kola nut benefits (bitter kola)

Kola Nut (Cola Acuminate)

Health Benefits of Kola Nuts

You may be surprised to learn that the kola nut (aka kolanut) is the origin of the word “cola,” and the tree on which it grows is believed among some Nigerian tribes to be the first tree on earth. This nut is how the first cola recipe received its caffeine kick -- along with real coca leaves. No wonder people thought it was “medicinal.” Today, your typical cola drink uses an artificial flavoring plus added caffeine, but you can still find real kola nuts being used in higher end sodas, in products like energy bars, and as a natural medicinal remedy.

The kola nut, also know as cola acuminate, is a caffeine-rich nut that is native to tropical Africa. In these regions, the nut is considered a symbol of hospitality and kindness. Though nearly tasteless on their own, kola nuts are often chewed before meals to help promote digestion and to help counteract possible ill effects from tainted drinking water.

Kola Nuts as a Natural Stimulant

Men's Formula From Baseline Nutritionals

As already mentioned, kola nut is a stimulant, containing 1.5% - 2% caffeine, plus kolanin and theobromine, which increases cerebral circulation. Theobromine is the alkaloid compound that can be found in chocolate and is thought to contribute a sense of alertness and well-being. This combination of caffeine and theobromine may be a contributing factor for the mild sense of euphoria that’s often reported after chewing the nuts. The net result is that the stimulating components of kola nut can be used to improve the mental energy and stimulate the sex drive without whipping the adrenals. Thus, the addition of a small amount of kola nut to formulas can stimulate and prolong sexual urges and intensity while revitalizing libido both in men and women without exhausting the adrenals. It is why you will see this ingredient used in Jon Barron’s Men’s Formula and Women’s Formula.

Kola Nuts as a Natural Infection Fighter

The kola nut may also help prevent and fight infections. Research published in the 2004 edition of “Phytotherapy Research” showed that kola nut was effective at reducing the growth and development of members of the mycobacterium species, the bacteria responsible for illnesses such as meningitis and tuberculosis.

Kola Nuts as a Natural Chest Cold Remedy

One of the oldest medicinal uses for the kola nut is as a natural remedy for chest colds. And modern research has shown that it is effective in this regard. The kola nut helps by enlarging the alveolar ducts and sacs (small air bags in the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged with the blood), as well as by improving the strength of the fibers in the lung tissue.

Kola Nuts for Natural Weight Loss

Kola nuts may even offer a natural weight loss benefit. In a study published in the Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences, it was found that a steady intake of kola nut by rats can actually reduce food intake, and therefore body weight, without altering water intake. This is thought to be due to the caffeine in the nuts reducing the rats' appetites. Other studies have found that intake of kola nut can increase the body's metabolic rate by as much as 118%, which means that it may help “burn off” calories more quickly. Kola nut extracts also contain nonsteroidal plant compounds that have the ability to induce death of cancerous prostate cells and may modulate prostate growth and function.

Additional Health Benefits of Kola Nuts

In addition to being a stimulant, kola nut can help increase oxygen levels in the blood and promote better concentration and a “clearing” of the head. Kola nut, like cayenne, also serves to "drive" other herbs into the blood.

How to Take Kola Nuts

Kola nuts are often ground into a powder. Because the whole nut stores caffeine much better than the powder form, it is recommended that the nut be ground right before use or preserved in tincture form. Kola nut powder can be added to coffee to increase the caffeine content, and can also be drunk in tea. The powder is also sometimes taken in capsule form.


"Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences"; The Comparative Effects Of Chronic Consumption Of Kola Nut (Cola nitida) And Caffeine Diets On Locomotor Behaviour And Body Weights In Mice; E. B. Umoren et al; 2009 Issue 1
Journal of Toxicology: Molecular and Biochemical Effects of a Kola Nut Extract on Androgen Receptor-Mediated Pathways


    Submitted by mari on
    August 11, 2014 - 7:34am

    Do you know how to keep longer the whole kola nut?
    Thank you

    Submitted by Patty on
    November 21, 2015 - 6:17am
    Scotland , Pennsylvania

    Keep the nut submerged in a jar of water.

    Submitted by Jim on
    January 2, 2016 - 12:25pm
    Gilbert , Arizona

    Keep it moist in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and you can store it for years!

    Submitted by Brayoo on
    October 1, 2016 - 5:50pm
    Kampala , Tennessee

    where does it grow?

    Submitted by sophie oluwole on
    March 6, 2016 - 12:06pm
    london ,

    I brought some kola nuts from Gambia wrapped in its own leaves sprinkled with some water and keep in vegetable cabinet in fridge. If you dont have the original leaves, wrap them in wet tissues and then in foil paper instead. Regularly maintain it damp with a few drops of water if drying.

    Submitted by Zainab on
    April 4, 2016 - 8:02pm
    Union city , Georgia

    Keep it in a very moist place.

    Submitted by Jane on
    November 29, 2016 - 7:33pm
    Oakley , Illinois

    Where can the kolanuts be purchased?

    Submitted by amos on
    June 6, 2017 - 1:56pm
    Portharcourt ,

    Kolanuts are seen in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria, sold by Hawkers.

    Submitted by Adedeji gbenga on
    September 5, 2014 - 3:28pm

    Too much of intaking of colanut is not good, it lead to sleepnessless.

