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10 Uses of Coconut Trees

Updated on January 24, 2017
10 uses for coconut trees
10 uses for coconut trees | Source

Coconuts are exotic, edible fruits produced in coconut trees. The coconut tree is a kind of palm tree with a single straight trunk and has been used for many purposes since prehistoric times.

Every part has a use, including the fruits, wood, and leaves.

Because of this, the trees are widely cultivated in many places in South India for both commercial and home use.

Here, you can see few uses of these wonderful trees.

1. The Flesh: Food, Milk, and Flour

Coconut with its shell opened
Coconut with its shell opened | Source

This is the first use most people think of. You can eat the fruit of a coconut tree, and this is the plant's most common use. Coconuts can be eaten either raw or cooked, and they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants.

Before you can eat coconut, the white flesh of the fruit needs to be separated from the outer hard shell. Do do this, you may use a coconut scraper to grate the fruit or a coconut meat removal knife to separate the flesh after opening the shell. The freshly grated coconuts can be easily added to your recipes or you can store it in refrigerator for few days.

Coconut milk is also very popular. It is widely used in many Asian cuisines, especially in South India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. It is usually used to thicken soups and stews, and you can also use it as a substitute for milk if you have milk allergy. To make coconut milk, you can either squeeze grated coconuts in water with your hands (this produces a milder version), or you can stick them in a blender with a little water (this produces a thicker version).

Additionally, coconut milk is an excellent hair conditioner. You can apply the coconut milk to your hair and scalp and rinse after a few minutes. This will make your hair soft and shiny and improves the health of hair by reducing hair fall. Coconut milk is also an ideal ingredient to be added in homemade face masks in place of water.

The fruits can also be turned into coconut flour, which is available in markets nowadays. The flour is often used as a gluten-free substitute.

2. The Water: A Healthy, Refreshing Drink

Coconut water
Coconut water | Source

Coconut water is different from coconut milk. When you break the hard shell to open the fruit, it has a mildly sweet water inside that is known for its extreme health benefits. This wonderful natural drink is very popular during the summer season.

The water from young, tender coconuts is sweeter and has the best flavor.

3. The Oil: For Cooking, Skin, and Hair

Coconut oil can be used for baking and as a conditioner.
Coconut oil can be used for baking and as a conditioner. | Source

Coconut oil is quite popular nowadays due to its unique, attractive flavor. It is even used as a replacement for butter in many recipes. This oil has a higher saturated fat content than oils such as olive or canola, so its impact on health is a controversial subject. The lauric acid in coconut oil is believed to be excellent for health due to the fact that it improves the immunity and can protect against several illnesses.

Coconut oil is not just for cooking. It is a great conditioner for hair, too. The use of coconut oil in hair can make dry hair soft and silky. In many parts of the world, it is very common to massage young babies with coconut oil since it is believed to be healthy for the skin of babies.

4. The Shells: To Steam Food and Create Crafts

Baskets made of coconut shells
Baskets made of coconut shells | Source

The hard shell of the fruit is useful, too. It is traditionally used in homes to steam food. The shells are also a popular craft material. Many beautiful craft items are made out of coconut shells. You can easily color the shells and carve them into beautiful art pieces. Children use them for playing as well.

5. The Husks: A Natural Scrubber and Craft Material

There are a number of uses for the coconut husk. They can be used as natural scrubbers to clean dinner plates, cups, and other vessels and even the floor.

Coconut husks are also used as a craft material to create many beautiful things. For example, you can color it and use it as hair for dolls.

6. The Husks: Ropes

Ropes made from coconut husk
Ropes made from coconut husk | Source

This is one of the major uses of coconuts, at least for the many people who make a living with it. People in many rural areas make their living from making ropes out of coconut husk, and it is a profitable business. This is actually a difficult task and requires immense manual labor. However people work in large groups in coir factories to make ropes and mats from the husks of coconuts.

So far we have seen the uses of just the fruit of this versatile plant. Now we will see the uses of other parts of this wonderful tree!

7. Tree Leaves: Thatching

A thatched umbrella
A thatched umbrella | Source

The leaves of the coconut palms are very large and beautiful. I love how they look; they are great subjects for photography.

People have used these leaves to make fences as well as roofs for their small huts, and in many places, people still use them for thatching. They are cost effective and provide shelter for many people who cannot afford the cost of other materials. Sometimes they are used not only for making the roofs, but to make the walls of houses as well. Making houses from the palm leaves may not be the best option—they can't survive extreme weather conditions and there are safety conceerns—but in many places, people rely on this tree to create shelter.

