Kola Nuts

Botanical Name: Cola acuminata

Common Names: ? (Contributions welcome)

Origin: Africa
Description: Native to the tropical rainforests in Africa, kola has long been held in high regard and sometimes even a sacred object by many Africans. Kola has long been used in traditional spiritual practices in western Africa being considered sacred during many prayers, weddings and funerals. It is believed to be a symbol of hospitality and kindness in some areas.

In the 1800’s a Georgia pharmacist named John Pemberton mixed kola with cocoa, sugar and other ingredients to create the first cola soft drink. His accountant called it coca-cola. Today it seems cola is no longer used in the typical recipe for the making of coca-cola.

Kola is a caffeine containing nut which is known for its bitter flavor. It grows on an evergreen tree typically to around 65 feet high and the tree produces purple spotted yellow flowers with star-shaped fruit. The seeds which are the edible nut, are square and contained within a white shell. The nut is said to have a rose like aroma and is chewed and enjoyed by many.

Kitchen Pharmacy: Kola nuts can be chewed to help fight both fatigue and hunger. In addition, it has been used to treat whooping cough and asthma . Lastly, kola nuts are believed to be promote good prostate health and has been linked to weight loss.

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