Several controversial post have gone viral on the use of bitter kola to cure malaria. These writers may be right, however I believe it will be ideal if we demystify this controversy.
Considerable experimental evidence has been adduced to support its chemical constituents against several ailments in the community, including malaria.
“We extracted its chemical constituents, which is called Kolaviron and when it was tested on malaria parasite, we found it had significant anti-malarial activity,” says Professor Olusegun Ademowo, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, South West of Nigeria.
“What we are now trying to find out is the right dosage of its extract that would be required in treating malaria. Also, we are looking at what other effects its use will have on the human cells. But at the moment it is in the preliminary stage.”
No doubt, traditional healers had been prescribing bitter kola for the treatment of malaria. Researchers, who reported that bitter kola had anti-malaria effect in the 2010 issue of Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, from a survey of plants used by traditional healers in the Democratic Republic of Congo attributed this to its quinones content.
In 1999, a group of researchers in Kinshasa, Congo, attested to why people should consider feeding more on bitter kola to ward of malaria. Under laboratory conditions, they found that extracts from bark, stem and seed of bitter kola tree inhibit the growth of malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) by at least 60% at a low concentration of 6 mg/ml.
So when you pass by the market, remember to patronize that seller because eating bitter kola is medicinal and can save you from the deleterious effects of malaria.