Origin: During World War II, coastwatcher scout Biuki Gasa delivered a message to the U.S. president John F. Kennedy inscribed on a husked coconut shell. This shell is a part of John F. Kennedy Library.
Mysterious coconut tales are engraved in the pages of world history! In the Philippines, a traditional folk dance titled Maglalatik, calls for using dried coconut shells as musical instruments. Hawaiian Aloha shirts are decorated with coconut buttons.
Back in time, coconut shells were also used in theatre. They were held together to create sound. Chinese yehu and banhu, and Vietnamese dàn gáo embrace dried half coconut shells. Small bridges are often made using coconut trunks.
In Hindu religion, copious rituals call for coconuts as an offering to Gods, it is also smashed on the ground signifying sacrificing the ego. Sri Lanka's Mahavamsa texts dating back to 1st century BC mention coconut.
In Hindu mythology, it is addressed as Kalpavrikshameaning“the tree that provides all the necessities of life." In Malay, it’s titled as pokok seribu guna, "the tree of a thousand uses." In the Philippines, it’s crowned as "Tree of Life."
Coconut (Cocos nucifera) is part of the Palm family (Arecaceae). Coconut plant’s origin remains mysterious. Some historians believe it was born in South Asia. As per other schools of thought, it originated in northwestern South America.
Fossil records from New Zealand state that similar plants like coconut grew in New Zealand around 15 million years ago. Other fossils have been unearthed in Rajasthan, TamilNadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra, India. In Asia, fossils unearthed in Kerala, are older than 15 million years ago. The fossils discovered in Khulna, Bangladesh are considered the oldest.
Scientifically: Coconut flesh is piped with the goodness of fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Middle-aged coconut contains carbohydrates, protein, minerals, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C.
Coconuts contain medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), such as lauric acid. Lauric acid is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. Coconut Water is great for detox, acidity, digestion, hair, skin. Coconut water’s pH, mineral, and sugar content are used in intravenous therapy.
Every part of coconut such as water, milk, oil is excellent for skin and hair. The vitamin E in coconut helps fight scars and skin discoloration. Coconut water is pregnant with the highest concentration of electrolytes.
Coconut milk is rich in vitamins, B1, B3, B5, B6, C and E, sodium, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Thus, it hydrates the skin keeping it soft and smooth.
Coconut oil contains monolaurin is very useful for anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agents. Coconut oil hydrates the skin and ensures there is less water loss. A large number of beauticians recommend using Coconut oil as a night cream.
Coconut milk is the only natural ingredient that works as a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. A large percentage of beauty experts recommend washing face only with Coconut milk. Coconut milk contains the highest level of Vitamin C and thus works well for maintaining skins elasticity and flexibility.
In addition, Coconut milk restores dry damaged hair and promotes hair growth. When mixed with olive oil, Coconut milk transforms into a natural makeup remover. For acne damaged skin, Coconut milk is the best cleanser. The reason being the fat in Coconut milk does not clog pores and prevents acne. If you have spent long hours in the sun, then immediately apply Coconut milk to avoid getting tanned. Its anti-inflammatory properties cool the skin and reduce redness. Coconut milk also works wonderfully as an exfoliator. Simply, add the oatmeal powder to Coconut milk and exfoliate your skin.
As per Vedic tradition, Coconut is a divine plant and science backs this!!
Usage: Coconut milk is an integral ingredient in many tropical cuisines, such as Filipino, Indonesian, Burmese, Cambodia, Malaysian, Singaporean, Sri Lankan, and Thai, West African, Caribbean, and Polynesian cuisines. Coconut cream is also a part of Piña Coladas, Virgin Piña Coladas. In Bangladesh, coconut cream is added to rice. Coconut is an integral part of many cosmetics such as body butter, makeup remover, face wash, etc.
Here are some DIY with coconut for gorgeous skin and hair:
- Use coconut milk to cleanse your face. Dip a cotton ball in coconut milk and cleanse your face with it.
- Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix them together and gently scrub off the dead skin.
- Take a cup of coconut milk and add half a cup of rose water to it. Add this concoction to your bath water and soak your body in it. This helps in restoring moisture to dry skin.
- Use coconut milk as a leave-in conditioner for hair and rinse after 25 minutes. This makes hair soft and lustrous.
- Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage the hair scalp with it. Keep it on for 45 minutes and then shampoo your hair. This hydrates and nourishes the damaged hair.