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Coffea arabica

Coffea arabica                      Common name: Coffee

Parts used: Kernels of the dried ripe seed

Identified Constituents:  Caffeine 1%-2% (less when roasted), Alkaloids (theobromine), Trigonelline, Chlorogenic acid, Polyamines, Tannins, B vitamins, Carbohydrates, Oil, Tannin, Sugars, Pentosans.

Medicinal actions: Stimulant, Diuretic, Antinarcotic, Anitemetic

(C)Guy Ackermans 2005

Medicinal use: Due to its relatively high content of alkaloids (theobromine), it has a direct stimulating action on the central nervous system and a secondary diuretic effect. It potentiates the analgesic effect of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Coffee is a bitter substance and is a powerful promoter of peristalsis  Additionally, coffee worsens anxiety type of depression.

Caffeine is also used to enhance exercise performance. Caffeine potentiates calcium release from skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum. Caffeine also increases fat breakdown, facilitates central nervous system transmission, reduces plasma potassium during exercise, increases force of muscle contraction at lower frequencies of stimulation and has a muscle glycogen sparing effect. Drinking less than 5 cups of coffee per day long term does not appear to increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, peptic ulcer or arrhythmia.  Short term consumption of coffee can cause diuresis, gastrointestinal distress, tremors, insomnia, and anxiety.

Pharmacy: Infusion: 1 Tbsp/cup infusion,1 cup QD – TID.

Toxicity: In persons sensitive to the effects of caffeine, caffeinism may occur.  This is manifested by tremors, diuresis, arrhythmia, agitation, insomnia, diaphoresis, gastrointestinal distress (usually loose stool) and anxiety coffee worsens anxiety type of depression.


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