Coconut milk an effective home remedy for constipation


Constipation is an inconvenience that we experience at some points in our lives. Unless it is chronic, it can actually be eased with coconut milk.

coconut milk

Coconut is known to be the ‘tree of life’ for of its thousand uses. From the roots to the leaves, you will surely get something beneficial from a coconut.

Coconut milk alone has several uses. It is an effective home remedy for constipation. And, I can attest to this because I personally experienced it.

Coconut milk to the rescue

The first time I experienced a difficulty in defecating, I literally panicked. I did not know what to do. How could I have it when I drink a lot of water every day! I also made sure to eat enough fibers – or so I thought I had enough!

coconut milk

My first impulse then was to self-medicate. I bought a commercially-popular brand that was advertised on TV. Unfortunately, the product did not work for me. So, I tried another brand. And still, it was useless. I also tried gulping a small bottle of castor oil. Again, these did not ease my agony.

And then, as if on cue, I saw this coconut in our backyard. I took it and have it grated. Although I was a bit skeptical about it at first, I held on to the thought that since coconut is oily, it might help ease my problem. So, I went ahead. I squeezed out the coconut milk and drank a full glass of it!

After about an hour later, I found myself hurrying to the toilet. It was a success! My constipation problem was solved with the help of the “mighty coconut milk”.

From then on, I’ve been confidently advising friends and family who experience the same issue as mine. And they said coconut milk worked for them, too. You might as well try this effective home remedy for constipation.

You might as well try this effective home remedy for constipation.

A word of caution

Some quarters claim that coconut milk may have negative effects on your health. Three of the problems they raised include fructose malabsorption, guar gum, and Bisphenol-A (BPA). But the thing is that if your purpose of taking coconut milk is only to ease constipation, you wouldn’t be consuming it on a regular basis anyway. Nevertheless, it’s still important to be prudent in everything that concerns your health. For chronic constipation problem, you need to seek professional advice from your physician.


Senile coconut trees are still economically sound even beyond their fruit-bearing years. It only takes ingenuity to make them useful. Locals in the Asia-Pacific region turn these waste into items that generate extra income for them.

Coconut trees are productive up to 80 years of its life.  Beyond this period, they have to be cut down to make way for high yielding varieties. But instead of leaving them in the fields to rot, the locals in the coconut-growing countries convert them into some useful items.

senile coconut trees

Commercial products from senile coconut trees

Coconut farmers in the Asia-Pacific region know too well that rotten coconut trees are a breeding ground for pests, rodents, and insects – intruders that are unwanted in their farms and homes! And so, to minimize the waste from fallen coconut trees, the locals convert them into some commercially-viable products. Some of the items they have developed include:

Coconut lumber. Coco lumber is now considered a viable alternative to hardwood. Several suppliers and manufacturers are already making this a profitable business as demand for this type of wood continues to grow. It costs much less than the conventional hardwood.

Coconut fiberboard. The spathe, coir, and fronds of a coconut are major components of the coconut fiberboard (CFB). Manufacturers mix these fiber components with shredded wood and Portland cement to come up with some basic construction materials. Particularly, they make bricks, tiles, asbestos, cement hollow blocks, and plywood out of these components.

Charcoal. The coconut trunk and other sawmill residues are found to be a good source of charcoal and for energy. In the Philippines, particularly, the agriculture sector converts the coconut trunk charcoal into briquettes for greater strength and density. There’s now an increasing demand for these briquettes abroad.

senile coconut trees

Broomsticks. The central vein that holds the coconut leaves together is by no means the least useful part of the coconut tree. It’s an efficient cleaning tool. In most Asian households, broomsticks are used to sweep and collect the dried leaves on their yard. It’s also used to remove the cobwebs and other dross. Broomsticks are called by different names in southeast Asia. Indonesians call it sapu lidi. While in the Philippines, it is called walis tingting in Tagalog or silhig in Cebuano.

Usually, the locals make one or two sets of broomsticks for their own use at home. Or, they may produce several bunches of it to sell at the market for additional income.

And with a bit of ingenuity, broomsticks make good Christmas tree, too. In some rural homes in the Philippines, the locals would turn a bunch of broomstick upside down. They meticulously decorate it with whatever comes up to their fancy. And… voila! You’ll be surprised at how the humble broomsticks transform into a beautiful Christmas tree.

senile coconut trees

Palm Sunday fronds. Coconut fronds are most in-demand on Palm Sunday. Catholic believers, particularly in the Philippines, use them for palaspas or decorated palm fronds.

Firewood. Bundles of dried coconut palms are a common sight in rural Philippine markets. The locals use them for firewood.

Food wraps. Aside from its seasonal demand during Lent, the palm fronds are also used to wrap foods. Some regional delicacies in the Philippines are contained in coconut leaves. In the Visayas and Mindanao regions, it’s common to see ready-to-go steamed rice in the market or at the barbecue stands. Locally called puso, this meal is the best match for barbecue and roasted pig (lechon). The locals informally call puso ‘hanging rice’ because they are displayed in the market exactly that way – hanging in bunches!  

