Traditional Indications

Cola Nut is also known as Jamaican bush tea “Bizzy,” In Europe, Cola nuts were once used to treat migraines, neuralgia, nausea, and diarrhoea.(1) In the 12th century Arab physicians recommended Cola for the relief of various stomach complaints and by the 16th century Cola Nut was incorporated into the matière médicale of Islamic science. Slave traders carried kola nuts on their ships as a medical prophylactic. In Victorian Britain ‘kola chocolate’, a preparation made from kola, sugar and vanilla, was dispensed to invalids and recommended to travellers to ‘allay hunger and relieve exhaustion’ while ‘kola champagne’ was advertised as a tonic and nerve stimulant. In 1886 cola nut was used to create a ‘brain tonic’ known as Coca-Cola and a few years later, Pepsi-Cola was created and marketed as a medical tonic to relieve peptic ulcers and dyspepsia. (2) Cola preparations are used today to treat physical and mental exhaustion. (3)

Cola nut plant contain several chemical constituents noted for their medicinal values among them are caffeine, theophylline and theobromine, (4) alkaloids, tannins, saponins and flavonoids. (5)

Polyphenolic-rich Cola nitida extract was found to exhibit an inhibitory effect on key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes and displayed a protective effect against Fe2+induced lipid peroxidation in rat pancreas in vitro. (6)

A study examining the effect of cola nitida on locomotor movements in mice found that cola nut induces biphasic changes (ie dose and duration dependent) in locomotor activity. Locomotor skills are the foundations of human movement and include walking, running, hopping, skipping, jumping, galloping, leaping and sliding are the eight locomotor movements. (7)

A study characterising the androgenic and chemopreventative properties of the Jamaican bush tea “Bizzy,” using androgen receptor positive and negative cell lines found provided evidence that Bizzy extract possesses the ability to modulate prostate cancer cell biology in an AR-dependent manner. (8)


1. Ratsch C. The encyclopedia of psychoactive plants: ethnopharmacology and its applications. The encyclopedia of psychoactive plants: ethnopharmacology and its applications. Rochester: Park Street Press; 1998.
2. Starin D. Kola nut: so much more than just a nut. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2013;106(12):510-2.
3. TA R. The kola nut of West Africa1995.
4. Adeosun OI, Olaniyi KS, Amusa OA, Jimoh GZ, Oniyide AA. Methanolic extract of Cola nitida elicits dose-dependent diuretic, natriuretic and kaliuretic activities without causing electrolyte impairment, hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity in rats. International journal of physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. 2017;9(6):231-9.
5. Dewole EA, Dewumi DF, Alabi JY, Adegoke A. Proximate and phytochemical of Cola nitida and Cola acuminata. Pakistan journal of biological sciences : PJBS. 2013;16(22):1593-6.
6. Oboh G, Nwokocha KE, Akinyemi AJ, Ademiluyi AO. Inhibitory effect of polyphenolic-rich extract from Cola nitida (Kolanut) seed on key enzyme linked to type 2 diabetes and Fe(2+) induced lipid peroxidation in rat pancreas in vitro. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine. 2014;4(Suppl 1):S405-S12.
7. Ajarem JS. Effects of fresh kola-nut extract (Cola nitida) on the locomotor activities of male mice. Acta physiologica et pharmacologica Bulgarica. 1990;16(4):10-5.
8. Solipuram R, Koppula S, Hurst A, Harris K, Naragoni S, Fontenot K, et al. Molecular and biochemical effects of a kola nut extract on androgen receptor-mediated pathways. Journal of toxicology. 2009;2009:530279-.