From Old World to New World
From a traditional gift comes the cola drink
Cola nut trees have been important in Africa for centuries. Africans used the pods to ease labor pains; seeds to relieve diarrhea, nausea, and hangover; bark to heal wounds; and wood to build houses, boats, and images. They chewed the nuts as a stimulant and used the roots to clean teeth and sweeten breath. Friends send nuts as invitations or congratulations.
Cola nuts are an essential ingredient of cola drinks, a multi-million dollar industry. Traditional uses for the tree continue in Africa. In some cultures, a host who fails to give cola nuts to departing guests commits a serious social blunder.