Toothpicks and other uses. Did you know that some of the toothpick brands in the market are made of coconut midribs? Not only that! Midribs have also been used as barbecue skewers and brushes. They make beautiful home decors, too.

Novelty items. The brown fiber (guinit or ginit) that wraps around the coconut palms makes a strong material for some novelty items. The locals recycle them into fans, handbags, wooden bakya slipper straps, and many other home decors. In the olden times, helmets and caps were made out of guinit too. Although, these items are rarely seen now, if there is still any, at all.

With a bit of ingenuity, senile coconut trees can still be recycled into some income-generating products. By doing so, we reduce a few carbon footprints.

Would you consider patronizing recycled products from senile coconut trees?

 

Coconut oil: effective prevention of hair fall


Coconut oil is, perhaps, the most useful product Nature has ever produced.  From dessert toppings, to floor wax, to natural healer, and even to beauty treatment: name it, and this mighty coconut oil has probably something to contribute.

Coconut oil

In my previous post, What Lies Beneath Hair Loss?, I mentioned some possible causes of hair fall or hair loss. Now, it’s time to talk about how to treat such problem the natural way.

Even as it is important to seek medical advice on your condition, you can also turn to natural methods on treating you hair fall problem.  I particularly recommend the use of coconut oil as one of the best remedies to prevent hair fall and to promote its growth. Aside from being cheap and natural compared with the laboratory-concocted treatments, coconut oil is packed with these essential properties, such as:

Lauric acid.  This is a medium-chain fatty acid that protects the roots of your hair and prevents it from breakage. Studies reveal that coconut oil has the ability to reduce and prevent loss of hair protein more effectively than what sunflower and mineral oils do. Coconut oil is the richest source of lauric acid, containing around fifty percent of the substance.  To ensure your scalp is free of dandruff, split ends, lice and lice eggs, make it a habit to massage your head with coconut oil from time to time.

Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Aside from lauric acid, coconut oil also contains two other fatty acids – caprylic, and capric acids – that are known to work against fungi. Meanwhile, its monolaurin component has an antibacterial property that effectively fights against bugs.  All these properties of the coconut oil are powerful against dandruff and lice, two of the contributing factors that hinder hair growth. Studies have proven that coconut oil works effectively as a natural treatment of head lice.

Essential nutrients.  Coconut oil is proven to be an effective source of vitamins E, K, and iron, which are essential for maintaining luster and softness of your hair.  Again, vitamin E works effectively against dandruff.

Moisturizer.  With regular application of coconut oil, you can expect to have a strong and moisturized hair because the oil penetrates into your hair shaft and conditions your mane from the inside. At the same time, it protects your hair follicles from heat and harsh weather conditions.

Promotes better blood circulation. By massaging your scalp with coconut oil you significantly promote blood circulation and consequently allow essential nutrients and oxygen into your hair follicles; thus, making it healthy.

How to apply coconut oil on hair

Depending on your personal preference, you may apply coconut oil either before or after washing your hair. Personally, I do it at least 30 minutes before shampooing.  For those of you who have slightly wavy (like mine), or straight hair, I suggest that you treat your hair with coconut oil before washing it.

But if you have rather thick or curly mane, you may apply the coconut oil either before or after washing it.  Don’t worry about getting greasy-looking hair because curly hair tends to absorb oil quickly, so you would not end up with too sticky-shiny hair.  Be aware, however, that some types of hair, particularly the protein-sensitive, do not fare well to post-wash oil treatment.  You better consult your doctor on this first.

Some people ask whether it is more effective to heat the coconut oil first before applying or just have it at room temperature. Basically, it produces the same effects.  However, since coconut oil can coagulate in lower room temperature, it makes sense to have it warmed a bit before using.  Be sure, though, to not heat it too much as it can damage your scalp.

Coconut oil application before shampooing. Apply a generous amount of coconut oil onto your scalp  and gently massage it in circular motion for at least five minutes.  Give particular attention to your hair strands. Leave the oil on your hair for at least 30 minutes. If your hair fall problem is severe or if your concern is hair breakage, you may let the oil on for two to four hours.  Then, wash your hair off with regular shampoo.

Oil application after shampooing. If your problem is more on dry hair or split-ends, apply a little amount of coconut oil two to three inches towards the tip of your hair. But wait until your hair has completely dried out before applying.  The oil will be quickly absorbed by your hair and makes a protective coat around the hair strands.

Coconut wood: a viable source of building material


Coconut wood is a common construction material in many places of the Asia-Pacific region. Its properties are comparable to hardwood and seen as a viable source of building material and other applications.

Hardwood is one of the most in-demand materials in the construction and furniture industry. It’s also used in hundreds of other applications. But the supply of this material has become a scarcity in many markets lately. This is due to the stringent laws many governments imposed on the harvesting of rainforest trees.

Because of this, the business sector involved in the wood industry needs to find viable alternative sources. Demand has always been constant.

Coconut wood seen as a viable source of building material

Following to several different studies, it has been found that the coconut wood makes a viable source of building material and other applications.

