The Kola – or Cola – nut comes from two near identical trees, the small cola tree (Cola acuminata, which has a 4 to 6-part nut) and large cola tree (C. nitida, with a 2-part nut), both indigenous to West Africa.
ACTIVE COMPOUNDS OF KOLA NUTS
Kola was found to contain caffeine in 1865, and later theobromine, which is an active ingredient in chocolate.
EFFECTS OF KOLA
Kola has a pronounced stimulative effect and the nuts are consequently used as a tonic, to wake a person up and remain vigilant, and to treat fever, vomiting and morning sickness (with no negative effects). In general, their effect is to invigorate and promote concentration.
PREPARATION, DOSAGE AND USE OF KOLA
Some of the bitter red and white seeds are eaten fresh but most are stored in water or dried in the sun. The nuts are used to make extracts, tinctures and wine extracts.
Nuts are offered to guests and exchanged at the end of business meetings, and in places such as Ghana they are communally chewed at royal and parliamentary occasions. In South America cola nuts are integral to the Santeria and candomble religions.
No negative effects have been observed or described, and all kola products are legal around the world. An average daily dose is 2-6 grams three times daily, taken as a powder of ground seeds.
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