Kola seedlings are popularly grown for their nuts. The tree has immense benefits but most commonly the nuts are what the tree is grown for. Kola can be traced to be used as a form of currency. To date, the nuts can be used as part of the bride price in some Western countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
Kola can be used as a Western symbol in cultural and social settings and is said to aid mental stimulation when consumed. it grows to resemble the chestnuts but they can be identified by significant differences.
Features of Kola Seedlings
- Kola nuts are Rich in caffeine and can be obtained when boiled. Kola can reach a height of 20m under good growing conditions.
- It has a star-shaped fruit that houses about a dozen prismatic shaped seeds having a sweet and rose-like aroma.
- The nuts are bitter when consumed but become sweet when chewed.
- The nuts are consumed by many West African countries and in ceremonial settings.
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- Main Description
- The nuts Cola acuminata and Cola nidita belong to the cacao family Sterculiacea contains 2-4% caffeine and theobromine. It also contains tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins and polyphenols.
- The plant requires hot humid climates and can withstand the dry season. Cola nitida is a shade bearer. the trees do not require excess water as it can be dangerous for plant growth and breed plant disease.
The nuts can be harvested by hand or done mechanically.
Kola is used and consumed for the following reasons:
- Aids digestion: When consumed before meals, digestion is easy and smooth.
- Treatment of cough- When ground and mixed with honey, the nuts can be used to treat coughs.
- Increase circulation: Caffeine content in kola speeds up heart rate which increases circulation in the body.
- Used as antibacterial: Kola nuts stop the growth of harmful bacteria when consumed.
- Used as flavouring ingredients in beverages and foods.