From Old World to New World

From a traditional gift comes the cola drink

Cola Nut
Cola nitida


Cola nut trees have been important in Africa for centuries. Africans used the pods to ease labor pains; seeds to relieve Cola nut treediarrhea, 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.

Coca Cola bottle

Present Use

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.


From Old World to New World