Coconuts get a lot of attention for their wide ranging health benefits. They are also good for the skin and hair. However, almost every part of the coconut tree itself can be used for something, and this is why it is one of the most practical things that mother nature provides. The good news is that there are a number of varieties of coconut trees that can grow in cooler climates, and you don’t have to live in the tropics to enjoy their benefits.
Let’s take a look at how utilizing the coconut and coconut tree can make life a lot easier when you’re stuck in a place without a lot of other resources.
Coconuts, especially young ones that are not fully mature, provide a source of nearly sterile water. In fact, there are numerous reports of people who owe their lives to coconut water after sustaining serious injuries in wars or after getting certain infections when they couldn’t receive intravenous fluids. Coconut water is loaded with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium, and these are essential for properly hydrating the body and quenching thirst.
Coconut milk and oil are a vital source of a wide array of nutrients and is an excellent way to supplement dietary deficiencies. Coconut oil is particularly valuable as it can block a portion of ultraviolet rays from the sun, lower blood pressure, soothe irritated skin and be used to protect teeth from decay and infections. Coconut milk and oil also contain a special type of fat that is easily digested and processed by the body. It produces better, longer lasting energy while also promoting weight loss as the fat is used instead of being stored.
There are literally endless uses for the coconut tree, from using the trunk to build pontoons for rafts to making spears out of the center spine. The leaves are useful for weaving anything from baskets to wall or roofing material. The dried leaves, bark, wood and waste material that falls to the ground can all be used for firewood. In fact, many cultures have used wood from the coconut tree as a form of charcoal due to it’s slow burning and high heat generating characteristics.
The fibrous, outer layer of the coconut shell is excellent for composting, and you can use the inner shell for making anything from cups to containers. Simply peel the outer layer from the shell, remove the white meat and then place the shell on a low-grade fire so that the heat will evaporate the moisture and cure the bowl. It will be virtually indestructible, resistant to water and will hardly ever leak.
The strongest wood on the coconut tree is found on the outside, which makes it very easy to use it for building or structural support. It is also flexible enough to withstand high winds and heavy rain as long as the wood is lashed together securely. It can be strong enough to create a makeshift shelter as well as providing support for things like stretchers, chairs, bed frames and tables.
Learn more about how to utilize the coconut tree if you are in an area where they are available or can be grown. All you really need is a good machete along with some patience and creativity in order to find limitless uses for this fantastic resource.