Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera), is a member
of the Family Arecaceae (palm family). It is
the only species in the Genus Cocos, and is
a large palm, growing to 30 m tall, with
pinnate leaves 4-6 m long, pinnae 60-90 cm
long; old leaves break away cleanly leaving
the trunk smooth. The term coconut refers to
the fruit of the coconut palm.
properties of fresh coconut
Saturated Fat 14.8g
All parts of
the coconut palm are useful, and the trees
have a comparatively high yield (up to 75
"nuts" per year); it therefore has
significant economic value. The name for the
coconut palm in Sanskrit is kalpa vriksha,
which translates as "the tree which provides
all the necessities of life". In Malay, the
coconut is known as pokok seribu guna, "the
tree of a thousand uses". In the
Philippines, the coconut is commonly given
the title "Tree of Life".
Uses of the
various parts of the palm include:
white, fleshy part of the seed is edible
and used fresh or dried (desiccated) in
cavity is filled with "coconut water"
containing sugars, fibre, proteins,
anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals,
which provide excellent isotonic
electrolyte balance, and an exceptional
nutritional food source, which is why it
is used as a refreshing drink throughout
the humid tropics. It is also used in the
making of the gelatinous dessert nata de
coco. Mature fruits have significantly
less liquid than young immature coconuts.
Coconut water is sterile until the coconut
is opened (unless the coconut is spoiled).
fruits are also harvested, primarily in
the Philippines, where they are known as
milk (which is approximately 17% fat) is
made by processing grated coconut with hot
water or hot milk which extracts the oil
and aromatic compounds from the fibre.
cream is what rises to the top when
coconut milk is refrigerated and left to
leftover fibre from coconut milk
production is used as livestock feed.
- The sap
derived from incising the flower clusters
of the coconut is fermented to produce
palm wine, also known as "toddy" or, in
the Philippines, tuba.
buds of adult plants are edible and are
known as "palm-cabbage" (though harvest of
this kills the tree).
interior of the growing tip may be
harvested as heart-of-palm and is
considered a rare delicacy. Harvesting
this also kills the tree. Hearts of palm
are often eaten in salads; such a salad is
sometimes called "millionaire's salad".
- The coir
(the fibre from the husk of the coconut)
is used in ropes, mats, brushes, caulking
boats and as stuffing fibre; it is also
used extensively in horticulture for
making potting compost.
- Copra is
the dried meat of the seed which is the
source of coconut oil.
leaves provide materials for baskets and
- The husk
and shells can be used for fuel and are a
good source of charcoal.
Hawaiians hollowed the trunk to form a
drum, a container, or even small canoes.
- The wood
can be used for specialized construction
(notably in Manila's Coconut Palace).
stiff leaflet midribs make cooking
skewers, kindling arrows, or bound into
bundles, brooms and brushes.
roots are used as a dye, a mouthwash, or a
medicine for dysentery. A frayed-out piece
of root makes a poor man's toothbrush.
coconut shells are used in theatre, banged
together to create the sound effect of a
horse's hoofbeats. They were also used in
this way in the Monty Python film Monty
Python and the Holy Grail.
half coconut shells are used to buff
fairgrounds, a "coconut shy" is a popular
target practice game, and coconuts are
commonly given as prizes.
coconut can be hollowed out and used as a
home for a rodent or small bird.
water can be used as an intravenous fluid
inner coconut husk can also be rubbed on
the lens of snorkling goggles to prevent
fogging during use
half coconut shells are used as the bodies
of musical instruments, including the
Chinese yehu and banhu, and the Vietnamese