Green medicine · Science and your health

Go Nuts

This post was going to be about nuts and how great they are. I started tapping away having begun with the one of the biggest, the coconut. After a little while a thought emerged as if planted by a or nut; the benefits of this nut are almost as big as itself (relating to some sort of strange nut sized proportional scale I’ve just invented) and that it warranted a whole post just to its large, hairy, benefit giving self.

Some coconut benefits

Coconut water (the liquid in young coconuts) has natural electrolytes which makes it a fantastic rehydrating formula and therefore useful as a great exercise thirst quencher, bed side drink when you have been suffering from a dehydrating illness and also as a post-hangover. Before you ask, nooo this last benefit doesn’t count when the alcohol is made from coconuts!  In fact coconut water is so good at rehydrating people it has been used as an IV drip fluid effectively at times where IV fluid has not been available!

Studies have shown that coconut oil has a huge range of health benefits. It’s been shown to improve your cholesterol ratio, protect arteries, help digestion, support thyroid function and reduce inflammation.

Also coconut relieves symptoms of diabetes, gallbladder disease, Crohn’s disease, stomach ulcers, tooth decay, and chronic fatigue syndrome and helps protect against a whole host of diseases including kidney disease and bladder infections.

The oil from mature nuts, rubbed on the skin, relieves fever and rheumatism.
Studies have also linked coconut oil intake to weight loss.

Some ways people have gone coco nuts over the years….sorry

Coconut milk is delicious in smoothies, soups and curries.

Drink the coconut water.
Coconut oil can be rubbed into hair and skin to make it luscious, smooth and shiny, it makes a great massage oil too.

As a roofing material

The oil has been used for cooking

The sap has been used to make palm wine

Millionaire salad (so called, as harvesting the buds that are used kills the palm)

Newly germinated coconuts contain an edible fluff of marshmallow-like consistency called coconut sprout, produced as the endosperm nourishes the developing embryo.

Coir (the fibre from the husk of the coconut) is used in ropes, mats, brushes, caulking boats and as stuffing fibre; it is used in horticulture in potting compost. It is used especially in orchid mix.

See the list just keeps on going. So next time you are lounging on the beach thankful of the shade nearby, take a glance up to see if it is the super coconut and take a moment to reflect on all the other amazing benefits it is presenting to the world around it.

Robin Hanson

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