Medical experts have advised Nigerians to regularly eat bitter kola, as it is a potent antibiotic, which could be effective in the treatment of many ailments and infections.
Bartholomew Brai, the Nutritional Biochemist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, said on Thursday that bitter kola was used in the preparation of herbal drugs either as nourishment, supplement or herbal remedy.
“If a patient on medication chews bitter kola, it will make the drugs ineffective; aside this, I do not think bitter kola has any other side effect,” he said. “Bitter kola has lots of health benefits, like the treatment of cough, sneezing, cold, diarrhea, tuberculosis, bacterial infection and fever. It improves lungs function by expanding the alveolar ducts and sac in the lungs thereby improving and strengthening the fibres in the lung tissue.”
He said that there was no recorded side effect to the regular intake of bitter kola, adding that it was all round medicinal.
Emeka Amaechi, a general physician, said that bitter kola had chemical compounds that could help the breakdown of glycogen in the liver. “Bitter kola has antioxidant properties used as tonic for the liver and the gall bladder, which helps detoxifies the body system,” he said. “It clears the voice by stimulating the production of mucus along the lining of the vocal tube which softens the dry throat.”
He also said that bitter kola was anti-poison. According to him, when food is suspected to be contaminated by bacteria, chewing of bitter kola will prevent the development of any infection or poison.
“It also reduces eye pressure and relieves arthritis by reducing swelling, pain and increase joint movement,” he said.
Bitter kola is another type of kola found in parts of Nigeria. Its biological name is ‘Garcinia Kola’ and it belongs to the family of ‘Guittiferal’.