Coffee - Research
Recent pharmacological studies have been performed on Coffea arabica; however, there are no current clinical studies on its external or internal use.
Coffee was thought to be a folk remedy for asthma, flu, fever, headache, jaundice, migraine, malaria, kidney disease, opium poisoning, sores and dizziness.4 The Arabians consumed the pulp from a fermented drink while the Indonesians and Malaysians use the dried leaves to prepare an infusion.4
Historically, coffee was used externally for scalds and burns1 or as a deodorant when combined with iodine.4 Internally, coffee was used for nausea and vomiting,1 as a brain stimulant and diuretic, and to help ward off comas caused by snake bites.2 Monks would use coffee to stay awake during extended hours of prayer.5 The unripe coffee seeds are traditionally used in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine for headaches.1
Coffee is a source of caffeine found in various drinks and is used as a flavoring in candies, ice cream, liqueurs, and pastries.1 Coffee contains chlorogenic and caffeic acids that give it its antioxidant properties.6
1 Bown D. The Herb Society of America New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited; 2001.
2 Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Vol I. New York: Dover Publications;1971.
3 Rinzler, CA. The New Complete Book of Herbs, Spices, & Condiments. New York: Checkmark Books; 2001.
4 Duke JA. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Vol 1. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1985.
5 Coffee. Coffeeresearch.org. 2001. Available at: http://www.coffeeresearch.org/coffee/history.htm. Accessed February 21, 2005.