The Coconut is the fruit of the Coconut Palm, a very tall plant (up to 30 meters) with long leaves (30-60 cm) that grows especially in the tropical areas. The husk is composed of fibers and it is called coir, while the inner stone is sold in non-tropical countries. Inside the nut there is the testa, a thick, white substance which is edible and fleshy. The coconut water is contained inside the testa in a sort of hollow, and should not be confused with coconut milk (which is obtained from smashed testa and warm water). Depending on the size of a coconut, it can bear up to 1 liter of coconut water, which may become a little bitter if the fruit is ripe.
Indonesia, followed by Philippines and India are the world’s largest coconuts producers. The name of the tree translated from Sanskrit (“kalpa viksha”) means “the tree which provides all the necessities of life” and it is not far from truth. From the leaves, to the nuts and trunk Coconut palms are used in all sorts of domains. Due to its high amount of saturated fats (more than 50%) and its nutritious coconut water, it is said that one can survive in pure desert with coconut tree and nuts alone. It also contains more proteins than any other nut and iron, phosphorus and zinc.
Coconut oil is used in pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, but also as a Diesel direct substitute fuel. The leaves are used for producing very good quality baskets, while the hard wood is used for everything from furniture to canoes and containers. The roots are used as a mouth wash or toothbrush and as a cure for dysentery while the husk and shells are a good source of charcoal. Not to mention the fact that coconut water can be successfully used as an intravenous fluid.