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West African Kola Nut Customs

Kola nut customs, benefits, uses and side effects
What you will learn in this article is indigenous medicine, West African customs, and Kola nut uses.

Best and worst things about kola nuts are when you first taste the kola nut it is quite bitter, but it does contain a natural sweetness as well as lots of caffeine to help keep you focused.

Nigeria is rich with edible plants; the kola nut is just the beginning. The knowledge of these plants is oftentimes revealed by native users who are well endowed with knowledge about the traditional and medicinal uses of some of the plants.

Kola nuts
Kola nuts

Below are 16 facts you need to know about kola nut customs, benefits, uses and side effects.



Kola Nut Facts

Kola nut is a type of nut mostly found in tropical zones in the forests throughout West and Central Africa. It is found in Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Bitter kola is not to be confused with the caffeine-rich larger sized kola nut.

Deforestation and the conversion of forests for development and plantations have reduced the number of wild kola nut trees. Kola nuts come from the evergreen kola tree traditionally these nuts were used as medicine and nowadays the nuts of the tree are still used to treat many ailments.

The kola nut is culturally very important for West and Central tribes in traditional ceremonies, special events and welcoming visitors. Kola nuts value as medication for weight loss, a sore throat, upset stomach, ulcers, colds, and liver disorders is priceless medicinally and spiritually to West and Central African people.


More Kola Nut Facts

Kola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system, heart, and muscles. Kola nut is also known as a food that has the ability to ward off evil spirits. Due to its caffeine content, large amounts of kola nuts may cause a headache, anxiety, agitation, ringing in the ears, and irregular heartbeats.

The fatal dose is estimated to be about 10-14 grams; that is 150-200 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. Chewing on the seeds of the bitter kola nut is rumored to have the same effect as “a little blue pill” treating sexual dysfunction. In 2014, there were fake reports kola nut cured infectious diseases such as HIV-AIDS and the Ebola virus. In central Nigeria, it was reported Ebola was cured after warm water mixed with salt and then eating bitter kola nuts.


Even more Kola Nut Facts

Demand for Kola nut is great in Nigeria and the ability to store the nuts and use them fresh or dried makes this an ideally versatile product to generate income for the family. Kola nut is a cherished and revered ancient nut plant with real major health benefits to West and Central African people.

The kola nut is the caffeine-rich ovoid fruit of the kola tree relatively large being about 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches. Kola nut energizer drink is very popular in Serra Leone and is used as a substitute for hops in brewing beer in some African countries.

In foods and beverages, kola nut is used as a flavoring ingredient. Kola nut is especially useful in preventing beer spoilage.


Kola nut is a cherished and revered ancient nut plant with real major health benefits to West and Central African people.
Kola nut is a cherished and revered ancient nut plant with real major health benefits to West and Central African people.

African food quote

For the last-comer the bones.

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