Cola acuminata plant for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Cola is a natural stimulant that helps to effectively fight fatigue and numbness, keeping the level of attention high, thanks to the presence of caffeine. Let’s find out better.

Properties of cola

Cola has a tonic, slimming, stimulating, bronchodilating, aphrodisiac, antiastenic action and is able to improve sports performance.  

Cola is a diuretic, used as an anti-fatigue and as a source of caffeine. The cola, in fact, is able to improve attention, learning and the ability to memorize, stimulates the brain and counteracts sleepiness.  

Thanks to cola it is possible to reduce tiredness and depression, and to fight against headaches, hypertension and poor circulation.

Cola has draining properties and helps eliminate excess fluids and lower body weight. For this reason it can be found in various herbal remedies as a slimming and neuromuscular stimulant.

Cola contains a good percentage of caffeine, theobromine, tannins, flavonoids, colatin, procyanidins and polyphenols.

How to use

Of the kola nut, seed is used without its external coating. This is dried and then ground to use the powder. 

Cola powder can be used in a number of ways against weakness, fatigue, obesity, depression and cellulite.

To know with certainty the concentration of pharmacologically active cola molecules that you are taking, it is always better to resort to standard pharmaceutical forms, since herbal infusions and decoctions do not provide certain information about it. 

  • The cola infusion is prepared by combining a cup of boiling water with 2 g of kola nut powder, leaving everything to infuse for about 10 minutes. It is possible to consume this infusion 3 times a day. 
  • The kola nut powder can be added to any drink (in the dose of 1 teaspoon per glass) up to a maximum consumption of 2 g per day. 
  • Then there is the solitary liquid extract of which you can take up to 1.2 ml maximum 3 times a day, and the mother tincture of cola, for which it is recommended not to exceed 4 ml per day. 
  • By soaking 50 g of kola nut in 1 liter of wine for ten days, you get an invigorating drink to be used in moderation.

Contraindications of cola

The intake of Cola is contraindicated in patients with hypertension, insomnia, heart disease and hyperthyroidism . 

It is not recommended to take it during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it should not be given to children. 

The side effects of cola are : insomnia, irritation of the gastric mucosa and nervousness. If taken in excessive doses, cola can also cause nausea, headache, vomiting, palpitations and arrhythmias, high blood pressure.

It is also good to remember that kola nut contains caffeine, which in the long run causes addiction, so it should not be used together with other stimulants to avoid serious consequences such as cardiac arrest. 

Cola can interfere with stimulant, analgesic, bronchodilator, sedative and sedative drugs, altering their effects. 

Finally, kola nut can increase the risk of bleeding if you are taking medications to prevent osteoporosis, anticoagulants, and antiplatelets. 

Description of the plant

Cola acuminata is an evergreen tree belonging to the Sterculiacee family. It is 5 to over 20 meters high. The leaves are alternate, oval in shape, carried by a long petiole. The flowers are yellow in color arranged in clusters, consisting of both female and male flowers.

The fruits are very leathery oblong follicles, formed by 5 carpels. These follicles contain seeds, which are green in color, then yellow as they mature. Each pod of cola consists of four or five seeds. Of this genus there are about 125 species of evergreen spontaneous plants, native to the tropical forests of West Africa. 

Cola habitat

Plant native to West Africa, typically grows in tropical forests. It is grown in South America (Brazil), Jamaica and the West Indies. 


The first to describe and classify the Cola species was Ambroise Marie Fran├žois Joseph Palisot de Beauvois, a French botanist and naturalist.

The kola nut has always been used against fatigue or for its aphrodisiac action and traditionally was consumed by chewing the seeds. In the past, such was the value of cola that trees were always planted near villages and in trade the kola nut was traded for gold dust. 

In the Western world, cola spread at the end of the 19th century.

Today, the kola nut is part of the composition of several drugs: of these, some are used to combat asthma or chronic lung diseases.  The Cola plant is consumed in some regions of Africa during rites and ceremonies, to welcome, as a symbol of friendship.

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