Coconut is a part of daily diet of many people especially in South India. Coconut Pulp or flesh, Coconut Oil, Coconut milk etc are used in various Indian dishes. Though included in food very less people know about the health benefits and medicinal importance of it. Many people argue saying that using coconut especially consumption of coconut oil is regarded as unhealthy.
Bring the true facts about health benefits of Coconut and the reason why it should be included in our daily diet is discussed below. Hope you enjoy reading and share it with your near and dear ones.
Each and every part of coconut- fibrous husk, shell, endosperm, pulp, root, leaves, flowers are used for one or other purpose or way, this is the reason coconut tree is also termed as “Kalpa Vriksha”. In Siddha, Flowers, Root, Tender Coconut water, Coconut milk and Coconut Oil and Coconut shell is used as a key ingredient in various internal and external Siddha medicines.
Scientific Name : Cocos Nucifera
Family : Arecaceae
Medicinal Uses/ Health Benefits :
Tender/ Green Coconut Water :
- In Siddha Medicine, Tender or green coconut water is a important adjuvant of various medicines.
- Regular consumption of tender coconut water acts as a diuretic, prevents U.T.I and helps in flushing out kidney stones.
- Drinking tender coconut water helps to maintain fluid balance and prevent dehydration especially during scotching Summer or in diseases like Diarrhea, Malaria, Typhoid, Chicken -pox etc.
- Tender coconut water is rich in electrolytes like Sodium, Potassium, Chloride. It also contains moderate sugar, Calcium, Manganese, Riboflavin, dietary fiber, Riboflavin, Vitamin C etc.
- It contains 0% Cholesterol and also improves good cholesterol. It is the best replenishing and nutritious drink unlike those calorie loaded aerated drinks which may lead to serious health hazards.
- Best drink for pregnant ladies. It also helps in reducing side effects of pregnancy like constipation, sluggish digestion, nausea and heart burn.
- It improves intestinal function, cures acidity and ulcers.
Coconut milk :
Coconut milk may be extracted as thick or thin milk. Grated coconut meat when squeezed in cheese cloth gives thick variety whereas when the grated coconut meat soaked in warm water and squeezed repeatedly, thin milk is obtained. Coconut milk contains natural fat of medium chain fatty acids that does not get converted or accumulated as fat in the body, it transforms into energy. Hence good for people engaged in sports and physical activities.
- Rich in Vitamins and electrolytes like potassium, Chloride, and Calcium coconut milk can be used as an alternative to all those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to usual milk.
- In case of mouth ulcers gargling with coconut milk three or four times a day is very useful.
- Rich in Vitamin E, can be applied over skin as it has moisturizing effect and protects from skin rashes and sun burn. If taken internally, it also prevents dry skin.
- If applied regularly over scalp, prevents dandruff and nourishes the hair.
- If taken internally, acts as a laxative and aids digestion.
- Rich in lauric acid, coconut milk improves immune system and keeps circulatory system and the Heart healthy.
Coconut oil :
Used extensively in tropical countries like India, Srilanka,, Thailand etc. Virgin coconut milk is used in cooking and external purpose. Many people have misconception that coconut oil contains large amount of saturated fats so it may harm our blood vessels and heart and may lead to health issues like Blood Pressure, high cholesterol or Cardiac ailments but the myth is now broken and it is well understood that saturated fats in coconut is unlike normal vegetable oil, it is purely safe and healthy. It is absolutely healthy for heart and blood vessels and prevents high cholesterol level if used in regular diet under normal limits. As composed of medium chain fatty acids this oil is quickly digestible and does not accumulate as body fats. So people who wish to reduce weight can switch to Coconut oil. Always remember the coconut oils we get from market are not virgin or pure, it may contain paraffin wax or other pertroleum bi-products. The coconut oil mentioned here is the pure coconut oil extracted from dried coconut copras. In Kerala and Tamil Nadu people prepare coconut oil at homes for house hold purpose.
Benefits of Virgin coconut oil :
- Improves digestion and related problems. Saturated fats in coconut oil has anti microbial activity. It also improves immunity as contains lauric acid and capric acid.
- Healthy for liver, kidneys, pancreas, teeth and bones.
- Good massage oil for head and scalp. Improves hair growth.
- Helps in controlling blood sugar by improving secretion of insulin.
- Good for massaging skin. Effective moisturiser. Prevents flaking and dryness of skin, dry eczema, wrinkling, sagging, skin inflammation, itching, insect bites ringworm infection etc.
- Regular massage of body in infants prevent skin ailments and diaper rash.
- Removes scars and stretch mark if massaged regularly.
- In Siddha, external oils for treating various ailments are prepared from coconut oil only.
Coconut flower :
- Flower paste with curd are effective against kidney stones.
- Lehyam prepared from flowers helps to improve health of uterus and regulate bleeding after delivery.