To many people, the coconut plant is an ordinary plant. They do not see anything special or interesting in the plant. But to those who have eyes to see, the coconut plant is a blessing, a gift from nature.
Cocos Nucifera is called coconut in English, Kwakwar in Hausa, Ivi-Obio in Bini, Aki-bekee or aku-oyibo in Igbo, Agbon in Yoruba, Uvien in Esan. It contains glycerioles of capprylic, capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids. Every part of this plant is medicinal.
Coconut is a mainstay in the diet of nearly one-third of the planet. Experts describe the coconut as not just a fruit, but a nut and a seed as well. It has three layers: the outside layer is known as the exocarp, and the fibrous husk or mesocarp is inside of it. The thin, woody layer surrounding the actual coconut “meat” is the endocarp.
Since man inhabited the world, coconut trees were in existence. Coconuts have been used not only to produce fiber, fuel, and even musical instruments. For centuries, the coconut has been claimed as a potent cure for nausea, rash, fever, earache, sore throat, bronchitis, kidney stones, ulcers, asthma, syphilis, dropsy, toothache, bruises, and lice. And that’s just the short list. Coconut milk and coconut oil are used for treating numerous sicknesses across the world. It is a powerful health booster.
The fats and oils in coconuts are, like those derived from other sources, made up of molecules called fatty acids. There are two ways to classify fatty acids; one involves saturation, i.e. saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. The other is based on molecular size or the length of the carbon chain.
Each fatty acid consists of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached – short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), or medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).
Nearly 98 per cent of the fats and oils in our diets are composed of LCFA. That’s significant, because the physiological effects of MCFA in coconut oil, which contains powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, are distinctly different from those of LCFA, which have a negative effect on your cholesterol levels. It’s rare, and the reason why coconut oil is so sought after. Its health benefits are as hard to beat.
In light of this information, one study comparing a medium-chained triglyceride (MCT)-based diet with a long-chain triglyceride (LCT)-based diet showed significant and positive results for HIV-infected patients suffering from chronic diarrhoea, difficulty in absorbing nutrients, and subsequent weight loss. The bark of the plant dried and burnt into ashes is an effective remedy for skin ailments like rashes, black spots, scabies and measles. Simply mix two-dessert spoons of the powder with half a glass of palm kernel oil. Apply to the affected part. For toothache, mix two tablespoonfuls of the ashes with one shot of dry gin. Stir it well and use as a mouthwash.
Fibroid: Cut the root into tiny pieces. Measure out 15 handfuls of the pieces into 10 bottles of water. Add five handful of xylopia aethiopica, called uda in Igbo, Erunje in Yoruba, Unien in Esan. Bring to boil. Allow it to stand for 24 hours.
Dosage: ½ glass thrice daily.
Bronchitis: Chop an equal amount of pawpaw roots and coconut roots into pieces. Measure 10 handfuls of each into 10 liters of water. Add five bulbs of garlic. Bring to boil. Allow it to cool and mix with one bottle of honey.
Dosage: ½ glass thrice daily.
Hepatitis: Grind the dried coconut root into powder and follow the formula below:
Materials: 8 dessertspoons of coconut root; 8 dessertspoons of powdered bitter kola; 2 tablespoons of powdered bird’s pepper.
Recipe: Mix all together and add to one bottle of honey.
Dosage: 2 dessertspoons thrice daily. This is a very effective remedy for hepatitis and jaundice.
For dysentery, simply follow the prescription for fibroid as stated above. The water in the coconut is an excellent cleanser. It is among the best natural antibiotics known. Coconut water strengthens the immune system and helps it to resist illnesses. If you are given some chemical antibiotics like Chloraphenicol or Amoxil in the hospital, you will or should be instructed not to drink coconut water because it will neutralise the effect of the drug. If a child or an adult takes an overdose of a dangerous drug, administer coconut water to neutralise the side effects.
Four years ago, I met a lady who was diagnosed to be suffering from cancer of the breast. It was very bad then, and was considered too late for an operation. I advised her to mix 4 litres of coconut water with one liter of honey and take ½ a glass twice daily. So she did. Up till today, the woman is still alive and going about her normal duty, even though the cancer symptoms are still very much apparent. The coconut water has clearly been exercising a moderating effect on the cancer cells. I am very sure if an operation had been performed on the breast the poor woman would have been dead long ago.
The white pulp of the immature coconut is very useful for the memory. People suffering from loss of memory, forgetfulness and any form of memory defect should make friends with coconut. Remove the whitish pulp inside the immature coconut and mix with a little honey. Take as much as you wish. A trial will convince you.