Kalpa vriksha aka COCONUT "Tree that provides the necessities of life

Kalpa vriksha aka COCONUT

Coconut tree is "kalpavriksha ", worshipped since time immemorial. Kalp vriksha means the tree that provides the necessity of life. Found in the coastal areas of India, the whole tree gives its parts to fulfil the human requirements. Fresh coconut water quenches the thirst of the people living in the sea shores. The fresh coconut provides sufficient energy to curb the hunger. The leaves, coir , etc are used for various purposes. Therefore it is offered to God. Without it the religious ceremonies are incomplete. Fishermen offer coconut to the sea to celebrate the beginning of the new fishing season. Coconut is placed over the opening of the pot to represent a womb in weddings. Its offered to God before any new initiative .

The grated fresh coconut is used in the preparation of puddings, sweets , curries and chutneys.

Coconut water is a mild diuretic, with honey it is a tonic. It is good for urinary disease, nervousness and fatigue.

A mature coconut may yield upto 225 gms of kernel supplying about 1000 kcal.

A tender coconut yields 500 to 900 ml water. It is the safest and sterile drink as it is not likely to be contaminated with pathogens. During the second world war, coconut water was used as intravenous fluid.

The pH of coconut water is 5.6 and the nutrients present are glucose, fructose, inulin , proteins, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate and sulphate.

Typhoid fever and other salmonella infections have been traced occasionally to desiccated coconut. Dried kernels are less likely to be contaminated.

Dried coconut contains about 70% oil. It is easily digested. It is extensively used in the preparation of vegetable ghee and margarine. Unlike other oils, coconut oil is poor in unsaturated acids. Oleic and linoleic acids are present only to the extent of about 9 per cent. The remaining 91 percent is saturated fatty acids characterised by the presence of a high percentage of lauric and myristic acids.

Coconut cake is a byproduct of the coconut oil industry. It provides a nutritious mash for feeding milch cows to increase the quantity and nutritive value of milk.

 Coconut sap or juice is obtained by tapping or cutting the stalk of the young flower bunches of coconut. The main constituent of the fresh juice is sucrose. It is rich in ascorbic acid. The juice in the fresh state is sweet toddy or neera.

 Make a natural coloured lip gloss by mixing coconut oil, almond oil , beeswax, cocoa butter , and red food colouring.

 Apply moisturiser made of coconut oil. It is a superb moisturiser for dry skin and mature skin. Coconut milk is a good soak up moisturising lotion.

 Coconut may cause allergies.

 Eat coconut in moderation, it is rich in energy. Drink coconut water to hydrate yourself but like all the food it has to be consumed in moderation. Drinking coconut water after sunset might increase water retention creating a feeling of heaviness. Enjoy eating coconut chutney, nariyal ladoo , daab chingri , etc but too much of it might help in weight gain .

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