And coconut leaves aren't only helpful for humans. Did you know that coconut leaves are one of the favorite foods of elephants?

8. The Sticks: Brooms

Coconut leaves have thick sticks that can be used to make brooms for your home! It is really easy to assemble the sticks together and tie them with a thread to make the broom. People make the coconut brooms for both domestic and commercial use.

9. The Wood: Fires in Traditional Kitchens

Many parts of the coconut tree can serve as inexpensive fuel for fires.
Many parts of the coconut tree can serve as inexpensive fuel for fires. | Source

Coconut husks, shells, leaves, leaf stems, and flower stems are used for fires in traditional kitchens. In places with many coconut trees, finding the wood for fire is an easy an inexpensive task.

10. The Flowers: Medicine

Coconut flowers
Coconut flowers | Source

Coconut flowers have many medicinal uses. They are an ingredient in many traditional remedies, especially medicines for new mothers.

Have you ever seen coconut trees?

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Comments

These are just a few uses of the coconut tree. If you know any other uses, please comment below.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Salini amith 2 weeks ago

      Thank you .useful information

    • profile image

      oum mishra 5 weeks ago

      nice thanks for information nice

    • profile image

      Ellen 7 weeks ago

      Thanks for your best information

    • profile image

      Lohitha 2 months ago

      Thanks for nice informaton putting together and very useful with pictures..

    • profile image

      alyana. 4 months ago

      thank you for this answer..

    • profile image

      Reagan Shonkwiler 5 months ago

      Thank you so much!!! I can't tell you how much I needed this information for my project on coconut trees.

    • profile image

      Khushi 5 months ago

      It's just perfect a brilliant article on coconuts!!!!!!

      What else is neede

    • profile image

      vamsi akshay 7 months ago

      thanks, it is very useful for my project

    • profile image

      Rucha 8 months ago

      It's the best article I have ever read it contains every information about coconut tree ... its just fantastic ..... and thank you for posting this article ..... it has helped me a lot in my school project. ... love u violette. ... and love u coconut tree ....

    • profile image

      isuri 9 months ago

      this is very good and very helpful to me

      thank you all

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 9 months ago from Australia

      Coconut palms would have to be amongst the most versatile plants, if not the outright winner.

    • profile image

      gean 12 months ago

      thank you so much for this very informative info. It is of great help for my studies!

    • profile image

      Annoymas 12 months ago

      Thank you very much. This is very useful for my social studies prep

    • profile image

      vinay kaware 12 months ago

      thank you very much for this information this will help me to start my business

    • profile image

      Krish 14 months ago

      It's just perfect!!!!

    • profile image

      Denin 14 months ago

      another use is the toddy made out of coconut flower, very good alcoholic beverage produced from the sap.

    • profile image

      Rahul gudur 16 months ago

      super nice matter helps to all try it

    • profile image

      Mallika 18 months ago

      Nice Information :) It helped a lot in my Project work, thanks.

    • profile image

      anil n laad 18 months ago

      It is a valuable source of income as its plantation and growth does not need too much of care or watering.

      It is also used in religious rituals and worships and considered as a holy and sacred in nature.

    • profile image

      Sathmina 19 months ago

      Thanks for the list....I'm a Student in Sri Lanka....Thanks Admin.

    • profile image

      jhyt6 19 months ago

      the leaves of the tree are used to make hats , baskets and fans

    • profile image

      p.janardhan 21 months ago

      Very nice

    • profile image

      p.janardhan 21 months ago

      Very nice

    • profile image

      noah 21 months ago

      this helped my project

    • profile image

      Ashley gamboa 21 months ago

      Thank you ,this is a very good maybe I Wil say excellent article this helps me do my project in Filipino I really really really love it

      Sincerely yours

    • profile image

      shreya 22 months ago

      very good,this article is actually being helpful in doing my homework

      thankyou!!!

    • profile image

      shreya 22 months ago

      very good,this is actually helpful for doing my homework

    • profile image

      tapu 22 months ago

      good

    • profile image

      minosse 22 months ago

      Coco e muito bom pois ele ajuda nos a ter oleo,butter,milk,flour,cream,husks

    • profile image

      Karan.L. 23 months ago

      i had a homework on this write its very very very very ......helpful and........i loved it

    • profile image

      ankita roy 23 months ago

      Its very heplful.....

      Easy languages ......

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA

      This was a useful and beautiful hub, VioletteRose. I have recently become a fan of coconut oil and its versatility.

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks, I am so glad that you found this useful for your project!

