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A descriptive cross-sectional study on various uses and outcomes of Garcinia kola among people of Oshimili North in the Delta State of Nigeria.

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Background:

A preliminary review of literature for this study shows that the use of Garcinia kola (bitter kola) as plant medicine is common among Africans but there are no scientific evidence to support its uses to prevent or treat common medical conditions. The main purpose of this study, therefore, is to examine the various uses and outcomes of Garcinia kola (G. kola) among people of Oshimili North in the Delta State of Nigeria.

Methodology:

This descriptive cross-sectional quantitative study was based on a structured questionnaire for adults aged 18 and above (n = 274) in Oshimili North local government area of Delta State of Nigeria. Likert scale data were coded as follows: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree and 5 = strongly agree. As Likert-type data are usually ordinal data, which make more sense when converted to interval data. The converted ordinal data were analyzed using SPSS computer software. Ethical requirement including the administration of information sheet, written informed consent, and the provision of confidentiality was ensured.

Results:

The analysis of results show that the benefits derived from ingesting bitter kola were rated high for cough, bacterial or viral infection and anticancer. The results also show that most of the respondents consider bitter kola having low benefits for relieving food poison, diarrhea or stomach upset. Chi-square results show no association between gender and perceived benefits of bitter kola for relieving these conditions. In addition, results show that females perceive benefits derive from ingesting bitter kola as low as an aphrodisiac whereas males consider it as average. Chi-square results show significant association between gender and perceived benefits of bitter kola as an aphrodisiac.

Conclusion:

The study found that Garcinia kola acts as anti-bacteria, anti-virus and provides protection against cancer. However, this study could not find any conclusive evidence to support the age long claim of bitter kola as treatment for food poison, diarrhea or stomach upset and aphrodisiac (libido).

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