Bitter Kola and Its Surprising Health Benefits

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Nail fungus is a common condition of the nail that is characterized by a white or yellow spot underneath the tip of your fingernail or toenail. While the fungal infection becomes deeper, the nail may start to discolor, thicken, and become crumbly on the edges. This condition may also affect several nails. When you have a mild nail fungal infection and it’s not causing a problem, you can leave the condition untreated. Once your nail fungus infection becomes painful and the nail has thickened, some medications and self-care tips may have to be done. A nail fungus treatment may be successful, but the infection may come back anytime.

Symptoms

It is likely for you to have nail fungus if one or several nails have shown the following: thickened, distorted in shape, having a foul smell, the nail becoming ragged, crumbly, and brittle, having a whitish to brownish discoloration, and the nail having a dark color which is caused by a debris buildup underneath the nail. A nail fungal infection is more prevalent in toenails compared to fingernails.

Causes

Fungal infections can be caused by different fungal organisms, the most common of these belong to the group known as dermatophytes. Yeasts and molds may also cause fungal nail infections.

This infection can develop in people of any age, but it becomes more common in the elderly. As the nail ages, this may become brittle and dry. The resulting cracks in the nail surface allow fungi to enter. Other factors also contribute to the infection such as reduced blood circulation to the feet and a weakened immune system.

Treatment

It is challenging to treat a nail fungal infection. A nail fungal treatment depends on the level of severity and the kind of microorganism that caused it. Treatment may be composed of oral and topical antifungals. 

1All about the Bitter Kola

Garcinia kola or bitter kola is also known as the African wonder nut. It is a flowering plant species that belongs to the Guttiferae family. This grows in the coastal rainforests of South-Eastern and South-Western Nigeria. It can also be found in several other African countries such as Ghana, Gabon, Liberia, Cameroon, and Côte de Ivoire.

Some of the first Coca-Cola recipes were made using bitter kola plant extracts. The company no longer uses the actual kola for years now, but the name stuck, as a reminder of the unusual plant that inspired the iconic soda drink.

This plant has long been valued due to its medicinal value. Traditional African medicine uses all the parts of the bitter kola plant, but it’s the seeds that are most commonly consumed. These seeds have a sharp and bitter flavor that gently turns sweet as you chew them. They are usually consumed raw.

As an Antimicrobial

Garcinia kola has the potential to have powerful antifungal properties against vulvovaginal candida. Its seeds are loaded with phytonutrients like phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids, and saponialkaloids. Such phenolic compounds are also great antimicrobial agents. The results of another study also revealed that ethanol and aqueous extracts of the bitter kola seed have potent antifungal and antibacterial properties as opposed to standard antibiotics like streptomycin, amoxicillin, ciproxin, and tetracycline, making bitter kola a beneficial chemotherapeutic agent for treating various bacterial and fungal infections that occur in humans.

Other Health Benefits

Bitter kola has been consumed in Africa for years, but researchers have just started to do studies on its health benefits. Based on these studies, bitter kola will be able to provide a cure for the following conditions:

Inflammation

Bitter kola seeds have been chewed in Africa to fight off inflammation conditions such as arthritis. A 2008 study revealed that patients who suffer from osteoarthritis, particularly in the knees showed substantially reduced inflammation after consuming bitter kola as opposed to a placebo. This is because of the high levels of potassium found in garcinia kola.

Sexual Impotence

Bitter kola is useful for enhancing sexual performance, particularly among men. It does not only improve the sexual drive of a man but also his sexual performance. For it to take effect soon, it is advised to chew on it at least two minutes before sex.

Anti-Malaria

According to researchers, bitter kola has chemical components that are filled with anti-malarial properties. Furthermore, the bark, seeds, and stem of the bitter kola are used for treating acute fever, throat infections, and respiratory tract inflammation.

Diabetes

Based on early studies, a chemical in bitter kola known as kolaviron may protect people with type 2 diabetes from hypoglycemia. These findings are promising even if the study was done on rats and is yet to be done on humans.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Bitter kola seeds and leaves possess antibacterial properties. Researchers have discovered that the seeds and leaves can isolate the following pathogens Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pyrogens, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella typhi.

Weight Loss

Garcinia kola is a popular natural hunger suppressant and a thirst stimulant. Because of this, it can help with weight loss. Reduced food intake and increased water consumption can make the body eliminate excess fat and maintain a healthy weight.

Boosts Immunity

Bitter kola has the ability to influence multiple regulatory systems in the body including the immune system. It allows the body to adapt to stress and functions as an anti-infective agent.

Lung Health

Research conducted by several universities in Nigeria showed that bitter kola has a positive impact on the lungs, improving their ventilation levels. The plant’s extracts have also been investigated for their effects on asthma. So far, studies have shown that the plant has the potential to protect the body against this respiratory system disorder.

Glaucoma

This is an eye condition caused by increased pressure on the eyeball which causes a gradual loss of sight. When left untreated, this could result in permanent blindness. Bitter kola has been discovered as a good eye remedy. By consuming it twice daily, eye pressure is substantially reduced.

Helps with Pregnancy

Garcinia kola has been seen as useful in pregnant women, helping them fight off vomiting and nausea, enabling a healthy uterus, and normalizing blood circulation.

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