Coconut is a large palm (30 mts tall) and member of Arecaceae family with binomial nomenclature as Cocos nucifera . Coconut is known as Naarikela in ayurveda. This plant is grown throughout the tropics.
The fruit, flower and root of this plant are used as ingredients for many ayurvedic preparations. The texts of ayurveda explain the properties of this fruit as – “Coconut is sweet to taste and act as body coolant. It is unctuous and heavy to digest.”
Tender Coconut water
Tender coconut water has soothing effect on intestines. It can be administered to infants as a rehydrating solution. It is known as “krimighna” i.e. kills intestinal parasites. When given as a regular health drink to children, it promotes growth and supplies good nutrients. Tender coconut water helps to overcome irritation of bladder and helps in preventing urinary tract infections. Regular consumption of this water helps in easy flow of urine and flushes out small kidney stones. It can be smeared on irritated skin (due to sun burn, rashes, chicken pox etc) to get a cooling effect. Tender coconut water increases glow and fairness of skin. Hiccups and thirst get quickly subsided on consumption of tender coconut water.
Uses of Coconut flowers
Flowers are used in prevention of frequent bowel movements in diarrhea and dysentery. They help to normalize vitiated pitta and rakta (blood). Flowers help to reduce frequent urination.
Uses of Coconut kernel (Coconut pulp)
Tender pulp cools the body and provides nourishment. It is very easy to digest and reduces acidity. Tender coconut pulp helps to boost body energy and strength.
Fully ripe pulp acts as a very good aphrodisiac (Vajikara). It is known to increase quality and quantity of semen. It is high in dietary fibers and cleanses the intestines. Fully ripe pulp is used in Indian recipes
Uses of Coconut Oil:
According to ayurveda coconut oil is mainly used to massage scalp. This increases hair growth and prevents dandruff and hair loss. Coconut oil accelerates healing of wounds and prevents diseases which arise due to dry skin. Here are few uses which are mentioned in ayurveda.
1.Ayurveda recommends Coconut oil or naarikela taila (in ayurveda) in conditions like dry skin and skin diseases. It has been found that application of coconut oil is beneficial in psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
2.Massaging coconut oil on body has myriad benefits. It prevents formation of wrinkles, ageing of skin and pigmentation. It is known as varnya in ayurveda. Varnya means restoring the complexion and glow of skin
3.It relieves stress when massaged on scalp and rejuvenates scalp and hair. It is classified as keshya. Keshya signifies its action as a hair friendly herb. Application of coconut oil helps to prevent hair loss,dandruff and increase hair growth. It also acts as a natural hair conditioner.
4.Massaging foot with coconut oil helps to soften cracked heels and increases the beauty of foot.
5.Application of coconut oil accelerates the process of wound healing. It is very safe to apply on cuts and wounds
The following properties of coconut water are mentioned in ayurvedic texts
1. It is sweet in taste and increases moistness of skin.
2. It acts as a body coolant.
3. Coconut water is a very good aphrodisiac and increases sexual energy and desire. It increases quality and quantity of semen and very helpful to persons who suffer from Erectile Dysfunction.
4. It is easily digested and instantly energizes body
5. It quenches thirst .
6. It normalises aggravated vata and pitta.
7. It cleanses body and bladder
8. It acts a good appetizer.