Coconut has the scientific name Cocos nucifera. It was named this because Spanish explorers thought it looked like the face of the monkey (“coco”) and because it is nut-bearing (“nucifera”). In some countries, coconut is considered a staple food and is the component of a majority of the food that is eaten. The coconut is a source of meat, milk, juice and oil, all of which can be consumed as food for nourishment. In several countries like the Philippines, a coconut tree is often referred to as “the tree of life.”
Coconut oil has been a special interest in a number of studies involving coconut. It has been suggested that coconut oil has healing properties, which is why it is a popular traditional medicine in Asia and the Pacific regions.
The numerous benefits of coconut oil is attributed to the presence of Lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid, all of which are saturated fats. Although coconut oil is mostly saturated fats, a majority of these are tryglicerides that are in the medium-chain classification and thus are incorporated well.
Health Benefits of Coconut
Coconut is a good source of fiber, minerals and vitamins. In fact, because of its high nutrient content, it has been considered as a functional food as it provides a number of benefits to health.
Coconut is a good source of quick energy. It boosts the body’s endurance and energy, helping to enhance athletic and physical performance. It improves the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. It also improves the body’s ability to secrete insulin and utilize blood glucose.
The Role of Coconut in Medicine
Coconut plays a role in both traditional and modern medicine. In traditional medicine, coconut is used to treat a number of health problems including abscesses, baldness, bruises, colds, cough, dysentery, fever, gingivitis, irregular menstruation, kidney stones, malnutrition, rash, scurvy, sore throat, syphilis, tuberculosis, typhoid, upset stomach and wounds.
Researches and medical studies have also confirmed the effectiveness of the coconut in treating a number of health conditions. Modern medicine is also taking advantage of this nut’s usefulness in the field of medicine.
Among the many benefits that coconut offers is its ability to fight viruses that cause herpes, hepatitis C, influenza and measles. It fights bacteria that cause throat infections, gum disease, pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract. It fights yeasts and fungi that cause candidiasis, athlete’s foot, diaper rash and ringworms. It forces out tapeworms, giardia and lice.