Coconut / Buko (Cocos nucifera). In most Pacific islanders, is called the tree of life for its versatility of use. Almost every part of the Coconut / buko tree has good use as seen in many domestic, commercial and industrial applications. It is also valued in traditional medicine for the many health benefits it provide, from graying hair to cancer. We shall examine in this article how they are used and what are the scientific basis if any.
The Coconut / Buko tree ;(Cocos nucifera), is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) The Coconut / Buko tree is of the genus Cocos. The Coconut / Buko tree or Coconut / Buko palm can be found in rainforests and countries with tropical climate such as in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. In the United States, Coconut / Buko tree can be found in Hawaii, the Southern tip of Florida, and the Virgin Islands.
The Coconut / Buko tree has erect graceful gray colored trunk, swollen at the base and grows slightly curved. The truck is ringed due to old leaf scars and is smooth. The Coconut / Buko tree is topped by a crown composed of about 25 to 30 pinnate feather-like leaves that are about 6 feet wide and 18 feet long. There are about 200 leaflets in every leaf, colored yellow green when young and as it matures turned to brown. The Coconut / Buko leaves are shed as it grows old and young new shoots grows from the top most of the crown.
Coconut / Buko flowers start to bloom when the Coconut / Buko is about 4 to 6 years of age. The Coconut / Buko flowers are yellow and are sweet scented. The flowers grow in clusters from a branched stalked with both male and female flowers growing from the same inflorescence.
The flower buds turned to Coconut / Buko fruits that grow to a large nut like shape about 10 inches in diameter and about 12 inches in length. The fruit is commonly called as Coconut / Buko . The Coconut / Buko has a smooth hard protective outer layer, usually green, but others may be pale yellow, silver-gold or brown depending on variety and age. Coconut / Buko fruit has a husk of about 1 to 2 inches thick with an inner hollow round seed of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter. The Coconut / Buko seed has a hard shell that when cracked open will reveal a layer of white edible meat and about a glassful of sweet watery Coconut / Buko milk. A matured Coconut / Buko tree can produce about 50 to 200 Coconut / Buko s per year depending on variety and growing conditions.
Coconut has long been used in traditional medicine for almost any kind of illness and almost all parts have their uses. Among these health benefits are as follows.
Coconut / Buko has many claims of health benefits in traditional medicine. Only recently that laboratory studies and researches has been made to verify its effectivity and science has uphold some its claims as cure for many health problems.
There is a misconception about coconut oil that has been propagated long since being high in saturated fats that can cause heart diseases. In the contrary, recent researches have shown that the saturated fats found in coconut oil is a type of unique fat molecule known as medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that actually prevents heart diseases. The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil increases the HDL level (good cholesterol) while lowering the LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood thus improving the ratio of HDL to LDL which is the basis for heart disease risks. The p-Coumaric acid in coconut oil prevents the formation of arterial plaque by preventing the stickiness of the blood platelet, lowering the blood pressure and reducing the risk of damaging the arteries and preventing the development of atherosclerosis.
The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are readily burned into energy preventing the formation of fats. This process also relieves the pancreases of stress, making it more efficient, increasing the body metabolism, thereby burning more energy that results to weight reduction. This likewise reduces the symptoms of pancreatitis. Furthermore, coconut oil is easy to digest helping the thyroid and the enzyme system to function properly as well. In a study done on women who were given coconut oil supplementation for 12 weeks as compared to those given with soybean oil have indicated that women who took 30 milliliters of coconut oil daily have lower body mass index and reduced waist line.
Fresh coconut is available in most Asian and Indian grocery stores and markets.
Fresh coconut should be consumed immediately upon opening to benefit from its natural properties. Fresh coconut water can be refrigerated up to 12 hours in a tightly sealed container to maintain its freshness.
You can make your own virgin coconut oil as follows:
Virgin coconut / buko oil are now available in many health sotres even in some grocery and super markets. If you can't find one in your area, online stores such as Amazon carry a few listings such as Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Just llok out for a reputable manufacturer and follow the instructions found in the label for safe use.
Article last reviewed: 10.10.2016