Ingredient Spotlight: Kola Nuts

K. Sis. Nicole T.N. Lasher
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Kola is an important nut in west Africa, and by extension in some diaspora traditions.  However, in the north American diaspora, it is rarely heard of.  In my opinion, this needs to be remedied.  It embodies hospitality, good will, and unity.

Rather than repeat what has already been written on the subject, here are some links about kola and how it is used in Africa.  After this, I have more to say about its use in diaspora mysticism and magick.

Igbo Cola Nut Ritual at
The kola nut ritual of greeting and welcoming someone to an Igbo home.

Kola Nut: Nigeria’s Seed of Togetherness
Information on how kola is used in various cultures in Nigeria.

Obi Abata Divination
A .pdf on how to do basic Obi Abata divination, which is done with kola in Africa, and coconut shells in the diaspora where kola is not available.

Kola in the African Diaspora

Most of us in north America do not have access to fresh kola nuts.  So coffee, tea, and other refreshments have taken their place in the hospitality ritual.  However for some, especially men, it is important to have kola involved somewhere, so they may make a beverage, appetizer, or cake using kola powder.

Kola is considered sacred to Eshu, Ifa, and the Ancestors, and some consider her, like Iroko, a Spirit in her own right.  To some practitioners of mysticism and magick, the kola nut is an essential ingredient in charms or other items meant to bring about unity or benevolent sentiments.  It can also be used in aphrodisiacs, peaceful home preparations, and as an offering to the Spirits during divination or important life events.

Tincture of kola can be blessed and smeared or mixed with water and sprayed in doorways to help people entering to feel welcome and happy to be there.

A piece of kola can be added to peaceful home oil when the families are blended, or living in a situation with frequent guests.  It doesn’t mix well with oil, scent-wise, but it is good to have the energy there.

Kola Cake

You will need:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons kola nut powder
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup sunflower or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • water
  • (optional) a few drops of orange, lemon, almond, vanilla, or rum extracts

Grease and flour your baking pan, and preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

In a large bowl, starting with the kola nut powder, mix the dry ingredients except the sugar.

In a separate bowl, cream the rest together.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and add enough water to make the batter somewhat like a very thick ketchup.

Add the extracts last, if desired.

Bake for about an hour before checking.  It is done when a skewer or knife you stick into it comes out clean.

K. Sis. Nicole T.N. Lasher

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