    Submitted by Takyi John on
    October 3, 2014 - 10:47am

    kola nuts is also the solution to Ebola disease Rise in Africa. bitter cola can cure EBOLA.!!!!
    Medicine researchers can try it and see.

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    October 6, 2014 - 9:23am

    Kola nut certainly has some antiviral properties, although it is not primarily known for that. And there have been some studies in African research centers that indicate that at least in a laboratory environment, that kola nut can inhibit Ebola. But there have been no human or even animal studies that have verified it’s efficacy in vivo. And many things that look promising in the lab never bear out in life. For now, if you’re living in a village in Africa and you come down with Ebola and there is nothing healthcare workers can offer you, kola nut is certainly an option. But I think we would have to say that the research, although interesting, is unproven at this point.

    Submitted by Amy Dugay on
    January 26, 2016 - 8:37pm

    Why tho?

    Submitted by Saviour ocloo on
    October 21, 2014 - 9:26am
    Tema ,

    I think kola nuts are a very great plant or fruit for the body.

    Submitted by Ogundele Sodiq Ayobami a.k.a Professor OGUN on
    March 13, 2016 - 11:07am
    Okaka , California

    But some people say colanut is not good because they believes its is the one that leads to skin rashes and some other bacteria infections. Please let hear from you all about this if you also experienced this

    Submitted by Jamel Nana Bennin, on
    October 25, 2014 - 1:50am
    Accra ,

    In Ghana, Hausa and Muslims really enjoy kola even though it not sweet. My grand mum was not exception. She had a lot of kola nut trees in her farm and we use to pick them up when it falls from the tree for her. I have personally been studying the Hausa and Muslims, and could see that they live longer that other tribes and religion. I think kola has some contributions to their longevity

    Submitted by Karenkate on
    November 3, 2014 - 5:12am


    Submitted by Jude Ehis on
    January 22, 2016 - 7:24am
    lagos Nigeria ,

    Have you ever thought of were is kola nut much? what tribes own more of it .. Thats how people like cause religion and tribe conflict or war. I really wish you drop your phone number here I would have like to tell you something. Crazy Mother F**ker.

    Submitted by Ojinmah Nelson on
    February 10, 2016 - 11:01am
    Kontagora ,

    I also observed that Hausa people live longer than other tribes.

    Submitted by Ekene Nwaoke on
    February 26, 2016 - 1:47am
    Enugu ,

    I'm amazed that, even in this 21th century, many pple are still as crude, in thought, as imbeciles...i.e to adore long live, if ever it is true of Hausas, over impact.

    Submitted by attah jedidiah on
    March 10, 2015 - 1:04pm

    Can kolanut cure any sickness in the body if it can cure ebola then it can cure HIV/AIDS

    Submitted by Nobber on
    May 25, 2015 - 10:13am
    Abuja , District Of Columbia

    You idiot. That kind of comment that kola can cure aids or hiv is exactly the reason they are pandemic in africa.

    Submitted by New Life on
    November 22, 2015 - 8:23am
    New York City , New York

    It isn't necessary to refer to the person as a lunatic or idiot for simply asking a question. They did not say that it WOULD cure such a condition. They asked if it would and then stated that IF it would cure one condition then it would definitely cure the others. What makes them an idiot or lunatic? Asking a question to be certain is intelligent.

    Submitted by Jonah on
    June 7, 2016 - 9:33am
    Tarkwa, Ghana ,

    Thanks for that. I also wonder why some folkes could easily look down on others and think that they are rather intelligent than everyone.

    Submitted by Segun Akin on
    April 21, 2017 - 1:00pm
    Lagos ,

    By telling someone that is an idiot it's a real dirty language that must not be heard amongst ladies and gentle men of this country, please we need to totally change from that our dirty mind set.

    Submitted by don wis on
    March 19, 2015 - 11:42am
    Aflao ,

    Thanks I would also try kola nut

    Submitted by Anonymous on
    April 6, 2015 - 4:54pm
    Ashaiman,Ghana ,

    I believe kola nut can help solve problems with regards obesity.

    Submitted by Jerry on
    July 21, 2015 - 1:58pm
    richmond , Virginia

    i beleive that as well

    Submitted by Base on
    April 15, 2015 - 4:55am
    Accra ,

    Please can hypertensive person take kola nut? Am asking this because we know kola nut contains caffeine.

    Thank you.

    Submitted by Benson on
    August 13, 2015 - 7:29am
    Port harcourt ,

    I am asking the same question, please is it good for hypertensive patient?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    August 13, 2015 - 6:01pm

    High levels of caffeine can definitely increase systolic and diastolic blood pressure by increasing the resistance in the peripheral veins. In a study reported in the journal Hypertension, researchers gave an average dose of 260 milligrams caffeine to 182 men with varying risks for high blood pressure, from low-risk through those diagnosed with hypertension. Results showed caffeine increased blood pressure in all groups, and caffeine produced higher blood pressure in those with higher risk for hypertension. (http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/36/1/137.full) Theobromine, the other key phytochemical found in kola nut produces more mixed results, notably: Natural dose theobromine cocoa did not significantly change either 24-hour ambulatory or central systolic blood pressure compared with placebo. (http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/56/5/839.long)

    It should be noted that kola nut is a minor ingredient in both Jon Barron’s Men’s and Women’s formulas, and the amount of caffeine found in either is far, far less than that used in either study.


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