The Many Benefits of Bitter Kola

[L-R] Valerie Mbeng, consultant biochemist, Olayemi Sunday, clinical pharmacologist, Jane Ajuluchukwu, consultant cardiologist and Brai

Research findings have revealed that bitter kola has a lot of medicinal benefits to those who eat it

By Chinwe Okafor  |  Aug. 18, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

HIPPOCRATES, the father of modern medicine once admonished: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” According to him, modern medicine tends towards disease prevention through foods but the majority of people who wish to eat healthy food may also miss out on the fact that cooking sometimes destroys or reduces certain elements that should nourish the body. Nutritionists say that while some foods are better eaten when cooked, some others such as fruits and certain vegetables are better eaten raw in order to  get the most of each nutrient.

Bitter kola is one of such fruits which can be eaten raw and still benefit from its high nutritional content. Eating a piece of bitter kola daily can help in  the treatment for low libido, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, arthritis, reduction of eye pressure, treating hangover, improving lung function and knee osteoarthritis among others. Medical experts at  Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, OAUTH, in a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, said that bitter kola has a significant analgesic/anti-inflammatory effects in knee osteoarthritis patients.

Bitter kola is a potential osteoarthritis disease activity modifier with good mid-term outcome. Another study on bitter kola published recently in Science Journal of Microbiology showed that seed and leaf of bitter kola have antibacterial activity on clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi and Streptococcus pyogenes. Bitter kola has been shown to be a popular treatment for diarrhea and fever. The seed extract is antiseptic and is active mostly against gram-positive bacteria, while the leaf, is active mostly against gram-negative bacteria. It is also very efficacious for hepatitis.

Bitter kola
Bitter kola

In West Africa, bitter kola is now being harnessed as a cure for the Ebola virus infections and also against flu. The stem, bark and the seeds are used for acute fever, inflammation of the respiratory tract and throat infections. The seeds are also chewed to relieve hoarseness of voice, sore throat and cough. In folk medicine, the seed is used for the treatment of liver disorder and it’s also used in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhea. The leaves are used for stomachache and pains and they also serve as good remedy for typhoid fever.

Generally used as a social snack and offered to guests in some cultural settings, bitter kola has been indicated in the treatment of laryngitis, general inflammation, bronchitis, viral infections and diabetes.  Realnews gathered that some Igbo medicine-men prescribe the fruit for arthritic conditions and is eaten raw and not prepared as food because it has medicinal attributes. It is also taken dry as a remedy for dysentery and is said to provide an antidote against Strophanthus poisoning.

Some medical experts in Lagos have said that regular intake of bitter kola has little or no side effect on human health. They said that bitter kola is a potent antibiotic, which could be effective in the treatment of many ailments and infections. Bartholomew Brai, nutritional biochemist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, said bitter kola is used in the preparation of herbal drugs either as a nourishment, a supplement or a herbal remedy.

However, Brai said: “If a patient on medication chews bitter kola, it will make the drugs ineffective but aside this, I do not think bitter kola has any other side effect Bitter kola has lots of health benefits, like the treatment of cough, sneezing, cold, diarrhoea, tuberculosis, bacterial infections 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, also 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 and it clears the voice by stimulating the production of mucus along the lining of the vocal tube which softens the dry throat and he added that bitter kola was an 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.

Amaechi said that biter kola helps to reduce eye pressure and relieves arthritis by reducing swelling, pain and increase joint movement. He also attested to the fact that the likely side effect of eating bitter kola could be incurred by any patient on drugs or medication. Botanically known as Garcinia kola, bitter kola belongs to the plant family Guttifereae. In Nigeria it is called oje in Bokyi, edun or efiari in Efik, efrie in Ejagham-Ekin, cida goro in Hausa, efiat in Ibibio, emiale in Icheve, igoligo in Idoma, aku-ilu or ugolo in Ibo, akaan in Ijo-Izon, okain in Isekiri, and orogbo in Yoruba.


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  1. I live in South Africa, and i would like to do an export business in Bitter kola. So i would like more infomation on this regards.

    • good day,
      just read your interest in the export of Bitter Kola.I will be glad to be a partner of you don’t mind.You can contact me through my email address

    • Hello Siphiwo,good morning.I will be glad to do genuine business with you regarding exportation of bitter kola.I live in Nigeria.You can always contact me via my mail address.You are welcome.

    • Hi Siphiwo how are you my name is Sulaiman and I live in west Africa I have also read the research and it was very interesting to learn a lot about bitter Kola as I chew one or two every morinig beofre leaving for work. But however, as you have expressed interest in exporting Bitter Kola to South Africa I will be willing to partner with you for the Bitter Kola Business.

  2. I live in South Africa, and i would like to venture in Bitter kola in exporting it. So i would like more infomation in this regard.

