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COCONUT - The Tree of Life

Updated on March 14, 2016


The coconut tree plays an important part in every Filipino's life. Some Filipinos live in houses that are all-coconut. Meaning... from the chairs to roof to the furniture to the plates to the wall to the beds to the stairs to the windows... all crafted from the Tree of Life. Toothpicks, medicines, oils... the coconut can provide it all. The Philippines, after all, is one of the world's top producers of coconut products.


Know more about the Coconut - in depth study of the Tree of Life

The Coconut Odyssey: The Bounteous Possibilities of the Tree of Life [ACIAR Monograph]
The Coconut Odyssey: The Bounteous Possibilities of the Tree of Life [ACIAR Monograph]
Describing the potential of the coconut for better health, food and the environment, this title traces its evolutionary voyage, explores the way it grows and bears fruit and the ornamental yield and diversity of strains. It dispels myths and describes its potential for commercial and domestic use.

Coconut Reciepes for a Healthy You - ...get extra years...

Why it is called the Tree of Life

...from the Philippine Coconut Authority

The Coconut Tree is called "The Tree of Life" because of the endless list of products and by-products derived from its various parts. Food, shelter, fuel - name it, the coconut has it. The coconut industry is considered a major dollar earner that provides livelihood to one-third of the country's population.


From coco meat can be obtained coco flour, desiccated coconut, coconut milk, coconut chips, candies, bukayo or local sweetened shredded coconut meat, latik copra and animal feeds. Coco chips, which are curved and wrinkled coconut meat, is crisply toasted and salted. It is very popular in Hawaii. Coconut flour can be used as a wheat extender in baking certain products without affecting their appearance or acceptability. The coconut milk is a good protein source. Whole coco milk contains about 22% oil, which accounts for its laxative property.


Copra is dried coconut meat that has a high oil content, as much as 64%. Coconut oil is the most readily digested of all the fats of general use in the world. The oil furnishes about 9,500 calories of energy per kilogram. Its chief competitors are soya bean oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Coconut oil retards aging. It counteracts heart, colon, pancreatic and liver tumor inducers. And it is easy to digest. Other products from coco oil are soap, lard, coco chemicals, crude oil, pomade, shampoo, margarine, butter and cooking oil.

Coconut Leaves

Coconut leaves produce good quality paper pulp, midrib brooms, hats and mats, fruit trays, waste baskets, fans, beautiful midrib decors, lamp shades, placemats, bags and utility roof materials.

Coconut Fruit

The coconut fruit produces buko, often used for salads, halo-halo( crushed ice with sweetened fruit), sweets and pastries. Buko is of three kinds: mala-kanin, or having the consistency of boiled rice; mala-uhog, mucus-like consistency and ready for eating; and mala-katad, or like leather. The last kind is the one used for making sweets. A mature coconut, or niyog is used in making sweets and special Filipino dishes. The "sport fruit" of the coconut is the makapuno. Considered a delightful delicacy and largely used for making preserves and ice-cream, it cannot be kept in storage and will not germinate. It has three layers: semi-acid, soft and hard meat.


Out of the bud of the coconut tree's infloresence is a juice called coconut toddy or tuba. The fermented juice is the common alcoholic drink in the coconut region. The principal uses of the toddy are: as fresh beverage; for producing alcoholic beverages; for producing vinegar; for making sugar; and as a source of yeast for making bread. Coconut toddy, after being left for five days then distilled, produces an alcoholic spirit known locally as lambanog which is more or less 98% proof. Other products from the coconut tree's infloresence are gin, vinegar, candy trays, Christmas and wall décor.

Let's take a short break... enjoy the video below.

Da Coconut Nut - ... this whole lens in a happy song


Coconut water is also called liquid endosperm. It is thrown away during copra making and becomes a great waste. Uses of coconut water include: coconut water vinegar; coconut wine; production of the chewy, fiber-rich nata good as a dessert and as alaxative; as a growth factor; and as a substitute for dextrose. Another breakthrough use is in coconut water therapy to cure renal disorders. "Bukolysis", as it is also called, is the medical process of reducing or dissolving urinary stones of the urinary tract systems using buko water from 7 to 9 months old coconuts. This nata-like growth is dextran and can be made to comply with the specifications for clinical dextran, then we have in the coconut water an important contribution in the atomic defense against radiation sickness.

