Coffea arabica

Plant Name: Coffea arabica
Hawaiian Name: KOPE
English Name: Coffee
Family: Rubiaceae
Status in Hawai’i: Alien pest. Native to Ethiopia.
Part Used: Kernels, leaves.

Uses:

  • Coffee is second only to oil as a world commodity and is the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year. In the last three centuries, 90% of all people living in the Western world have switched from tea to coffee

  • Coffee is most commonly used medicinally for asthma, depression, constipation, fatigue, and hangover.

  • The Japanese use coffee as a body scrub and skin cleanser.

  • In Trinidad, black coffee is mixed with lime juice for arthritis. Fisherman have been known to use cold coffee to wash the smell of fish off their hands.

  • Wake up and smell the coffee! A University of California study reports that the steam rising from a cup of coffee has the same amount of antioxidants as three oranges.

  • The caffeine in coffee beans is bound to an organic acid and requires roasting to become active, but dark roasted coffee (unlike tea) has less caffeine than the lighter brews.

  • After hearing that coffee was “the Devil’s potion”, Pope Clement VIII tried a cup and declared it to be “so delicious that it would be a pity to allow the Muslim infidels to have exclusive use of it.” He then baptized the coffee to make it a Christian beverage. Even Martin Luther agreed with this. About the same time J.S. Bach wrote his Coffee Concerto.

Cautions:

  • Heavy coffee drinking is correlated to increased risk of suicide and decreased risk of colorectal cancer and Parkinsons disease. Coffee can raise blood pressure. On the other hand coffee can lower the incidence of diabetes.

  • Not in pregnancy or while nursing.

  • Not in large doses with muscle spasm; shoulder, neck, or back pain.