Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can lead to blindness. There are many treatment options available, but they can be expensive and have side effects.
Bitter kola has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. It is now being studied as a possible treatment for glaucoma.
Bitter kola may be an effective and safe herbal remedy for treating glaucoma and other eye conditions.
Can bitter kola be used as eye drops?
The claim that a mixture of water and bitter cola can treat eye problems, such as glaucoma and myopia, has been circulating on social media platforms in South Africa and Nigeria. Though bitter kola, or Garcinia kola, is traditionally used in Africa to manage various diseases, there is a lack of credible evidence to support the claim that it can be used as eye drops. Research studies generally recommend bitter kola for ingestion and not for external applications.
Moreover, putting anything in the eyes that have not been approved by a qualified health professional can be dangerous and can lead to permanent eye damage. The Facebook post in question also provides a disclaimer that upon using the mixture, the eye may itch and turn red, which can be alarming and cause further damage. Therefore, while some studies mention that bitter kola has several beneficial properties, its use as an eye drop cannot be recommended due to the lack of scientific evidence.
What are the benefits of using cola as eye drops?
1. They can be used to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension
Cola, or Garcinia kola Heckel, is an indigenous herb found in Nigeria that has been found to have beneficial properties for treating glaucoma. The extract of this plant has been found to inhibit active processes of aqueous secretion, lower subchondral pressure, reduce pain in knee osteoarthritis, and have systemic blood pressure-lowering effects. Additionally, studies have found that it is safe for use in the human eye and could be a viable alternative to conventional medication for glaucoma.
The main purpose of using cola as an eye drop is to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with newly diagnosed primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) or ocular hypertension (OH). Lowering IOP can help slow down or prevent the progression of the disease, as well as the optic nerve damage caused by high IOP levels and fluctuations.
Other potential benefits of cola eye drops include reduced inflammation and pain due to their anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects. Additionally, because cola eye drops are more affordable and available than conventional medications, they can also be an appealing option for those who are unable to access or afford other glaucoma medications.
2. They have been shown to lower intraocular pressure
Using Garcinia kola (G. kola) as an eye drop is an effective way to lower intraocular pressure. This eye drop has anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties, which work together to help reduce IOP.
In a study comparing the efficacy of topical glaucoma treatments in various settings, using G. kola 0.5% aqueous solution eye drops in patients with newly diagnosed primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension (POAG/OH) was found to significantly reduce the mean diurnal IOP from baseline, with a mean IOP reduction of 12.9 ± 2.3 mmHg (47.8% reduction) in Group 1 and 13.1 ± 2.8 mmHg (48.2% reduction) in Group 2.
Furthermore, 39 subjects (43.8%) achieved an IOP lower than 18 mmHg in Group 1 compared to 41 subjects (46.1%) in Group 2. Therefore, G. kola has been proven to be an effective, affordable, and readily available treatment option for lowering IOP in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
3. They have anti-inflammatory properties
Cola eye drops have anti-inflammatory properties due to their high potassium content. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps reduce inflammation in the body. Bitter kola, which is rich in potassium, is an effective treatment for inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Studies have found that individuals with knee osteoarthritis had much less inflammation when consuming bitter kola. This is because the potassium in bitter kola helps to reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility. Additionally, bitter kola has antimicrobial properties and the ability to boost the immune system.
The antioxidants present in the nuts help to counteract free radicals and protect the body from damage. Finally, bitter kola also has a good effect on the lungs, allowing them to expand and improve ventilation levels. All these properties make bitter kola a great choice for reducing inflammation and protecting the body.
4. They can be used to treat uveitis
Cola can be used to treat uveitis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, by reducing the inflammation. To do this, the following steps should be taken:
- Start by crushing one to two pieces of bitter kola into a fine powder.
- Put the powder into a glass of water and stir it until it is completely dissolved.
- Put the mixture into a clean eye dropper and apply the solution to the eye, one drop at a time.
- After applying the drops, gently close the eye for about 30 seconds and then open it again.
- Repeat these steps three times a day for one week.
For example, if a patient is suffering from uveitis, they should crush two pieces of bitter kola into a fine powder, add the powder to a glass of water, and stir until it is dissolved. The patient should then put the mixture into a clean eye dropper and apply the solution to the eye, one drop at a time. After applying the drops, they should close the eye gently for about 30 seconds and then open it again. They should repeat this process three times a day for one week.
5. They are available without a prescription
Speak to your doctor about the use of cola-based eye drops for the treatment of glaucoma. Make sure your doctor has reviewed the available evidence for the efficacy of cola-based eye drops for treating glaucoma.
Are there any safety concerns with using bitter kola as an eye drop?
The answer to this question is yes. While some research suggests that bitter kola may have some therapeutic benefit to people suffering from glaucoma or ocular hypertension, the side effects of using G. kola as an eye drop are largely unknown and require further evaluation. Furthermore, research has shown that there is a lack of credible evidence to support the claim that bitter kola can be used to successfully treat conditions like myopia and glaucoma.
In addition, Dr. Aftab Alam, an ophthalmologist, has warned against using home remedies to treat any eye problems, as they can cause further damage. The American Academy of Ophthalmology also advises not to use anything in the eye that hasn’t been approved by a qualified health professional.
Overall, using bitter kola as an eye drop can be unsafe and carries the risk of causing further damage to the eyes. Therefore, it is best to consult an ophthalmologist if you have any eye problems and to never put anything in your eyes that hasn’t been approved by a qualified health professional.
Does bitter kola have any benefits for treating other conditions?
Yes, bitter kola has many potential benefits for treating a variety of conditions. In addition to being used to treat common infections, such as the common cold and hepatitis, studies have also shown that bitter kola can help reduce inflammation, particularly in individuals with osteoarthritis, as well as protect against hypoglycemia in people with type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, bitter kola has been found to possess antimicrobial properties, which can help fight off bacterial and viral infections. Finally, bitter kola is believed to have aphrodisiac properties, which can help improve sexual desire and performance. Therefore, the many benefits of bitter kola make it an attractive option for treating various ailments and conditions.
What are the benefits of bitter kola for glaucoma?
The benefits of bitter kola for glaucoma are numerous. Regular intake of bitter kola is ‘wonderfully efficacious’ for the treatment of glaucoma. It can be used to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP), the only modifiable factor in glaucoma patients, thereby helping to prevent blindness.
Bitter kola can also be used to fight virulent diseases, including Ebola, by halting viral replication. Moreover, it is believed to strengthen the liver and serve as an aphrodisiac. Additionally, studies have found that bitter kola can lower blood pressure.