Native to West Africa, thr Kola Nut is produced in the tropics such as Jamaica, Brazil and Indonesia. The irregular shaped seeds are enclosed by a capsule like shell, which have a variation of colors ranging from dark purple, greenish-pink and brownish-white. It has a sweet and rose-like smell.
Bitter tasting and containing caffeine, the kola nut is often used ceremonially in many West African cultures and presented to tribal chiefs or presented to guests. Despite the initially bitter taste, the nut tastes sweeter as one chews on. Thought to be able to ease hunger pangs, the nuts are also used to treat whooping cough and asthma, aside from acting as a bronchodilator. However, frequent chewing of kola nuts can stain teeth.
Perhaps best known in the Western culture as a flavouring and a source of caffeine in cola and other similar beverages, although such practice is now uncommon.
last update by M 12/7/2012