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Coconut (Nariyal) - Uses and Benefits

Characteristics

How it looks - It is a straight, graceful unbranched palm with a ringed stem bearing a crown of large leaves. The flowers are yellow or orange and contained in a longitudinally splitting sheath. The fruits are ovoid and green with a hard endocarp and oily white flesh with sweet milky or watery fluid in the large central cavity.

What we use - Roots, inflorescence, seeds (shell, kernel water and oil)

What it does -

  • Roots - astringent, diuretic, anthelmintic.

  • Flower juice - sweet , refrigerant, aphrodisiac, intoxicating, diuretic and toxic.

  • Shell - cooling diuretic, deodorant

  • Kerne - sweet, cooling, oleaginous, appetiser, aphrodisiac, laxative and tonic.

  • Water - Sweet ,cooling, digestive, aphrodisiac, diuretic, anthelmintic and tonic.

  • Oil - Sweet, disinfectant, insecticidal, digestive, aphrodisiac, appetiser, hair tonic.

Home Remedies for the Treatment of Various Disorders

  • In diarrhoea - Coconut water is the ideal diet to replenish lost fluids.

  • In urinary stones(gravellike) - The flowers of coconut should be dried and powdered and taken along with yogurt.

  • In headaches - Tender coconut water relieves headache caused by overexposure to the sun.

  • In worm infestations - A decoction of the roots of coconut is taken with a pinch of asafoetida to rid oneself of intestinal worms.

  • In wounds - Old coconut oil is a quick healer of wounds.

  • In vomiting - Adding sugar ,honey and long pepper powder to tender coconut water makes a good preventive for vomiting.

  • Coconut milk - The milk of coconut makes an excellent body coolant on external application.

  • In mouth ulcers - The milk extracted from grated coconut makes a soothing and healing gargle for oral ulcers.

  • In urticaria - In generalised itching, coconut milk or even yogurt is applied to reduce inflammation.

  • In scars - Pasting the barks of banyan and peepal trees in coconut milk and applying over wounds helps skin heal smoothly owing to their, astringent and nourishing properties.

  • In eczema - Dried, shriveled garlic cloves are heated over low fire in coconut oil until the oil imbibes the black colour of the cloves. The cloves are then squeezed into the oil and the oil filtered. This makes an effective application over weeping eczematous lesions.

  • For good hair growth - Bathing the hair in coconut milk is an excellent practice to nourish hairs from roots to ends. This explains the well-nourished hair of people in Kerala, where this is a common practice. Coconut oil has survived competition through decades and still remains the favourite base for many a commercial hair oil.

  • Post delivery - Dry coconut shavings, poppy seeds, dry ginger pieces, cucumber and pumpkin seeds are made into small sweet balls with jaggery. The newly delivered woman is given 1-2 of these balls daily.

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