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cola veraCola vera (Sterculiaceae)

KOLA NUTS, GURRU NUTS

 

A favourite stimulant of people in west Africa, South America, and Asia, whole or powdered seeds from the nut are used to counter tiredness and stimulate the appetite.

 

Many people throughout west Africa, South America, and Asia chew kola nuts before meals to promote digestion; regular chewers can be recognized by their red lips and teeth. An evergreen, the kola tree is native to west Africa but was taken to the West Indies and South America by slaves and to India and Sri Lanka by traders. The nuts, which contain the seeds, are white when harvested but turn reddish-brown on drying.

 

PARTS USED

Seeds.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Alkaloids, especially caffeine and theobromine; tannins; red pigment.

 

ACTIONS

Central nervous system stimulant; increases urine production; general stimulant.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Used as a tonic to stimulate the appetite and alleviate tiredness.

 

PREPARATIONS

Tablets, seeds, tincture, powder.

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