by Dr. Amy Wiesner
In parts one and two of my series on coconuts, I introduced you to two of the ways coconuts are said to improve your health. In this part three of the series, I will tell you how coconut trees are extremely eco-friendly and economical.
Coconut trees are found mostly in the tropics as they need to be in full sunlight and have lots of water. They are called “Trees of Life” in the Philippines because so many of their parts can be used in daily life.
For consumption as food, the following can be obtained from coconuts:
- Coconut water
- Coconut milk
- Coconut oil
- Coconut sap (a great sugar substitute!)
- an alcoholic beverage called Arrack
- Heart of Palm
For use in daily life, the following can be obtained from coconuts:
- Furniture/House ornamentation
- Hair & skin cosmetics
The above uses of the whole coconut tree are how it’s been used for thousands of years in the Pacific Islands. What makes the trees even more amazing is how they will be used in the future.
One company, Whole Tree, Inc., is finding ways to use the discarded products of coconut farming to make packaging products. Another company is researching ways to make car parts that are both eco-friendly and help indigent coconut farmers in Asia and the South Pacific. It has also been used as a biofuel in the Pacific Islands, though that might not be environmentally or economically beneficial in the long run if used worldwide.
Overall, the coconut tree is an amazing work of nature. The whole tree can be used to support life both inside the body and in its surroundings. More research needs to be done in both these areas to make the most of this extraordinary tree.