The Coconut! Some call this wonderful Palm tree, the “Tree OF Life”. Why is this?

What is this fascinating drupe we call a Coconut, why are so many talking about it, and writing books about it? Why do the South Pacific cultures seem to value it so much?  First lets start with what a coconut is:  The coconut is a drupe ( not a nut), grown from a Palm Tree, some cultures have called it the Tree Of Life.  When I had already become aware of its medicinal uses and then heard of the Tag “Tree of Life”, I thought for me, it could be called this because of the Thousands of lives  Coconut water had saved in World war II, and later the Vietnam war ( we called it).

You see from what I have found out, doctors in both wars used coconut water IV solutions when blood plasma pouches were low ( to treat injured soldiers that need extra blood for their wounds).  This was and  still is possible due to the isotonic nature of pure coconut water, meaning it is able to exist in an osmotic balance with the blood and body without adversely affecting PH or other Biochemical attributes. Doctors in third world countries to this day use coconut water when blood runs low, usually in emergency conditions.

The name for Coconut Palm in Sanskrit is Kalph vriksha, which translates as ” The Tree which Provides all the necessities of life. In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly given the title “Tree of Life”. The majority of all coconuts come from the South Pacific, and mostly from the Philippines. The coconut Palm thrives on sandy soils. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall, they need high humidity ( 70-80% plus) for optimum growth. The only places in the US that have potential for growing the Palm Tree are Hawaii, South Florida.

Coconut water has many benefits for your heath. Coconut water gives energy, helps with muscle performance, weight loss, stress reduction, heart health, skin, hair and nail health, mental acuity, kidney cleansing, and a natural hang over cure, just to name a few.

In the 2010 Malibu International marathon, they replaced all the Processed drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, and other various sugar-heavy electrolyte replacements typically offered every couple of miles. The race organizers used only Coconut water at aid and water stations. They liked the fact that Coconut water is High in potassium and many other electrolytes.

I have been using it myself for over a year-and-a-half. I actually tolerate it better than water most of the time ( most likely do to my long term potassium deficiency and the way in which potassium can balance water and electrolyte levels). I have gone on epic rides ( biking) where it may be the only thing I drink. I understand that each one of us has our own requirements of Sodium and potassium, basically we just benefit more by listening to our bodies more. I actually use a Coconut water Product by Big Tree Farms, it is called Coco Hydro, and they are out of Ashland Oregon. Coco Hydro comes in a 25 serving packet it is easily half the price of your average bottled coconut water. Big Tree farms use a more sustainable way to make and ship their products, they evaporate ( dehydrate) the coconut water at a very low temp, to preserve the Coconut water powder ( nutrients and electrolytes), no need to ship the coconuts half way around the world, just ship the evaporated coconut water nutrients. Very forward thinking on the part of Big Tree Farms! Just add roughly 8 ounces of water ( more or less for your taste) and magically you have coconut water with the help of your own tap water.

Coconuts have 100’s of medicinal uses. They help with benign prostate hyperplasia ( Benign enlargement of the prostate) Reduce total cholesterol levels ( limited studies) work to for a help lower triglycerides, LDL levels, VldL, increase HDL levels ( Good cholesterol). The Hexane fraction of the coconut peel many contain novel anti-cancer compounds. The Tea from the husk fiber is widely used to treat several inflammatory disorders. Coconut oil can be used as a natural low level sunscreen.  Experts usually almost always recommend Organic virgin Coconut oil over refined cheaper coconut oils.

Now I would like to move on to another part of the Coconut, the Oil from the inner pulp ( coconut oil). Coconut Oil is an edible oil extracted from the Kernel ( meat) of nature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. In the tropics, it has provided the primary source of fat for the diets of millions of people for generations. Coconut oil is anti-fungal, antiviral, improves nutrient absorption.

Healing- Coconut oil when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin natural chemical layer, which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria, and viruses. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues, it also helps with bug bites. Coconut oil basically helps  the skin to heal, in a more efficient way.

If we look into these healing foods and the cultures in which they are grown and eaten, we will most likely start to understand not only what healing abilities coconuts have, but the abilities other foods have to help protect, repair, heal, and provide the energy our bodies need to thrive. It seems we  can truly appreciate life more when we start to understand the value that certain foods ( many) provide. To all those who believe in the true potential in life!! Take care. Be well my friends. Until next time…

Bob Kyes

 

September 11, 2012Permalink Leave a comment

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