Known as bissy in Jamaica, kola nuts are commonly used to increase energy and flavor popular soda beverages. In Nigeria, the nut is used in traditional medicine and holds an important role at weddings, naming ceremonies and funerals.
It’s been a staple as an indigenous medicinal resource in Jamaica since it was introduced in the 18th century. It’s typically ingested as a tea and sweetened with sugar or honey. In the “old-days,” grated bissy and ginger were added to white rum for medicinal purposes.
1- Enhances Metabolism
Bissy can increase metabolism by as much as 118 percent and makes the body feel fuller longer with fewer hunger pangs. An increase in metabolism gives individuals greater energy and aids in burning calories easier and more effectively.
2- Intestinal Problems
One of the properties of bissy is its ability to stimulate the intestinal tract to secrete gastric acid required for digestion. It also relieves constipation and an upset stomach. Its antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties assist in strengthening the immune system from which the body’s immune response is centered.
3- Male Impotence, Cancer
Men have utilized bissy as a remedy for impotence due to its ability to stimulate blood flow. New studies have also indicated that the nut contains phytoandrogens that have effects similar to testosterone that may be effective in treating prostate cancer.
Bissy has natural anti-inflammatory properties that act to lessen swelling that makes joint movement difficult and painful.
5- Respiratory Disorders
The nut is a known bronchodilator that can ease the symptoms of respiratory distress that occurs in asthma, allergies, and colds. Bissy also aids in alleviating phlegm congestion.
Caffeine is an ingredient in a number of migraine headache remedies and products containing the compound can be up to 40 percent more effective in relieving the pain. Caffeine works to dilate blood vessels, but care should be used as it can also cause headaches in those that ingest too much caffeine.
The psychoactive ability of caffeine blocks adenosine, allowing brain cells and neurotransmitters to work at an increased rate through the release of dopamine. That action can work to improve memory and increase reaction times.
It’s important to note that bissy can react with prescription medications. It’s also dangerous and toxic to animals. Always use botanical medicinals with care.