Cola – ESCOP Herbal Monograph 2014

Cola ESCOP Monograph 2014

Colae Semen
Published 2014
Price:   €20
Format: PDF; Instant Download


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The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of cola.

This herbal drug by definition consists of the whole or fragmented dried seeds, freed from the testa, of Cola nitida (Vent.) Schott et Endl. (C. vera K. Schum.) and its varieties, as well as of Cola acuminata (P. Beauv.) Schott et Endl., (Sterculia acuminata P. Beauv.).

Studies with its main characteristic constituents purine alkaloids such as caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, also catechins, proanthocyanidins and tannins are included.

The therapeutic indication is short-term physical and/or mental exhaustion.

Administration of cola addresses: posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose.

In vitro experiments with cola extract showed oxygen radical scavenging properties.

In vivo experiments with animals increased locomotor and exploratory activities, demonstrated neurological, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal effects.

A pharmacological study in humans concerned optical performance.

Pharmacokinetics of absorption and EEG readings for orally administered cola extract were assessed in animals.

Preclinical safety data for cola were assessed in repeated dose, chronic  and reproductive fertility toxicity studies.

Safety data were assessed in human studies during pregnancy.

The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at bringing together relevant information about the possible physiological roles of cola and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Cola nitida, Cola vera, Cola acuminata, Sterculia acuminata.
  • Colae semen
  • Cola
  • Exhaustion, physical and/or mental.


– Ajarem JS. Effects of fresh kola-nut extract (Cola nitida) on the locomotor activities of male mice. Acta Physiologica et Pharmacologica Bulgarica 1990;16:10-15.
– Atawodi SE, Pfundstein B, Haubner R, Spiegelhalder B, Bartsch H, Owen RW. Content of polyphenolic compounds in the Nigerian Stimulants Cola nitida ssp. alba, Cola nitida ssp. rubra A. Chev, and Cola acuminata Schott & Endl and their antioxidant capacity. J Agric Food Chem 2007;55:9824-8.
– Ettarh RR, Okoosi SA, Eteng MU. The Influence of Kolanut (Cola nitida) on Exploratory Behaviour in Rats. Pharmaceutical Biology 2000;38(4):281-3.;1-A;FT281
– Igwe SA, Akunyili DN, Ikonne EU. Ocular effects of acute ingestion of Cola nitida (Linn) on healthy adult volunteers. S Afr Optom 2007;66(1):19-23.
– Niemenak N, Onomo PE, Fotso, Lieberei R, Ndoumou. Purine alkaloids and phenolic compounds in three Cola species and Garcinia kola grown in Cameroon. South African Journal of Botany 2008;74:629-38.
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