Coconuts used to not be a traditional part of the American diet but recent revelations as to their health benefits have made various coconut products a very major part of diets of both Americans and Europeans. However, the full potential of this plant is far from harnessed by the most. Coconut can actually be used for much more than just food as both fuel and shelter can be created out of this rich plant and the cultivation of it is 100% sustainable. All parts of the plant can be used for something, from the tree to the fruit and this is what makes coconut one of the more valuable plants on the planet.
8. Coconut Husks
The coconut husks are the outer layer around the fruit and can be used for fuel as a great source of charcoal. Another common use for the husks is burning them as mosquito repellent as the insects hate the smell of burning coconut husks. A natural fiber called coir can also be made of coconut husks and used to make various ropes, mats and other household items, and in some countries even stuff matrasses. Coconut husks can also be used to make floors.
7. Coconut Shells
The coconut shells are also a good source of fuel and can also be used to make bowls or other interesting household items. Items such as musical instruments and aquarium caves are also made of these shells and interestingly enough crushed shells can be used as coarse aggregate in reinforced concrete beams.
6. Coconut Palm Tree Trunks
The tree trunks of coconut palms are used in some parts of the world to make furniture and even entire houses. Residents of the Hawaii islands use it to make canoes and various containers as well. The timber made of the tree is also used for burning wood and construction materials and has been used as a substitute for many other hardwoods that are less sustainable and endangered.
5. Coconut Water
One of the more commonly used parts of coconut, the coconut water is found within the fruits and a lot of it can be found on the inside of younger coconuts. The older coconuts also still contain some water but less. The more mature brown coconuts which you usually find in supermarkets tend to have harder meat and are hairy on the outside. Coconut water is completely pure and sterile and it was used in WWII emergency rooms when sterile glucose solution was scarce, and pumped into patients’ veins with success. The coconut oil is extremely healthy and is often used as a refreshing drink by athletes of all sorts after hard training sessions or games.
4. Coconut Leaves
The leaves of a coconut can be used to create items such as brooms and baskets, and are used for this in some parts of the world. In some climate, the leaves can also be used to create roofs and even entire temporary shelters. The central vein of the leaves is so strong that it is used for kindling after drying of and making cooking skewers.
3. Coconut Roots
Rare are the plants where so many parts can be used and coconut is certainly one of them as even the roots of the tree can be used to make dye. Simply boiling the roots in water will create the dye. What is more the roots of coconut can be used in medicine as cured for diarrhea and dysentery and are even used for making mouthwash. These roots can even be used to make natural toothbrushes, as strange as it may seem.
2. Coconut Meat
The coconut meat is also hidden on the inside of the coconut fruit shell. The meat is very nutritious and generally healthy and can be eaten as such or used to make products like creams and milk. The more and more popular coconut yogurt is also made of the coconut flesh. All these products contain tons of great nutrients and can be bought in most supermarkets in the world. Dessicated coconut meat is what you will most commonly find though and it is a nutritious product in itself.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is made out of the coconut meat and the uses for it are extremely umerous. This highly nutritious oil can be used for anything from cooking to skin moisturizing, hair conditioning and mouth washing. Coconut oil is used in manufacturing of various cosmetics and health products and its benefits include immune system and metabolism boosting as well as improving the function of the thyroid gland. Even more, coconut oil is also a source of energy and a powerful weight loss and heart health protection agent.