COCONUT HUSK Coconut husks are made of bristle fiber (10%), mattress fiber (20%) and coir dust and shorts or wastes (70%). The abundance of fiber nakes it good, stable supply for cottage industries that make brushes, doormats, carpets, bags, ropes, yarn fishing nets, and mattresses, etc. Coir fiber can also be used as substitute for jute in making rice, copra, sugar, coffee, bags and sandbags. It is also suitable for making pulp and paper, etc. The well board is manufactured from coir dust and short fibers. The board produced is as good as narra, plywood or masonite. Coir yarn, coir rope, bags, rugs, husk décor, husk polishes, mannequin wig, brush, coirflex, and fishnets are other products that can be obtained from coco husk. Out of coir dust can be obtined coco gas, lye insulator, insoflex and plastic materials.

COCONUT PITH Out of its pith can be produced coco pickles, guinatan and lumpia. Its guinit can produce helmets, caps, wooden shoe straps, handbags, fans, picture and house décor like lamp shades and guinit flowers for the table. Ever heard of the "Millionaire's Salad"? It's fit for any ordinary man though, it is made up of "palmetto cabbage" which is simply the local ubod or the "heart" of the coconut. Ubod is considered one of the finest vegetables in the Philippines. Crab meat with ubod in lumpia can prove to be very delicious.

COCONUT SHELL Coconut shell produces the core of the most saleable household products and fashion accessories that can be turned into lucrative, wide-selling cottage industries. Among them are shell necklaces, shell bags, cigarette boxes, shell ladles, buttons, lamp shades, fruit and ash trays, guitars, placemats, coffee pots, cups, wind chimes, "coco banks", briquetted charcoal and activated carbon. The most important use of coconut shell is activated carbon produced from its charcoal. It is utilized in air purification systems such as cooker hoods, air conditioning, industrial gas purification systems, and industrial and gas masks.

COCONUT TRUNK & ROOTS Out of the coconut trunk, hardy and durable wood is obtained to make benches, tables, carvings, picture frames, tables, tool boxes, and construction materials, among many others. Paper pulp can also be extracted from the coconut trunk and other woody parts of the tree. A Medicine, beverages and dyestuff are obtained from the coconut roots.

Another Video Break - I can open a coconut in 30 seconds with a bolo... this guy however...

Let me know your thoughts, opinions and comments. Help me improve this lens so that people will learn effectively how and why the coconut tree is the Tree of Life..

Go Nuts with your Comments - ...get them out of your chest!!!

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    • Dave Lynch profile image

      David Edward Lynch 

      6 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

      Thanks for all the information here. I use coconut oil as a moisteriser for my very dry, eczema type of skin, other moisterisers make me itch

    • takkhisa profile image


      7 years ago

      At home we have 3 coconut trees!

    • Spiredwingtees profile image


      7 years ago

      Awesome lens, love reading about natural ingredients. Learned something new!

    • kcsantos profile image


      7 years ago

      Coconut tree is really the tree of life. Every part of it is essential and useful.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I have recently starting drinking coconut milk and am looking forward to enjoying more coconut products in the future. :)

    • ionee251 profile image


      7 years ago

      We have a coconut tree at home. So lucky we don't have to buy some from the public market. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 

      7 years ago

      Very informative. Coconut is really a life line for some states in the world.

    • cwkerns lm profile image

      cwkerns lm 

      8 years ago

      Great lens, very informative. Thanks for putting this up.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      8 years ago

      we in the west are just getting used to the treasure that is coconuts

    • digitaltree profile image


      8 years ago

      Great Lens, i didn't know most of this things about coconut. i learn a lot.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The coconut is widely used in the Philippines and other Asian countries. It's very useful and effective. Coconut oil and other forms that is supplemented in the diet. I really liked how coconuts are being promoted, Thanks for posting this. Cheers!

    • jlshernandez profile image


      9 years ago

      I love everything with coconut in it- ice cream, candies, desserts, etc. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      9 years ago from Canada

      You put in a lot of work on this article. I love the images...oh so very cute. Best wishes.

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image


      9 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Great Lens, loved all the info and artistic touches - thanks. I'm a huge coconut oil fan - mmmm addict maybe a more apt word!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You know, I am thinking that the coconut tree is truly important in life as look at how many times we've seen contestants on Survivor surviving with the coconuts! Yes?

