- Education and Science
100 Uses of Coconut
Fotosearch (Stock Photography)
100 uses of coconut?! How can I enumerate it without duplicating words that I will say to cheat and set the uses up to one hundred. My teacher was insane (really) when I and my classmates were given assignment to list one hundred uses of coconut. Really, we'd gone nuts after submitting our homework. We're young and all we think was to play after class. So, this challenge haunted me (not in the scariest sense) for a while because I can only enumerate top ten things about the coconut-mania in the tropical Philippines, like ours. Let me recall what I've written:
1) coconut milk for cooking, by adding it as the liquid ingredient in cooking dried gabi or taro leaves (a delicacy in Bicol region, Philippines, sometimes known us 'Bicol express' if fiery red labuyo peppers were added into it, so hot)
2) coconut husk as floor polisher,is common in elementary grades in the Philippines. We were assigned as cleaners for designated days (Mondays thru Fridays) and we used to polished the floor with coconut husk .
3) coconut shells for fuel,is often used by villagers who didn't have electric or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as source of fuel. Even today, when we ran out of gas or LPG, I still use the coconut shells as fuel.
4) young coconut meat for snacks, the 'buko' or young coconut with succulent soft whitey and fleshy meat is often the favorite snacks in the barrio or even in the city, here in Manila. It costs 50 cents in dollar value if you happen to tour the Philippines. Try it, I'm not kidding, it's a healthy snack. If you have UTI (urinary track infection) you can drink the cool, fresh coconut water for an immediate relief.
5) coconut milk for hair spa or conditioner,is usually used by the villagers in the barrio, especially those girls who have long strands of hair. It leaves a shiny look and fresh smell to the hairs, after you squeeze some juice of lime or lemon. You hair will never look dry.
6) coconut leaves for roofing materials, are still used by farmers who cannot afford expensive roofing materials.
7) coconut timber for lumber,is more affordable than other lumber materials.
8) coconut ribs for brooms,are still used in the country, especially the street sweepers in the city. Every household have two or three sets of coconut brooms for cleaning pusposes.
9) young coconut meat for sweets (bukayo in Bicol term or Filipino term),is like tart in taste.
10) matured coconut meat for copra used in producing cooking oil,is affordable and cholesterol-free. You can make a homemade coconut oil by just letting it boil in the wok or frying pan until the liquid part became transparent.
Bonus: coconut heart (the sweet soft part of coconut timber at top part with young leaves) as viand (as in 'ubod ng niyog' ) like young artichoke.
The other 90 uses of the miracle palm tree
More and more uses of coconut are being discovered, be it medically or industrially.
Medical experts and commercial investors are cultivating these kind of palm tree to the fullest to supply the needed dextrose ingredients in many hospitals in the world. Yes, the mineral content of coconut water is now being utilized as supplement to the patients being confined in the medical wards.
Category of uses and functions of the whole coconut palm tree
1. Agricultural. It's one of the staple foods in the tropical countries. It is also one of the sources of livelihood of the farmers.
2. Medical. It's an alternative source of medicine and medical supplement as in dextrose. More and more innovation in the medical field is being done to tap the potentials of this so-called "miracle plant".
3.Industrial. The durability and cheap cost of coconut lumber makes it an alternative source in building houses.
4. Decorative. Furniture made from coconut lumber are being exported by the local furniture makers. There's a huge market demand abroad for the durability of the furniture products made from it.
5. Ornamental. Miniature coco palm trees adorn the facade of the hotels, function rooms, or the typical sala or receiving room in the residential houses.
6. Fashion. From the simple buttons to the dangling earrings, it can compete with the expensive versions of popular products that you crave in the market.
7. Beauty. From soap to shampoo, it is being commercially-made nowadays and you're using one of the brands made from it.
The future of the coconut tree depends upon the program of the local government to introduce programs to uplift the status of the industry for the benefit of the farmers. (The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) suffered too much controversy in the past. Farmers urge the government agency to make more positive programs that will save them from poverty.)
Have I enumerated just 10? I'll add 100 to that.
Da Coconut Nut (Smokey Mountain)
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