Kola Nut Powder
Botanical Name - Cola nitida
Other Names - bichy nut, cola tree
Origin - Africa
Flavor Profile - Similar to cocoa but with more bitterness.
Culinary Usages - May be added to teas, cereals or smoothies.
Typical Preparations - Kola, as its name suggests, is a main ingredient in many traditional colas. In herbal medicine, the nut is usually soaked in alcohol to make tinctures. May be taken as tea although bitter, and the powder can be taken as a capsule.
Cosmetic Usages - Blend with arrowroot powder to make a natural foundation or bronzer.
Kola nut comes from the cola genus, which contains the evergreen trees, cola nitida and cola acuminata. Native to the African rainforest, these two plants are related to cacao. Their nuts, which are chewed by natives, contain caffeine and theobromine. In fact, kola nuts contain more caffeine than coffee.
In African culture, the kola nut is of great social significance. In fact, it’s not only considered an honor to be presented with kola nuts as a gift, but the consumption of kola nuts occurs at community functions from weddings and baptisms to political meetings and funerals. The nuts are also frequently used as currency or as talismans for spiritual protection. In addition to a variety of beverages, kola nuts are made into stimulatory tonics.
In the west, the nuts are best known as the key ingredient in the original Coca-Cola soft drink formula. However, because of the psychoactive effects of colanine present in the seeds, the formula has since been modified to exclude this substance
Precautions - Kola nut has a stimulatory effect due to caffeine alkaloids and may not be suitable for people with high blood pressure or heart disease.
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