|By pinoyfarmer | March 16, 2011|
Unarmed, erect, tall palm reaching a height of 25 meters. Trunk is stout, 30-50 cm in diameter, thickened at the base; marked with annular scars. The leaves are crowded at the apex, 3-6 meters long, with a stout petiole. Leaflets are bright green, numerous, linear-lanceolate, 60 to 100 cm long. Spadix is about 1 meter long, erect, drooping, simply branched. Fruit is variable in size, shape and color, obovoid to subglobose, often obscurely 3-angled, 15-25 cm long. Endosperm forms a thick layer of fleshy substance adherent to the testa which is adherent to the shell. The shell is covered by a fibrous husk.
Extensively cultivated in the Philippines.
Fixed oil, 57.5 – 71%; volatile oil, wax containing the myricyl ester of cerotic acid.
Meat: potein, 6.3%; vitamins A, B, and C; nonyl alcohol; methyl heptyl ketone; methyl undecyl ketone; capronic, decylic, caprylic, lauric and myristic acids; lecithin; stigmasterin, phytosterin; choline; globulin; galactoaraban; galactomannan.
Water, 93%; protein, 0.5%; ash, 1%; saccharose; oxidase; catalase, diastase.
Parts used and preparation
Roots and bark.
Young and mature fruit.
- Myriads of use in the traditional systems worldwide: abscesses, asthma, baldness, burns and bruises,, cough and colds, kidney stones, scabies, ulcers, among many others.
- Constipation: Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of gata (cream).
- Dandruff: Massage oil on scalp, leave overnight, and wash hair.
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting: Drink water of young fruit, as tolerated. Water from the young coconut has been used as a substiture for dextrose infusion in emergent situations during World War II.
- Dry skin: Apply oil and massage into affected area.
- Young roots astriingent for sore throats.
- Ash of bark used for scabies.
- In New Guinea, young leaves chewed to a past and applied to cuts to stop the bleeding.
- Water is fed to infants with diarrhea.
- In emergencies, water has been used as intravenous drips. Anectodal reports of use during cholera epidemics.
- Use oil for cooking; take meat and/or gata (cream) as food.
- The ubod part is a delicacy used in a variety of preparations: lumpia, achara, salads. A good source of iron and calcium.
- Most versatile of all palms with its wide range of utility : as lumber, food, drink, alcohol, vinegar, thatching material, manufacture of baskets, rope, hats, brooms; shell for making charcoal and utensils as cups, bowls, spoons; oil for food, massage, and as base for medications for external use; cooking, illumination, , soap making; decorative for celebrations and religious rituals.
- Lauric acid, the dominant fatty acid in coconut oil, finds application in cooking, detergents, soaps and cosmetics.
- In emergencies, water has been used as intravenous drips. Anectodal reports of use during cholera epidemics
Coconut oil and MCFA (nedium chain fatty acids)
- Increasingly popular, natural coconuit oil is now being touted as the most beneficial of all oils. Although high in saturated fat, it is the richest natural source of health-promoting MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids). The recommendation is 3 1/2 teaspoons (50 gms) of coconut oil daily, estimated from the amount equivalent to the MCFAs found in human breast milk, known to be effective in nourishing and protecting infants Alternative sources are:
-3 1/2 teaspoons of pure coconut oil
-7 ounces of fresh coconut meat (about half a coconut)
-2 3/4 cups of dried, shredded coconut
-10 ounces of coconut milk
There is no known toxicity for coconut oil. The FDA includes it in its GRAS list (Generally Recommended As Safe). An easy supplement would be to use it as cooking oil. It tolerates moderately high-cooking temperatures, but best to keep it below smoking point of 350 degrees. As in any other cooking oil, avoid overheating because of toxic by-products. When available, the best is the “virgin” coconut oil, made from fresh coconuts, extracted by boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, mechanical press or centrifuge, not subjected to high temperatures or chemical solvents.
Also available as RBD (Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized) coconut oil, usually made from dried coconut, copra, that might have undergone sun-drying, smoking or kiln processing, using higher temperatures and chemical solvents. Consumers beware, there are cochin oils, that may be labeled “virgin” which may be made from cheap sun-dried copra, gaining impurities and mold in the process. (Source: The Coconut Oil Miracle}
• Analgesic / Antioxidant: Antinociceptive and free radical scavenging activities of Cocos nucifera L. (Palmae) husk fiber aqueous extract: The study demonstrated the analgesic and radical scavenging properties of CN aqueous extract from the husk fiber. Topical treatment of rabbits with the extract did not induce significant dermic or ocular irritation.
• Antioxidant: In vitro evaluation of antioxidant properties of Cocos nucifera Linn. water: The antioxidant activity as most significant in fresh samples of coconut water, diminishing with heat. Maturity also drastically decreased the scavenging ability. The scavenging ability may be partly attributed to the ascorbic acid, an important constituent of coconut water.
• Hypertension: The control of hypertension by use of coconut water and mauby: two tropical food drinks provided significant decreases, approximately double the largest values seen with single interventions.
• Anti-neoplastic: The husk fiber of Cocos nucifera L. (Palmae) is a source of anti-neoplastic activity:. Study results on the in vitro anti-tumoral activities of aqueous extracts of the husk showed antitumoral activity against a leukmia cell line. Study suggests a very inexpensive source of new antineoplastic and anti-multidrug resistant drugs.
• Burn Wound Healing Property: Study concluded that the oil of Cocos nucifera is an effective burn wound healing agent. There was significant improvement in burn wound contraction in the group treated with the combination of CN and silver sulphadiazine. It suggests C nocifera can be a cheap and effective adjuvant to other topical agents.
• Anti-Ulcerogenic: A study of warm water crude extract of coconut milk and a coconut water dispersion showed that coconut milk and water had protective effects on ulcerated gastric mucosa. The coconut milk provided stronger protection on indomethacin-induced ulceration than coconut water in rats.
• Antihelmintic: A study of the liquid extracted from the bark of the green coconut and butanol extract on mice showed that the Cocos nucifera extracts may be useful in the control of intestinal nematodes.
• Protein Content: Study showed native coconut proteins consisted of four major polypeptides. The proteins had a relatively high level of glutamic acid, arginine and aspartic acid.
• Anti-Neoplastic Activity: Study of aqueous extracts of Cocos nucifera showed antitumoral activity against leukemia cell line K562 and suggests a potential for an inexpensive source of new antineoplastic and anti-multidrug resistant drugs.
Ubiquitous in the rural landscape; common cultivation as a plantation tree.
Philippine Medicinal Plants