    • delia-delia profile image


      10 years ago

      awesome 5* lens! very uniquely done....a ~"Squid Angel Blessing"~

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      there are endless list of what you can do with coconuts. love them and it's a freat refreshment especially during summer.

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 

      10 years ago

      Greetings from one ardent coconut fan to another. Very interesting lens. Lensrolled to "Tale of a coconut"

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      10 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Other than food products and lotions, I never realized how many other uses coconut trees have. Interesting!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Outstanding tribute to the Tree of Life (Cocos nucifera Linn)! That video of "Da Coconut Nut" is sure to put at least a smile, if not laughter, on many peoples' faces.

      I, myself, is a certified coconut nut, particularly with the healthiest oil on earth, Coconut Oil!



      Coconut Oil Central

      Your Drugstore in a Bottle

    • Superwife profile image


      10 years ago

      I love coconut! 5* and lensroll to my mango lens :)

    • avocado47 profile image


      11 years ago

      I have a big tub of coconut oil that I use as a moisturizer. I heard it's good for making popcorn too. Great lens, 5*

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I'd not heard of lambanog - 98% proof wow! A very informative lens, thanks for making it. 5 stars.

      PS, I doubt that Keith Richards would call the coconut tree the tree of life :0)

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      11 years ago

      Very cool lens! We lived in the Philippines back in the 70's and I had a coconut monkey bank forever :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago


      Great lens! I had never heard of the term "coconut water" before. Thanks for sharing.


    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      11 years ago

      Wonderful! I love to see so much great information gathered in one handy spot! I would love to see this lens in the new Real Food group on Squidoo! We're looking for great lenses like this one that talk about the value of real, traditional foods.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Brings back memories of drinking cold coconut water on brazilian beaches! Thank you . Great information!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Wow, a pinoy on squidoo! I love it., This was very unique and not to mention, very nationalistic!=)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Wow, a pinoy on squidoo! I love it., This was very unique and not to mention, very nationalistic!=)

    • MatCauthon profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      [in reply to Ener-G] Ohh geee... thanks a lot. LOTD... just a dream for me.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 

      11 years ago from Montana

      Fabulous lens, great niche. I vote this lens for LOTD!

    • The-Bard profile image


      11 years ago

      I learned the skill of identifying the macapuno from a regular nut - just with a simple tap. I've certainly drank more lambanog over the years than I care to remember. Although its excellent for curing the common cold when mixed with a few squeezed kalamansi. This is an outstanding lens. 5*s. - Paul.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      11 years ago

      I get virgin coconut oil for cooking and skin! It has gotten a bad rap, but its good! 5*

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      the coconut nut is a giant nut if you eat so much you get very fat! hahahah it reminds me of that song:)

      keep it uo!

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 

      11 years ago

      Now I'm hungry! A cold glass of fresh coconut milk would really hit the spot right now.

    • OldGrampa profile image


      11 years ago

      Very interesting stuff, I never realized there was so much to know about coconuts. Well done and a nice lens

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      11 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I love coconut too!

      You are hereby Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      11 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I love coconut too!

      You are hereby Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 

      11 years ago

      Put coconut in it and I'll probably eat it...except okra. I remember my kids and I trying to break into one of those things when we lived in Panama! It took us about 30 minutes, and the locals thought it was hilarious!

    • NeonZeppelin profile image


      11 years ago

      Well-made lens! Five Stars, definitely.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      11 years ago from Croatia

      Great lens! You learned a lot since you started! Hopefully you got what it takes... I could even bet on it! ;)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      11 years ago

      Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      nice article.. man, thanks for the tips not on the coconut but on squidoo.... you rule....


      thinking of new lens


    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 

      11 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      Great stuff. I wonder how many folks realize that "family" of hippy geeks in the video is an early employee picture of the Microsoft company? That's Bill Gates in the lower left corner. No wonder he dropped out of Harvard.

      I enjoyed the whole page; and learned quite a bit also - thank you.

    • starlitparlit profile image


      11 years ago

      Beautiful lens! 5*'s!

    • Teacher Adez7 profile image

      Teacher Adez7 

      11 years ago

      Very nice, and full of color and information! :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      11 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love how you did the intro and the placement of your pictures. This is a very well designed lens. Great job! 5* fav

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 

      11 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Interesting and beautifully illustrated - 5*.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Love this lens. Love coconuts! 5* Fav!


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