Monkey Kola nut is a name given to some edible wild relatives of West African kola nut. The scientific name includes Cola lateritia K. Schum, C. lepidota, and C. pachycarpa K. Schum.
These are underused indigenous tropical fruit species that grow in the humid West and Central African forests. Monkey kola is the English name given to some unique cola underused indigenous tropical fruit species.
In Yoruba, monkey kola is referred to as “obi edun”, It’s also known as “Ochicha”, “Achicha”, or “Ochiricha” in Igbo, and “Ndiya” in Efik/Ibibio. Also, in Ikwerre language in River State monkey kola is called “Oyiya”.
It is a healthy fruit and a tasty perennial plant that can be seen in homes and villages.
In Nigeria, the fruit pulp is eaten by humans and a few wild animals like monkeys, baboons, and other primates.
This African fruit with all its nutritional benefits is not well known so it requires more publicity and attention so that people will be aware of the fruit and its amazing health value.
5 Key Facts About Monkey Kola Health Benefits
- Firstly, Monkey kola has edible flesh that can be yellow, red, or white. The yellow variety of Monkey kola called cola is the most common and has surplus nutritional, and medicinal value than the red and white monkey kola.
- Secondly, its white pulp is called cola lepidota, while the Monkey kola with red pulp is called cola lateritia and is the least common.
- Thirdly, Monkey kola fruit is crunchy just like a carrot. The fruits are available from around June to November and are very nutritious. They are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- They also contain calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium zinc, and potassium.
- Lastly, Monkey kola leaves are medicinal and can be used for the treatment of eye infections. Although a scarce snack, monkey kola is filling and delicious.
How to Eat Monkey Kola
- Firstly, wash the rough lizard skin-like texture of yellow monkey kola fruit.
- Then, cut in half and remove the seed as well as the white inner coating or layer just after removing the seed so as to give you a pleasant taste of the fruit.
- After that, take a bite of the fruit; it makes the crispest sound like a fresh apple. It makes a loud crunch.
- Finally. It’s now time to enjoy!
Health Benefits of Yellow Monkey Kola
- Firstly, it helps in Body Metabolism.
- Secondly, it moderates Body Cholesterol.
- Thirdly, it maintains a Healthy Gastrointestinal Tract.
- Then, it helps in Weight Management.
- It also boosts Skin and Eye Health.
- Above all, it maintains Healthy Bones and Improves Heart Health.
Red Monkey Kola
Red Monkey kola, with the Botanical name: Cola millenii K. Schum is one of several varieties across West Africa.
It grows in a flower-like pattern (funny enough, it looks like breast ducts when stripped of fat). Each segment houses white seeds that you can lick.
Benefits of Red Monkey Kola
The monkey kola leaf occasionally serves as food and the plant (the part not specified) is used to treat icter and many shin diseases. Also, wood is used for carpentry.
Side Effects of Monkey Kola
Monkey kola is quite nutritious in value and is wise to be taken in moderation for health improvement.