    • profile image

      Tisha 2 years ago

      Thank you your article help me for my project work

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting Swisstoons! I know about oil pulling using sesame oil, but didn't know about the use of coconut oil for the same. Thanks so much for mentioning that.

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 2 years ago from Michigan

      One use for coconut oil not covered here is the Ayurvedic practice of "oil pulling." Oil pulling involves swishing a teaspoonful of coconut oil around in the mouth for about 2o minutes each day and then spitting it out. The oil pulls toxins not only from the tissues of the mouth, but from the entire body. If you have sore gums, you will notice the positive effect almost immediately. But a couple words of warning might be in order. As toxins are removed via the oral tissues, you might experience a "healing crisis" of sorts; some slight nausea or wooziness. Also (and this is important to bear in mind), among the toxins being leeched out is mercury...as in mercury fillings. It is not uncommon for amalgam fillings to fall out after a period of daily oil pulling! I know this from personal experience! Still, if you want your kids to grow up with strong healthy teeth and gums, get them started with oil pulling early in life.

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hi XrayEcho, thanks for reading. Actually I have never heard about the use of coconut leaves in food, other than the use of the leaves to wrap rice in certain recipes. However, it is common to use coconut leaves as the food for elephants. So it must be edible, but I do not think it is common to use the leaves as food for humans. If I can ever find anymore information on this, I will add it here. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      XrayEcho 2 years ago

      Are coconut leaves edible? I'm trying to plan for all posibilities should we experience an economic collapse. I fortunately live in an area where coconut trees are in abundance but coconuts are not always present. Your thoughts please.

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you all for reading!

    • culinarycaveman profile image

      culinarycaveman 2 years ago from Dem Woods, Sussex, England

      I eat so many coconut products, love them and this hub.

      Positive Harmonious Vibrations . .

    • profile image

      yogesh 2 years ago

      nice

    • profile image

      very nice 2 years ago

      awesome!!

    • profile image

      nazriya 2 years ago

      i love coconut.it is the beauty of the nature.t

    • profile image

      9246104840 2 years ago

      nice

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hi CherylsArt, You are right. Coconut oil is actually more popularly used for hair care, but coconut milk is an excellent natural hair conditioner which can also help reduce hair fall. Thanks so much for reading :)

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hi favoured, thanks so much for reading :) Making ropes from the husk is one of the important uses of coconut tree!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 2 years ago from West Virginia

      Thanks for sharing these tips. I had just read the other day about using cold pressed coconut oil on one's hair. I hadn't heard about using coconut milk for the same reason. Thanks.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      Haven't really thought about all the uses for these trees, but making ropes wouldn't have been one I imagined.

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks Susan! I agree, coconut oil is great for skin care. Coming from the land of coconuts, it is something I use almost daily one or in another way. In fact, every home in my hometown has at least one coconut tree in the garden.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      It's so good to learn more about the coconut tree. I use coconut oil some for cooking, but I've especially found it valuable for skin care. I feel so much more comfortable using coconut oil as a moisturizer than I do using something from a jar (expensive, too) full of chemicals. Great information here. Thanks!

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you so much :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wonderful article as to all the many uses of coconut! Love your photos. Excellent and useful hub here. Up and more and away. Blessings

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      I agree they are so pretty, I hope you get coconuts from it sometime soon! Thanks for commenting :)

    • WriterJanis profile image

      Janis 3 years ago from California

      We actually have a small coconut tree. We don't get any friut, but it's pretty to look at.

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you so much for the comments!

      Precy anza, coconut brooms are wonderful, we too used to make that in my parents home:)

      CraftytotheCore, I love using images in the hubs, I am glad you like them :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      What an interesting article! I never realized coconut husk was used in rope. I love how you display the facts with such colorful photos.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 3 years ago from USA

      I love these fruit! :) we call the green ones buko, I love the coconut meat. And my grandmother and mom would make broomsticks from the coconut leaves. Up and FB share! :)

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you so much AliciaC and DDE :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Coconut trees are so beautiful and the many uses have surprised me. Lovely photos and so interesting to have learned so much more about the uses of coconut trees.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for an interesting hub. I use coconut parts for food and drink, but the other uses of coconut that you have described are new for me. What a versatile plant!

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      That's great! Thank you so much for commenting :)

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 3 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Purchased a coconut last weekend and made coconut milk and grated meat for a sugar-free dessert I make every week. Very nice, informative hub.

    • VioletteRose profile image
      Author

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      I agree they are quite expensive there. When I was living there, I could use them only occasionally. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I wish they grew naturally here because I love them. They are pretty expensive to buy here in the States. Anyway, great information.

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