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Kola nut extract is a natural supplement taken from the seeds or nuts of Cola nitida and Cola acuminate from the Sterculiaceae family of evergreen trees. Because it has a high quantity of caffeine, the extract is most commonly used as an energy supplement and a weight loss aid. It is also used as a diuretic and as a remedy for a wide variety of medical conditions, such as rheumatism, asthma, whooping cough, and headaches.
The trees that provide the kola nuts can grow to 60 feet (18.3 m) tall. They typically have large leaves and yellow flowers. The trees are native to Africa, but can also be found in Brazil, the West Indies, and other tropical areas. Besides being used as a supplement and for medical purposes, kola nut extract was used for decades to flavor water and create a “cola” or soda. In fact, the Coca-Cola Company used the extract to give its aptly named soft drink its unique flavor and a higher caffeine content.
Herbal remedy practitioners believe that there are many benefits to using kola nut extract. For example, because it is a stimulant, it can be used to fight fatigue and suppress hunger. It can also be used to decrease the sensation of intoxication from alcohol. In fact, advocates for kola nut extract claim that it is a better stimulant choice than other herbs or drugs because it does not cause depression and is not addictive. In addition, it has diuretic properties that may be helpful to people suffering from rheumatism or renal disease.
Some studies have shown that kola nut extract may be successful in relieving the symptoms of asthma and whooping cough. The caffeine contained in the extract seems to work as a bronchodilator. As a result, it opens up the air passages in the lungs to allow affected individuals to breathe easier. In addition, it can work as a cerebral vasodilator and increase the flow of blood to the head. So, many people use kola nut extract to treat migraines and headaches.
Since kola nut extract acts as a stimulant, a medical provider should be consulted before using it. Specifically, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid the extract. In addition, people who suffer from anxiety, high blood pressure, ulcers, seizures, heart disease, stroke, or sleeplessness should not consume the extract. People have reported allergic reactions to the extract, as well. Generally, it should not be used for prolonged durations because it may lead to osteoporosis.