Kola nuts are actually seeds of a tree native to the Caribbean and Brazil. These are used as ingredients for many products we consume today. Kola trees grow up to 40ft high and have white or yellow flowers with purplish dots. The leaves of this tree are about 6 to 8” long. The kola nut is a star-shaped fruit, containing many seeds which are round or square-shaped.
Where can We Find Kola?
Basically, kola nuts are an ingredient found in most of energy drinks and beverages containing caffeine. The effect of kola nuts is that of a stimulant, raising our awareness levels and keeping us safe from fatigue. Theobromine is another part of kola nuts, being a stimulant as well. However, the list of ingredients does not stop there, since kola nuts are rich in tannins, phlobaphens, proteins, starch, fat, phenolics, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. However, kola nuts do not trigger depression and are not addictive. Thus, they can be freely consumed in proper doses.
Benefits of Kola Nuts
Even though many people are not aware of this fact, kola nuts are the part of many medications for whooping cough and asthma, since caffeine expands bronchial passages, relieving people from side-effects of these conditions. In Africa, tribes, during ceremonies, use kola nuts to better their digestive processes and improve the taste of the food they consume. In medicine, kola nuts are used to mask the taste of charcoal which is administered as an antidote. In fact, kola nuts are bound to help you lose weight since this fruit contains elements which suppress appetite.
Theobromine from kola nuts is well-known for its capability of increasing blood flow to our head area, being an excellent medicine for reducing and dealing with headaches.
Side-Effects of Kola Nuts
Since this natural wonder increases one's levels of awareness, one of the common side-effects it delivers is insomnia along with potential nervousness and anxiety. Stomach problems, including diarrhea, cramps and nausea are usually signs of an overdose. Finally, oral blisters, or bone malformations can take place due to excessive consumption of kola nuts. This bone damage especially affects teenagers. So, they are not recommended to consume too much kola nut-containing products.
Combining kola nuts with heart medications, muscle relaxants, nitrates or calcium-channel blockers is not recommended. Also kola nuts interfere with the effects of certain antidepressants and epilepsy medications. Thus, be careful regarding the dosage and, if you are undergoing any medical treatments consult with your doctor before consuming kola nuts.