  3. God in is ultimate wisdom has made all good things for us. However, people perish for lack of knowledge. Thanks for the great work and for also sharing the knowledge obtained.

  4. Infant, I am overwheKnesset as to the benefits of this nut, my granny used to take this very often and never knew why he always eat it, till this, Ebola thing came, so I have also adopted the act and upon reading this findings, I realized we are ignoring a very good medicine, God is great in his creation. May his name be praised!

  5. Thank you my dear researcher thank you for this and in fact after chew bitter cola my level of libido has been improved. Thank you and God bless you.

  6. I am glad to be impacted with this knowledge God bless for the right use of God’s gift given you. It also relaxes your nerves. I introduced a couple of friends to the kola and 3 of them testified to me that their blood pressure has improved considerably since they are hypertensive.

  7. I really thank you people for wounderful discoveries of this useful medicine may god bless you for ever

  8. By this educative research, i must increase my pace of eating bitter kola. Thank you so much medical icons.

  9. I appreciate this research and you guys. You have done marvelously and to God be the glory who has given you all the wisdom to research and come up with wonderful discoveries. I am a winess because the problem I use to have with my throat has impressively improved when I made it a point of duty to be taking bitter kola daily.
    God bless you guys and more of God’s wisdom for future discoveries.

  10. I am a singer. I have had a chronic cough for about a year plus. When I try to sing, the phlegm in my throat forms background sound and chorus at the same time. Thus instead of singing just one note at a time, am rattling out five different gargled notes. How was I going to record my songs like that? I Tried several bottles of different cough syrups but to no avail.
    Here I was taking ginger tea, and peppermint tea which helped to reduce the phlegm but didn’t cure it. I also took septrin and an antibiotic but no results. Just started mixing garlic and honey and stinking everyone out when a friend suggested bitter kola. Heavenly blessings!!!! The cough was gone in hours!!! I’ve kinda always heard about how good the kola was but I never wanted to touch the thing cause am a sweet tooth and cnt stand bitter things. As my good friend suggested, I took it together with Tom Tom ( I suppose any other minty candy will do). I just took half of it in the evening and it all cleared that same evening. Now I can actually sing and hold just one note at a time. Am hitting the studio ASAP!!!

  11. What a great job. Well done for this contributions to humanity.
    Considering the hypoglycemic effect of the bitter cola,, how can this be explained?. What about the caffeine content of the cola and it’s associated effects especially when consumed over a long time or is their any shunt pathway that this can be bye-passed.
    Once again I appreciate trhe great job and would love to know more

    • this kola does not have the natural caffeine effect unlike the cola nut…the larger red/pink/light green ones.

  12. My daughter has had cough since infant because someone coughed while holding her. She is 10 years now and the cough comes periodically and very intense. We have tried all the medications you can think of even to the point of doing chest x-ray and using puffers and the doctors kept saying she`s fine. It was very embarrassing for her because her peers would sometimes make comments about her cough and she would cry home. Out of frustration I called my mom in Nigeria and she sent bitter-kola and asked me to mix it with honey because of the bitterness, I did as instructed and started giving her since Saturday January 17, 2015. I could not believe my eyes as the cough just vanished like it was never there. I have started taking it myself after reading the health benefits.
    Now I understand why our fore-fathers lived longer and strong with all the wives they had….LOL

    • When I read articles like this, I really appreciate being an African, because God has blessed us with a lot of stuff like bitter cola that we don’t know about……I love this nut…Lol

  13. Does bitter kola have overdose? for how long will bitter kola take to increase man’s sex drive?

  14. Please recommend supplier.Our Wellness Center is in Costa Mesa California We are interested in conducting a science based research study. We have the client base to do so

    • Bitter cola is natural and good for your health. If you need the supply please contact this e mail address ( for further enquiries. You will be glad you did.

    • My name is Stephen Adegun, I am a Nigerian based in Rhode Island, USA, just found your scientifical research interest of Garcinia Kola, I am aware that your interest had been shown over a year ago, but if you’re still interested, I will be more than happy to talk with you.

      I could be reached via email at, or via telephone at 401-215-8431

  15. This research. Work is an eye opener. I have a great, thanks to the researchers. Please I want to know if it is ok for pregnant women to take it.

  16. The almighty God will bless you and continue to strengthen you for more researches in Jesus name .we do not know the value of what we have in Africa .

  17. guys i appreciated all your effort on this reserch. thank God for everything. please can somebody help me get buyer contact from japan. I will appreciate it and God will bless u so much. contact me on 08032350525 or

  18. Praise God for the findings. Am taking one bitter kola brought all the way from Anambra and yes its working for me.

  19. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the researchers who have acknowledged us on the use of bitter kola. I think these people have done well for the middle-level income earners in that not everyone has the financial power to treat those sicknesses that are revealed in this research. Once more I would like to say thank you for your job well done. May God increase your pool of knowledge for the betterment of your country and the world at large. Remain blessed!

