Monday, September 20, 2010
The tree of life !
In Sanskrit, the coconut tree is rightly described as the kalpa vriksha - "the tree which provides all the necessities of life"
It is supposed to be one of the five legendary Devavrikshas.
The coconut provides a nutritious source of food, juice, milk and is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
It can be rightly called the ecofriendly crop – which permits coexistence of multi-species plants
In scientific terms, it is called Cocos nucifera. This nut was initially referred as ‘coco’, which means ‘monkey face’, by early Spanish explorers. And ‘nucifera means ‘nut bearing’
Coconut is grown in more than 86 countries worldwide. India is the third largest coconut producer in the world, with Indonesia and Philippines in the first and second spot. It has around 3000 years tradition of coconut cultivation.
Kerala is the largest coconut growing state in India.
The various products obtained from coconut are: Tender Coconut Water, Copra, Coconut Oil, Raw Kernel, Coconut Cake, Coconut Toddy, Coconut Shell based Products, Coconut Wood based Products, Coconut Leaves and Coir Pith.
The water of tender coconut, technically the liquid endosperm, is the most nutritious wholesome beverage that the nature has provided for the people of the tropics to fight the sultry heat. It has caloric value of 17.4 per 100gm.
The major chemical constituents of coconut water are sugars and minerals and minor ones are fat and nitrogenous substances.
The various medicinal properties of tender coconut water are:
1. Good for feeding infants suffering from intestinal disturbances.
2. Oral rehydration medium
3. Contains organic compounds possessing growth promoting properties
4. Keeps the body cool, application on the body prevents prickly heat and summer boils and subsides the rashes caused by small pox, chicken pox, measles, etc.
5. Kills intestinal worms
6. Presence of saline and albumen makes it a good drink in cholera cases
7. Checks urinary infections, Urinary antiseptic and eliminates poisons in case of mineral poisoning.
8. Excellent tonic for the old and sick, cures malnourishment.
9. Diuretic, Effective in the treatment of kidney and urethral stones
10. Found as blood plasma substitute because it is sterile, does not produce heat, does not destroy red blood cells and is readily accepted by the body.
11. Aids the quick absorption of the drugs and makes their peak concentration in the blood easier by its electrolytic effect.
12. Urinary antiseptic and eliminates poisons in case of mineral poisoning.
Coconut oil too, makes a truly remarkable food and medicine. The benefits on this oil will be shared with you in my upcoming post.
"Coconut fruit is agreeable to heart", Gunapadom, a Kerala text.