Kola Nut (Cola)

Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Colanitida

Other Names Cola acuminata, Sterculia acuminata, Kola Seeds, Gurru Nuts, Bissy Nuts, Cola Seeds, Guru Nut.

Origin - Tropics (Origin:ated in Africa)

Part of the plant used - Seed kernel

Description - Cola (also kola and cola nut) is the seed kernel of a large African tree, Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Schott. & Endl. or Cola nitida Schott. & Endl., of the Sterculiaceae family, commercially grown around the world in the tropics as a caffeine stimulant. The nuts are basically round, 3/4" to 1/4" long, flattened and rounded on one side, irregularly scooped out on the other side, occurring in pairs. They start out white and turn a characteristic red or reddish gray when dried. It is a medium sized tree from 40-60ft tall..Trees will bear in 7-10 years from seed. The bitter seeds are chewed, or prepared for use in medicines and foods. The seeds contain caffeine and theobromine. The name for cola drinks is derived from this plant, although the cola nut is no longer used as an ingredient in most commercial drinks.

Historical Uses:

Pharmacology - Stimulant the central nervous system, anti-depressive, astringent and diuretic. May relieve some migraine headaches. May have antioxidant activities due to its phenolic and anthrocyanin constituents. Key constituents are caffeine (2.13 per cent), with traces of theobromine; tannins and phenolics, including d-catechin, 1-epicatechin, kolatin, and kolanin (catechol and (-) epicatechol are lost on drying); phlobaphene and anthocyanin pigment, kola red; betaine; protein, ash (3.20 per cent), and starch (42.5 per cent). The caffeine compound, called by Knebel kolanin, is simply a kola-tannate of caffeine, the kolatannic acid itself being free from sugar, thus differing from caffeotannic acid.

Medicinal Uses - In addition to its role as a remedy for mental and physical fatigue, Cola Nut is chewed to suppress hunger, thirst, morning sickness, and migraine, and is ground into compresses for wounds and inflammation. Because of its caffeine content, cola nut would be expected to increase urination, stimulate the heart and lungs, and help analgesics such as aspirin to function more effectively. it may be used in nervous debility, in states of weakness. Additionally, it can act as a specific for nervous diarrhea.

Dosages - The customary daily doses are:

Toxicity, Cautions & Contra-indications - This product is not recommended if you are pregnant or lactating. Taking more than the recommended dosage may cause nervousness and/or insomnia. Stop use if anxiety, dizziness, or nervousness occurs. Do not use when caffeine is contraindicated. Cola is not advised for individuals with stomach ulcers due both to its caffeine and its tannin content. Tannins, found in many plants, are substances that can irritate the stomach.

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