Kola nut tea has been highly-regarded in many parts of its native Africa as being effective in suppressing hunger pangs, and in improving energy levels.
The kola nut or cola comes from towering tropical trees native to the rainforests of Africa. The trees are evergreen and grow up to a height of about 60 feet. They contain lustrous ovoid leaves that measure up to 30 centimeters long. The fruits are star- shaped.
The kola nut contains a huge amount of caffeine, as well as two other stimulants – theobromine and theophylline. It is typically chewed on in many West African cultures to suppress hunger pangs. It is also presented to tribal chiefs or guests in many ceremonial functions. The kola nut is also used as a religious object and sacred offering during prayers, and occasions like weddings and funerals.
The kola nut was the original basis for flavoring for many popular cola drinks like Coca-cola and Pepsi. It is now a common ingredient in many herbal weight loss formulas as well.
The main constituents of kola nut aside from the three aforementioned stimulants are starch and sugar. It also abounds in antioxidants catechins and phenolics. It also has high concentrations of the following nutrients: calcium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C.
To make kola nut tea, place 1 or 2 teaspoons of kola nut in an 8 oz. cup of water. Boil the mixture and let it cool for about 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the kola nut herbs and then drink.
Due to its high caffeine content, kola nut tea should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, as well as people with hypertension and heart disease. People who have trouble sleeping should also avoid kola nut tea and its other forms. Kola nut tea should not be taken in extended periods as it is rich in N-nitroso compounds that are said to be carcinogenic.
The following are the health benefits attributed to kola nut tea:
- May help relax the nerves.
- May help elevate the mood and fight depression.
- May help enhance alertness.
- May help increase energy levels and stamina.
- May help in the treatment of congestion problems like asthma and whooping cough.
- May help improve male potency.
- May help suppress the appetite and consequently ease hunger pangs.