Coconut Tree Meaning.
The term ‘Kera’ means coconut and hence the name Kerala, the land of coconut, says the historian.However ,for the people of Kerala ,coconut tree is completely intertwined with their life,from the food they eat to the beverage they drink. Their cooking oil ,household utensils, breakfast, furniture and cosmetics –all come from the coconut tree.Same may be the case in all tropical countries,where the coconut tree grow well.
The exact origin of coconut tree is not known, there are contradictions among scholars. In India it was mentioned even in ancient texts. Vedic culture named coconut tree as ’Kalpa vriksha’, the tree that bestows all that is necessary for a living. Coconut enjoyed a hallowed status like holy basil and goose berry in the Vedic tradition.
Botanical name:Cocos nucifera Linn.
Rasa : Madhura, Kashaya
Coconut tree name in different languages.
Tamil : Thengai English : Coconut tree Hindi : Nariyal ka pet, Nariyal Malayalam : Nalikeara,Tengu, Sanskrit: Narikela, Sadaphala,Trina- druma, Dridhaphala.
India, East Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Madagascar-all these countries are entitled by various historians as the birthplace of coconut.
Theories unite in one fact: the world-wide distribution of coconut was through the sea travellers who traded crops in between various countries.
Coconut in Ayurveda
Coconut is known as Naarikela in ayurveda.The fruit is divided in to three, according to its maturity. Tender (bala) coconut, half-mature (madhyama) coconut, and fully matured (pakva) coconut.
Tender coconut contains 90 to 95 per cent water.The sweet liquid inside it is considered best for its cooling properties. It is a proven pitta-pacifier. It can unclog the body’s channels from toxins (ama). It cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract, and its snigdha or sweet quality is life –restoring.
Half-matured coconut:The coconut has soft pulp at this stage. And they have less water than tender ones.The water is slightly milky at this stage. According to the Ayurveda coconut,at this stage is said to be the most nutritious. This type generally has more carbohydrates, protein, minerals, phosphorus, and Vitamins A, B, and C than the other two forms.
Mature coconut:The pulp is firm at this stage and very little water.Ayurveda says that a matured coconut is heavy to digest, and it can aggravate pitta or vata if the digestive fire of the individual is low. Consuming large quantities of this variety can cause toxin build up in the body due to weak digestion. Its excess usage can cause hyperacidity, and elevated cholesterol levels.
Therefore, those who are of weak digestion are not advised to eat mature coconut, unless it is combined with other ingredients which helps balance its negative properties.The chutney of the south India is a best example! Chutney, made of combining healthy ingredients like roasted chickpea flour, curry leaves and mustard seed to coconut, which is used in smaller quantities, is good to use.
In general, tender and half matured coconuts are having more medicinal properties. According to Charaka, tender and half-mature coconuts are vata-pacifying, can help nourishing all seven tissues, and strengthen the body, and are filled with sweetness.
Kapha dominated persons should take care in the usage of coconut water, especially during night, because of it’s cooling properties.
Its flowers and roots are also used in various Ayurvedic medicines. Its flowers are used in conditions like diarrhoea and dysentery.The flowers help pacify vitiated pitta and rakta. And they are also useful in excess urination. In folk medicine, there is a preparation including coconut flowers used in post natal care.
Ayurveda considers coconut as a natural stress-buster. It balances (cools) sadhaka pitta, which is associated with emotions.
Combined with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, cumin, coriander, and turmeric, coconut is not only delicious and versatile, but also heals the digestive system and promotes better metabolism.
Coconut oil is always debated much for its benefits and hazards. It has been used throughout Asia and the Pacific region for thousands of years as both as food and medicine. In India, the Coconut oil is in use from Vedic period itself .It has been mentioned in texts like Sushruta Samhita, around 2000 years before. Acharya Sushruta explains the health benefits of coconut oil as follows:
- Coconut oil is a natural coolant.
- It is digested slowly.
- It helps improve the quality and strength of hair and promotes hair growth.
- It is a natural aphrodisiac.
- It nourishes the body tissues.
Coconut oil is useful in the treat oil in regular diet, in limited quantities treatment of diseases like emaciation, debility, respiratory conditions, diabetes and urinary system disorders
When applied on wounds, it quickens the healing and helps in filling up of skin depression in wounds. It calms Vata and Pitta, Supports Kapha.
Coconut oil is the base for many Ayurvedic herbal formulations used (externally or internally) for a number of health problems. Some of them are: Kayyanyadi coconut oil, Karpooradi coconut oil, Eladi coconut oil, Dhurd- hurapatradi Coconut oil and Chemp- aratyadi Coconut oil.
Coconut oil is the best available base for hair oils. It is a good skin moisturizer & softener. It is very good to include coconut internally hence a normal healthy individual. According to Ayurveda, coconut oil is nourishing in nature, when taken oil was really the cause for obesity, Kerala should have it is used in conditions like emaciation, debility etc. External use of coconut oil promotes hair growth and wound healing. It is a natural coolant and is good in conditions like eczema.
Massage using coconut oil on scalp improves hair growth and it restricts dandruff. Body massage using coconut oil is good for dry skin; it accelerates wound healing and prevents skin diseases.
But some modern Dietary guidelines categorize coconut oil as a food to be avoided. According to them coconut oil is fatty’and will increase cholesterol level.
In Kerala, coconut oil is used in almost all the dishes. If coconut been filled with obese people, which is not the case! Coconut oil is used here as a food
Ingredient and as a medicine for external application and for internal administration. It is an integral part of Kerala’s lifestyle.