    Best Regards!

    • This is interesting and amazing exposition on the benefit of this God given fruit or natural medicine from God. Please anybody who wish to import the product in europe and us should contact me on

  20. I just search for the benefit of this bitter kola now.
    And have learnt a lot about bitter kola glory be to God for this search.

  21. Instead of taking the drugs which are chemicals and are toxic when taken in excess, it is better to these natural and less armful ones for the benefit of our health, thanks for all these being revealed to the world. If you need the supply of this wonderful product (BITTER KOLA) for export, you can contact me through my email, kimmopee01@, or +2348052094410,+393510947352. I will be ready to supply you whatever quantity you need.

    • I would love as much facts about bitter Kola as possible. Never tried them but as of tomorrow I most certainly will be getting some. I have a few medical problems that I would love to get control of and get off medication. How can I get a nice quantity from and what other natural products that you can get that’s good natural health products. Thanks kindly

    • Please I may need the bitter kola some to trade here. And I welcome you to be your agent here in Ghana.

  22. Anyone who is interested to do Bitter kola business with me should contact me through my email that’s what my mum specialize on,or contact me on +234803725039,,,nigeria”’08037250239,,,,thanks.

  23. I live in Nigeria. If anyone is interested in the export of the bitter kola, my contact is 08060942221 let’s discuss on how the business will go

  24. Wao. I have been eating this nut for long without knowing the health benefits, thank you for this great research work. I just ask and got perfect answer. Stay blessed

    • I am a Ghanian based in Takoradi I HAVE ALSO TASTED THIS PRODUCT AND IT HAS HELP ME ALOT

  25. We are large exporter of bitter kola, we need to connect genuine importer

    • Hi

      I am from South Africa and am very interested in doing business with you.

      Please let me know what your pricing would be.

      Kind Regards,

  26. I’m very glad I was able to read so much about bitter kola here, for few days now I have been having this serious cough , my course mate advices me to eat bitter kola since I could get the drugs I wanted, i started getting better even from the first day of trying it , I could tell the difference , I went out to ask my nebors other ways bitter kola works , I heard a lot but I had to confirm myself now I believe . God is really powerful and great . Nice one

  27. God bless the researchers including financial blessing. May the Good Lord increase their knowledge and the will to help humanity. please tell us the dose a day and the ages esp. children who can take/chew

  28. Note: Garcinia kola should NOT be taking judiciously, avoid ingestion during early pregnancy, and during lactation.

    • Hi Dr, just wanted clarification I am 13 weeks 4 days lovely Mom-in-law(God bless and keep Her for us) suggested bitter kola as I am suffering from severe morning sickness.and none of the Dr’s prescriptions (emex syrup) helped . I took 2 pieces in two days ( (Wednesday and this morning Thursday-03/09/2015) and so far I am feeling like human again…lol. should I be worried as I chewed and swallowed the two pieces? how must I take it ? and should I continue with it when necessary?. Thanks .Bohlale (South Africa)

  29. Thanks for the information on bitter kola. I am in Ghana, where can I get some to buy? May Allah protect and bless you.

  30. In my locality, bitter cola is also used to ward off snakes, just by dropping some anywhere snake entered.

  31. ‘m very happy for the infomation i get here, great to the researcher. Can a lady take bitter kola

    • Great delivery,quite robust and informative enough to improve our health.Pls the research started with the general health benefits and narrowed it down to the benefit peculiar to the bitter cola nut.Does it therefore mean that to get all the impact one must include the bitter cola leave,the tree epicaps with the cola nut it self. 2.I av a problem of daily dosage which has bn the challenge btw orthodos med and herbal .How many nut daily or quantities ? .Do we take the nut straight without peeling it .Are there any prepare single formulation ONLY on bitter cola as this is needed and necessary for effective usage,circulation and availability..Let explore the green.Calvary greeting. Mr Single.

  32. Oh! Many thanks to God for such information from people all over the world. In the absent of this I completely living as a dead person holding to the fact that we are threat by the ebola virus in Liberia on a daily basis. Thanks to the contributors who worked very hard to put me where I am today.

  33. I’m so so unbelievably grateful to you guys on your new discovery! It’s been a while it has being working for us in our family as a cough medicine but not knowing it as other benefits. For any importation business on bitter kola call this number(+2347061282089)………so plenty in my local farm.

  34. Just started taking bitter cola since Monday 21st Sept n if for nothing at all, my allergies have reduced drastically. I v not sneezed the whole week , even when I did not brush my teeth at night, I awake in de morning with fresh breath. There is nothing like taking bitter cola as often as possible. It works like magic

  35. information is power….this research is an eye-opener. thanks goodness.
    if u want a reliable and uncompromised business or other activities as regards importation of bitter kola. pls contact me on +2348063654431 or…remain healthly and tap from ready made wealth in africa.

