“FALSE: Bitter kola does not cure all eye problems”


Bitter kola does not cure eye problems

By Iyabode Olorunsola 4 minutes read

A facebook user, Iyiola Kolawole, on his facebook page shared a claim that bitter kola scientifically known as “ Garcinia kola “ cures all eye problems.He went further to give a step-by- step process of how to produce the bitter kola eye drop at home and how to apply it on the eye.

After Dubawa’s research on the claim, it was discovered that bitter kola does not cure all eye problems neither is the process of producing bitter kola eye-drop and its application to the eye recommended as hygienic for the human eye. However, research reveals that it can be a partial cure for glaucoma only.

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Eye problems are considered to be a malfunction of one of the five organs of senses, the eye.
There are many types of eye problems but the ten most common includes cataract, glaucoma, presbyopia, keratoconus, dry eyes and tearing

Meanwhile, bitter kola, otherwise known as Garcinia kola, is a plant found in central and western Africa,valued for its medicinal properties.A 2018 research by scientists at Havard University Medical School shows that it has been used traditionally to fight infections from the common cold to hepatitis in Africa.It is also chewed to fight inflammatory conditions like arthritis because it has a high level of potassium. Early studies also revealed that Kolaviron,a chemical found in bitter kola may protect against type 2 diabetes.

While food scientists consider bitter kola generally safe to eat, there is not much research into serving sizes or nutritional data . However, A 2013 study found bitter kola high in carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamin, calcium,iron, and caffeine.
Scientific research generally recommends bitter kola for consumption and not to be applied on the eye.

Screenshots of claim

A glance at the circulating claim that bitter kola cures all eye problems attracted many people as it also circulated on many WhatsApp platforms such as that of Champions Church, Home Affairs and Women’s Rights Advocate. The claim titled “How to treat all eye problems using bitter kola naturally 100% effective.”Bitter kola cures all eye problems in 21 days.The claim also describes the process of producing the bitter kola eye drop to include boiling half a cup of water which will be left to cool and three bitter kolas chopped into the water.It is bottled in an eye drop container and left for three days before applying two or three times a day. The claim, however, warns that on the first day of application the eye turns red and itchy which is a sign of healing.This viral claim also states that the drop should be replaced after every 21 and all eyeglass related problems will be resolved in between 21 to 90 days. This claim was credited to a Professor with no name or address.

Dubawa started by making an attempt to chat with Iyiola Kolawole on his source of the claim, but he did not respond. Dubawa’s use of google search was able to dig out research on bitter kola and its efficacy in curing eye problems.

The Middle East African Journal of ophthalmology in a research titled “Efficiency of Garcinia kola 0.5% Aqueous Eye drops in patients with primary open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension” states that garcinia kola is a family of herb known as Guttiferaeand referred to as “bitter kola”, “False kola”, or “male kola” in Nigeria which has anti-inflammatory,anti-parasitic ,antimicrobial and antiviral properties.It states that it has been proven safe in the human eye, and it’s systemic blood pressure lowering effects has been published in various studies.

Alcon Research laboratories Inc in the USA was consulted to perform chromatography and pharmacodynamic analysis of the kola nut extract and results indicated that it could serve as an alternative and cheaper means of curing glaucoma. Aside from these scientifically proven claims, there is no proof that it cures any other type of eye problems.

An interview with Professor Modupe Ademola- Popoola, a staff of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital disclosed that the process of production of eye drops is very stringent so as not to inadvertently introduce infection while trying to use bitter kola.This she says negates the claim of producing the eyedrop at home. “It is suspicious and not in the best interest of the public for people to make drops into their eyes”.Professor Modupe Ademola Popoola states. She added “since I doubt the veracity of the claim,I cannot lend credence to its usage.”All these challenges of the eye are confronted by different drugs and process of treatment which includes surgery and chemotherapy, “ she says.She concludes “There is no drug that takes care of every eye condition as described in the work!!

Although it is true that bitter kola can be an alternative cure for open angle glaucoma and other infections and inflammatory disease, it is not true that it can cure all eye problems.the general public should therefore disregard the claim.


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