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What are some of the health benefits of Coconut?

The coconut palm is a large (30 meters high) tree, and is a meber of the Arecaceae family, with the binomial nomenclature as Cocos nucifera. Coconut is known as Naarikela in ayurveda. This plant is grown in the tropics. For this tree, many parts are useful. The fruits, flowers and roots of this plant are used as ingredients of many Ayurvedic preparations. The texts of Ayurveda try to explain the properties of this fruit – “Coconut is sweet to taste, to act as a coolant to the body, is creamy and heavy to digest..”

The tender coconut water:
Coconut water has a calming effect on the intestines. It can be administered to infants as a rehydration solution. It is known as “krimighna”, that is, it can kill intestinal parasites. When administered as a regular health drink for children, it promotes growth and also supplies nutrients. Coconut water helps to overcome irritation of the bladder and helps prevent urinary tract infections. Regular consumption of this water helps in the easy flow of urine and also removes small stones in the kidney. It can be spread on irritated skin (due to sunburn, rashes, chicken pox etc) for a cooling effect. Coconut water increases the fairness of the skin. Hiccups can go away, and thirst decreases rapidly with the consumption of coconut water.

Uses of coconut flowers:
Flowers are used in the prevention of frequent bowel movements of diarrhea and dysentery. They help normalize vitiated pitta and rakta (blood). Flowers help to reduce the need to urinate frequently.

Uses of coconut kernel (copra):
Tender flesh cools the body and provides nourishment. It is easy to digest and reduces acidity. Tender coconut pulp helps increase the body’s energy and strength.
Fully ripe pulp acts as an excellent aphrodisiac (Vajikara). It is known to increase the quality and quantity of semen. It is high in dietary fiber and cleans the intestines.

Uses of coconut oil:
According to Ayurveda, coconut oil is mainly used to massage the scalp. It increases hair growth and prevents the loss of dandruff and hair. Coconut oil accelerates wound healing and prevents diseases that arise due to the dryness of the skin.

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