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Kola nut

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**1. Uses and Cultural Significance:**
– Bitter flavor with caffeine
– Nervous system stimulant
– Chewed in West African countries
– Used ceremonially
– Folk remedy for coughs and digestion
– Integral to spiritual practices in West Africa
– Connected to spread of Islam in North Africa
– Used on slave ships for taste improvement

**2. History and Literary References:**
– Ancient origins of use
Ingredient in Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola
– Invented by pharmacist John Pemberton
– Mixed caffeine from kola nuts with coca leaves
– Original recipe confidential
– First popular cola soft drink
– Kola in the History of West Africa
– Africa’s botanical legacy in the Atlantic world
– Yoruba attitudes towards the Orisa
– Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
– The Igbos and Their Traditions
Kola nut in literature
– GraceLand: A Novel by Chris Abani
– The Color Purple by Alice Walker
– Cahiers D’Etudes Africaines

**3. Cultivation and Production:**
– Grows in tropical rainforests
– Requires hot, humid climate
– Can be cultivated in drier areas
– Needs regular weeding and irrigation
– Major producers: Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon
– Kola seeds grown in Nigeria
– Top producing countries of Kola Nut
Kola nut production in 2020
– Retrieved from Nigeria, the Kola nuts
– Proximate and nutritional composition of kola nut

**4. Pests, Diseases, and Nutritional Composition:**
– Attacked by kola weevil and moth larvae
– Traders use extracts to counteract attacks
– Vulnerable to worm and borer attacks
– Seeds and wood susceptible to damage
– Crops value for social mobility in West Africa
– Proximate and nutritional composition of kola nut
– Cola nitida, bitter cola, and alligator pepper
– How natural is your Cola?

**5. External Links and Resources:**
– Cola acuminata (P.Beauv.) Schott & Endl.
– Plants For A Future, 2012
– The Rise and Fall of Cocaine Cola
– Cola in West African plants – A Photo Guide
– The Royal Society of Medicine

Kola nut (Wikipedia)

The kola nut (Igbo: ọjị, Sängö: gôro, Dagbani: guli, Swahili: mukezu) is the seed of certain species of plant of the genus Cola, placed formerly in the cocoa family Sterculiaceae and now usually subsumed in the mallow family Malvaceae (as subfamily Sterculioideae). These cola species are trees native to the tropical rainforests of Africa. Their caffeine-containing seeds are about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) across and are used as flavoring ingredients in various carbonated soft drinks, from which the name cola originates.

Kola nut – pod with half shell removed to reveal prismatic seeds inside their white testa, and fresh seeds (whole without testa on the left and, on the right, split into cotyledons)
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