  36. what of the side effect it has in man fertility? when a man consume it in a long period of time. please i need more emphasis on this effect.

  37. Yes indeed God rested because looking at whatever HE created from the very beginning of creation, it was good for mankind. I don’t think we need those paracetamols and other BP lowering agents to damage our kidneys in the future.

    The answer to me to some of our ailments can be seen in the bitter cola.That is not to say laboratory medicines are wrong, let’s focus more on natural medicines to prolong our life span

    Anytime I take the bitter cola, pains in my heart goes away.

  38. Thank you for your write up. I am interested in bitter kola farming. Please how do I get enough seeds to plant here in Ondo State.

  39. Thank you very much for your successful researches on bitter cola. may God reward you abundantly for assisting humanity with your research findings. Engaging in its business too may further assist humanity as this would extend its reach to many.

  40. Am very glad for the scientists for their research on the bitter cola. God bless them

  41. Dear Sir/Ma
    Tha name of our company is God’s Ark Investment, if you are interested in importing Garcinia Kola also known as Bitter Kola. Kindly contact us at +2348086905723 or +2348168256445

  42. I really thank all the researchers for enlighten us on the use and inportant of bitter kola please I need u to connect me to people that buys bitter kola in bulk so that I can do business with them thanks

  43. Pls I just wt 2 no if this bitter kola can be given 2 a person that has stroke nd how can it be taken

  44. Good Job for researcher
    Bitter kola was sucessfully used to treat cough in Cameroon
    south west Region (Limbe)

  45. Thanks to every1 from the researcher to the testifies.
    I am in Ghana and I’m really a benefit of Bitter Kola. Healed my serious cold in just a day , chest pain , increased my Appetite, quest to drink more water.
    but to add to this , Try do a fruit fast a day . whilst u take the Bitter kola morning, afternoon and evening.
    Eating fruits the whole day as well. a freeday will do.
    then get time to rest that day.
    I am a living testimony.
    Really thank God for this .

    Thanks ones again

  46. anyone interested in the the purchase of bitter cola can contact me no matter the quantity. i am a local exporter of bitter cola. thanks and waiting on anyone intersted

    • I have been suffering frommany illnessess like being diabetic, hypertention/high blood, arthiritis, chlestorol.and have been receiving treatment from doctors in South Africa. Im very interested to have stock for my health. Do you think using bitter kla would weaken the medication that I have been taking for more that ten years and would it have any side effects? I would like to buy for bussiness purposes.

      Many thanks

  47. I am very much grateful to all the Researchers who put these ideas together to educate the entire world. I for one, I have taken bitter cola as my best friend even when I have not yet read this research information. Again, this research work had made my apatite to doubly increase. As such, I pray that God tremendously enlarging your pool of knowledge in all of your studies.

  48. wow God is so wonderful, I have tried it works like magic. for years now no malaria no cough no ill health.
    I thank God for Garnicia kola

  49. After using bitter kola for a short while, I felt my lungs vastly improved in my breathing and I’m 100% it wasn’t my imagination. As it 100% works.

  50. I am a South African, residing in joburg gauteng at germiston, i would like to buy bitter kola, where can I find it around joburg? i need it for my personal health

  51. For me Garcia kola (bitter kola)has become my daily manna,i chew it just like am eating food.even before reading reading this research write was even at the point of chewing the nut that led me into checking for it`s benefit and i came across this research.sincerely speaking it is a supper natural medicine ,whenever i feel feverish i don`t go for drugs instead i go for bitter kola as drug for treating fever,it reliefs me of stress very quickly ,cough,cold,nasal congestion ,give me strength many at times i chew in the of lost of appetite , i eat the kola in place of food as it me stay a while before eating an boost my appetite at the same time. before now i chew 3 nuts a day and it has help me alternative in cases of ailment,try it ,the research is true ,though it very bitter yet very necessary.

  52. What I’d like to know is if it has any side effects if taken in excess. Anybody with that knowledge? Thanks

  53. Thank you guys for this info..I am also interested in export of the bitterkola….and make money..any kind of need for this plz contact on 91-7405475206….Keyur Ambaliya

  54. Wow! This is awesome. Thanks so much for embarking on this all informative research. May God increase your wisdom in Jesus name.

  55. Good day all, SIA fruit supply Nigeria deals with sales nd supply of all kinds of fruits nd farm produces includin bitter kola…for more information ; +2348034242149, .Thankx,place ur order now.

  56. Good discovery. But no single chemical compound of biter kola is mentioned in this report to validate its usefulness.

    I am not discrediting your report.

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