Cooling down the body and curing diseases with coconut

By Thuy Quynh   June 18, 2023 | 03:13 pm PT
Coconut is not only used to quench thirst or skincare, but also a medicine that helps with sickness, fatigue, diarrhea, and infection.

Dr. Huynh Tan Vu, from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Department of Traditional Medicine, said that coconut had a variety of uses, from hydration to medicinal.

Coconut flesh can be used fresh or dried in many dishes and is used to make coconut oil, a popular beauty product.

Coconut water contains sugar, protein, antioxidant, vitamin and minerals. It’s also great for providing electrolytes to the body. Coconut water is used to make nata de coco – a popular dessert. Sometimes, coconut water can be boiled down to make coconut caramel – a food dye.

Coconut milk contains about 17% fat, made from coconut meat mixed with hot milk or water. Coconut milk is a staple ingredient in many South East Asian cuisines, as well as Vietnam. The leftover products from making coconut milk are even used as animal feed.

Besides these effects, coconut is also used in modern medicine. According to Dr. Vu, coconut water contains almost all the nutrients needed by the body: rich in B-group vitamins and minerals, and the potassium and magnesium content is similar to human cell fluid, this is also why coconut water is used to treat patients suffering from diarrhea.

Children with diarrhea are advised to drink coconut water mixed with salt.

Coconut water can also be used for skin and hair care. Young coconut contains a lot of enzymes that are good for digestion and is used to treat gastritis, hepatitis, diabetes, dysentery, hemorrhoids, and colitis. Polysaccharides inside coconut water can also help boost the immune system against tuberculosis.

In the Philippines, coconut water is fermented into Nata de coco, now one of the most popular desserts in Japan and it is even claimed it can prevent cancer.

Other parts of the coconut tree such as the bark and husk are used to clean wounds, burns, and inflammation. Coconut shells when burned into charcoal can be used to treat diarrhea and prevent radioactive diseases.

Young coconut meat is considered nutritious, while mature coconuts can be squeezed for oil and turned into cosmetics. The root can be used to treat wounds and many other common diseases.

In oriental medicine, coconut is considered sweet and neutral in nature and can be used to treat heat inflammation, thirst, wounds, lack of urine production, intestinal parasites, sores, and dermatitis. Eating and drinking coconut can give you better skin.

"You could say that every part of the coconut is good for medicine," said Vu.

Coconut meat can be shaved into small pieces and cooked in congee. Eaten twice daily, it is good for those still recovering from sickness and lacking in appetite.

Coconut oil can be used on the skin to treat scabies, fungal, and chapped diseases. Hot-pressed or cold-pressed oil can also be used for skincare or massage.

Coconut shells when crushed and cooked in water can help treat wounds and poison, which is suitable for those with skin rash and ringworm.

go to top