The seeds of Cola verticillata, C. anomala and C. nitida (Nat. Ord. Sterculiaceae). A tree of western Africa. Dose, 5 to 30 grains.
Common Names: Kola, Kola Nut, Female Kola, Cola, Bissy-Bissy.
Principal Constituents.—Caffeine (theine) 3 per cent, and a small amount of theobromine, kola-red, and kolatannic acid.
Preparation.—Fluidextractum Kolae, Fluidextract of Kola. Dose, 5 to 30 drops.
Specific Indications.—Nervous and muscular depression with cerebral anemia.
Action and Therapy.—The physiological action of kola closely duplicates that of caffeine and the caffeine-bearing drugs. It is, therefore, a remedy for muscular and nervous depression due to cerebral and spinal anemia. It is useful in hysteria, mental gloom, neurasthenia, and the diarrhea of debility. It may be used in acute alcoholism, but is of no value in chronic inebriation, and it sustains one attempting to break away from the tobacco-habit. It relieves nervous irritability of the stomach, often checking the nausea of pregnancy and the vomiting of seasickness. Its action in chronic diarrhea must be due to its power over irritation, as there is not sufficient tannin in the drug to cause much astringency. Like caffeine it is useful in the neuralgia of debility, in migraine, smoker's heart, and cardiac irritability. These are all cases needing stimulation and of the cerebral anemic type. The chief indications for it are difficult breathing, irregular heart action, and valvular insufficiency. After long spells of illness it may be used when there is mental depression, tendency to faint, poor appetite and digestion, great nervous irritability, and profound muscular debility.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.