potentially leads to partial or complete blindness.
The danger with glaucoma is that it progresses quite rapidly, if left untreated, hence leading to loss of vision within a few years.
One of the leading causes of glaucoma is a buildup of pressure in the eye. This increased pressure, known as intraocular pressure, is what causes the damage to the optic nerves.
That’s where bitter kola comes into play, as it’s been shown to be capable of reducing eye pressure. An extract of Garcinia kola 0.5% aqueous eye drops were tested in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. The results were very interesting indeed — they found that the bitter kola solution significantly reduced intraocular pressure.
Bitter Kola Can Be Used to Treat Malaria Symptoms
One top use of bitter cola in traditional medicine in Africa in the treatment of malaria.
Malaria remains a common ailment in Africa despite the fact that it is preventable and treatable.
Bitter kola has been found to be one form of effective treatment for the symptoms of malaria because of its antioxidant properties, as kolaviron possesses anti-malarial properties and can help protect against plasmodium infection.
Bitter Kola Can Assist With the Treatment of HIV
HIV is prevalent in many African nations. In 2016 alone, there was 19.4 million people living with the virus, with 790,000 new infections and 420,000 deaths related to AIDS.
Traditional medicine men are known to use bitter cola as a form of treatment for HIV.
The HIV virus produces free radicals that have been extensively linked with tissue damage. From the point above, we know how important antioxidants are when it comes to defending against free radical damage.
Research has revealed that a deficiency in antioxidants has been found to lead to a more rapid progression of the HIV disease.
To counter this effect, researchers have been increasingly looking into vitamins A, C, and E as supportive treatment for HIV patients in an effort to suppress viral loads and helping to restore immune function.
Bitter Kola Can Improve Your Lung Function
While bitter kola has been used to successfully treat the common cold and its associated symptoms for centuries, it’s only been fairly recently that researchers have been able to figure out how exactly it does so.
A study conducted in 2009 in the Internet Journal of Pulmonary Medicine concluded that bitter kola improved the respiratory function of mice after 28 days of usage.
The study found that bitter kola is able to dilate the alveolar ducts and sacs within the lungs by strengthening the fibers in the lung tissue. This in turn leads to healthier overall lung functioning and is a large part of why bitter kola is so effective at treating cold symptoms.
It’s believed that the reason bitter kola has such a beneficial effect on the lungs is due to its potent antioxidant content.
Bitter Kola Can Improve Male Sexual Health
The bitter kola seed has some incredibly beneficial properties when it comes to the sexual and reproductive health of men.
These benefits are again due to the kolaviron content of the nut, which has been shown to boost prostate health, along with increasing sperm quality and quantity.
The increased sperm counts help to promote male fertility.
Not only that, but bitter kola can actually help to boost libido in men as well. It’s a potent aphrodisiac and studies have shown it can actually temporarily boost testosterone levels.
Side effects of Bitter Cola
Consuming bitter kola nuts is to a larger extent safe, but according to reports, there are possible side effects.
Bitter kola does contain caffeine and can affect the central nervous system, most of the negative effects are felt by individuals who are sensitive to caffeine in general.
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