We all must have had Coconut water and its white flesh in the recent past. The soothing, nourishing, and healthy drink is loved by everyone. Nowadays it is available in most places. Coconut tree has many uses and benefits to us.
The coconut tree is a tropical plant that belongs to the Palm family. It is grown mainly in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, New Guinea, Tanzania, and many more countries. In India, it is grown predominately in Kerala, Tamil Naidu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, Maharashtra, Assam, Bihar, Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep.
Coconut is grown mainly for the fruit. The Coconut tree is known by various names like Tree of life, Kalpavriksha (Tree of Heaven), Tree of life, and Three generation tree.
The Coconut tree is famous because it is the only tree whose every part is used. It supplies food, drink and shelter and also a raw material for a number of products. Coconut is also widely used for religious purposes in many countries, especially India. Coconut water and kernel can be used for survival also if struck on an unknown island.
The Government of India has realized the importance and future of the Coconut industry. And has thereby set up a body for the development of it and is known as the Coconut Development Board (CDB). In addition, there is a Coir board also.
The coconut tree is one of the most useful trees and it is utilized in various forms.
The Top 10 uses of Coconut Tree
Coconut Water and its Benefit
The coconut water is a very refreshing drink especially, during summers. Nowadays you can get it in bottled form also. Coconut water has a lot of benefits as it is low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugars, and almost completely fat-free. The white flesh or kernel is generally consumed raw directly. The dried variety is widely used in cooking. And it contains a source of healthy fats, proteins, and various vitamins and minerals.
“Coconut milk is the only thing on this planet that comes identically to mother’s milk.” Dick Gregory
Coconut Shell and its Uses
In Asia, coconut hard shells are used as a natural steam basket or cooking vessel and bowls. They are also used in the manufacture of various handicrafts and home decor items, especially in southern India tourist places. Controlled burning of the shell results in Activated Carbon, which is used for water filtration. The shell is also converted into Biomass pellets, which are used in domestic and industrial furnaces for various applications. It is a very good substitute for firewood.
Coconut Husk and its Uses
The outer fibers of the fruit, when dried up, is called husk and many applications. It is utilized for making coir mattresses, ropes, coir planters, doormats, and bags. They are also used as a potting compost to produce healthy forest tree sapling plantation and lately as a medium in soil-less farming. Coconut Wood Composites is also a new innovative utilization of the Husk. In India, we have a Coir Board, Ministry of MSME, Govt of India, which looks into the development of Coir industry.
Coconut Tree leaves and its Uses
Coconut Tree leaves are generally used for roofing material of houses. Additionally, they are food for elephants and in the rural areas brooms are made out of leaves. Tree leaves are also used for food wrapping in some countries.
Coconut Tree Wood
Timber from coconut tree is utilized for very many things. It is for the house construction industry, furniture making, kitchen, and electrical poles. Some states in India have classified coconut in the grass category, thereby making it legally easier to cut and to use it as lumber. Coconut trunk can be used as charcoal also. Active carbon is also a by-product of coconut wood and is used in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and paint industry.
Coconut Tree Roots
Coconut trees roots have been used to make dyes and toothbrushes. Roots have been utilized to make various kinds of beers.
Coconut Tree Uses In Beauty & Medical
Most of us are only aware of the benefits of coconut water. But the tree as a whole has lots of useful benefits. Coconut is widely used in skin, hair care, wellness, and healthcare industry.
Skin & Hair Care
Modern day science has confirmed the traditional use of coconut derivatives as a natural skin food product to help fight dehydration and dryness, especially in summers. Coconut oil predominately used in the southern belt of India is an excellent moisturizer for your hair. If you want long healthy hair and a glowing skin coconut is an answer.
Cosmetic Markets presently is flooded with coconut soaps, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, creams, lip balms, sunscreens, body wash, oils, and many more.
Coconut roots and flowers are utilized for traditional remedies for various medical related problems. Looking for teeth whitening and preventing bleeding gums and tooth decay, again coconut is one of the answers.
Coconut tree products are also helpful in immune system health, digestion, insulin secretion, heart health, removal of free radicals, bone health, thyroid, kidney, and bladder infections. It also promotes weight loss. It can also be utilized as a substitute for saline glucose in intravenous infusion.
Organic Products from Coconut Tree
In addition to coconut water and white meat, various by-products can be converted into delicious ingredients for healthy eating. Coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut vinegar, coconut jam, coconut nectar syrup, and coconut sugar. In addition, we can prepare various kinds of chutneys, which we normally have with Dosas.
Local beverage or Toddy is made from the coconut sap. The collected sap in earthen containers is then fermented, an alcoholic beverage often called “kallu” is enjoyed by the locals.
Other Benefits of Coconut Tree
India has a very large coastline if we include Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. But unfortunately, we are losing lot’s of the area due to soil and wind erosion. Coconut plantations on the coastline can prevent both. Advantages being it can grow very close to coastline using available water. It lasts for approximately 70 to 80 years and gives fruits throughout the year.
To conclude, Coconut is a tree with multifarious uses and the future of the crop is very promising. With the latest developments in Agriculture-Tech, more and uses will come up in the future.
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