Coconut wood building material

Coconut wood is the processed stem fiber from coconut palms. It’s an erect pole-like branchless trunk. Its body usually grows around 30 to 40 centimeters in diameter, while the base can reach up to a meter. When it is thoroughly sawn and seasoned, the high-density coconut wood can give its utmost performance. Its performance can be compared to, or even better than the conventional hardwood.

Unlike the conventional hardwood, the wood from the coconut palm does not have annual rings. Instead, hardness is defined according to its three degrees of density.

Low-density timber. It is the middle part of the coconut stem. It has a density of soft to medium at 200 to 400 kilograms per cubic meter. This part is used in non-load structures. You can use it in making panels, internal trim, and ceiling.

The low-density timber is also used in homewares application.

Medium-density timber. This is the sub-dermal portion of the coconut stem. It’s found right next to the high-density part. The medium-density timber is classified as medium-hard at 400 to 600 kilograms per cubic meter. This is the ideal material for walls, ceiling joists, and horizontal studs.

High-density timber is the dermal part, found at the periphery of the coconut stem. With a density of 600 to 900 kilograms per cubic meter, the high-density timber is classified as hard. This part is used in general applications. To name a few:

  • pillars
  • trusses
  • rafting
  • floor tiles or parquet
  • girts
  • floor joists
  • door jambs
  • purlins
  • balustrades
  • railings
  • decking
  • furniture
  • window frames
  • posts
  • scaffolding
  • and, other load-bearing structures

In some cases also, an entire coconut trunk can be utilized as power and telecommunication lines.

Where to source coconut wood

Coconut wood building material

The coconut palms are abundantly available in the Asia-Pacific region. You can particularly find them in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and India. Locals in these areas consider the coconut as one of the most important crops. They use its fruits in the production of oil and medicine. The coconut is also an important food ingredient for them.

Coconut trees yield fruits up to approximately 70 to 80 years of its life. After that, they become senile and unproductive. They have to be cut down to make way for new trees. And we are speaking of millions of senile coconuts every year!

Aside from this volume, thousands of fruit-yielding varieties are also felled by typhoons and hurricanes. We all know that the Asia-Pacific region receives around 20 weather conditions each year. So, you could just imagine how many (otherwise) wasted coconut tree by-products go to the landfills.

Thanks to those who discovered the actual commercial uses of the coconut wood. It has found a market. We can also be grateful to the different governments for the stricter laws on logging.

Turning to coconut wood is an ecologically-sound move. The coconut trees are easy to replace. Its seedlings grow rapidly on a variety of soils. Harvesting it is also cheaper and convenient. You would not need to clear extra space in moving your equipment to and from the logging area. Each tree is planted considerably far apart from the other for productive purposes. The space in between a line of coconut trees is enough for a vehicle to pass through. And the straight and branchless trunk of the coconut would not get in the way of a passing vehicle.

Another advantage of the coconut wood is that its market price is way lower than the conventional hardwood.

Health benefits of coconut water


In my previous post, Coco toyo: condiment from coconut water I shared how coconut water, one of the purest liquids known to man, can be made into a healthy substitute for chemically-enhanced soy sauce.

Now, let me share with you the other benefits derived from coconut water.

Refreshing drink.  Aside from being the best drink to beat the summer heat, coconut water contains electrolytes and minerals that hydrate your body.

Nutritious. Don’t you know that it’s also packed with a variety of nutrients? Let me enumerate some of those:

  • It is filled with abundant bioactive enzymes like acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA polymerases, and more.  These enzymes aid in digestion and metabolism.  In fact, coconut water contains more hydrating properties than tap water. Also,  it has less sodium and more potassium compared with the usual energy or sports drink available in the market.
  • Coconut water has a much better composition of minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc compared to oranges and other fruits.
  • It is a very good source of B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates.
  • It is loaded with sufficient amount of electrolyte potassium.  In fact, every 100ml of coconut water contains 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium. These electrolytes replenish what is lost in diarrhea.  Studies have shown that the osmolarity of tender coconut water is a bit greater than what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for oral rehydration therapy (ORT) osmolarity.
  • Coconut water contains little amount of vitamin C and approximately 2.4 mcg of RDA.

Possesses cytokinins.  Coconut water has been found to contain cytokinins, such as kinetin and trans-zeatin, elements that possess anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties.

Low on fat.  Hmmm, this might be what you want to hear. The water of a young coconut is ideal for the weight conscious among you. It’s very low in fat. Besides, it helps you feel full, thus reducing your cravings for more food.

Anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Coconut water helps keep flu, fever, herpes, and other ailments at bay. It can even stop all kinds of adverse drug reactions.  Likewise, it is effective in the treatment of damages due to improper administration of anti-microbial agents.  Coconut water is also effective in calming nervous and emotional imbalances.

Helps break down kidney and bladder stones.  Regular intake of coconut water eases kidney and bladder problem. It breaks down the stones into tiny bits so that they can be flushed down easily during urination.

Detoxifying agent.  Coconut water possesses a very strong, if not the strongest antidote against any form of poison infusion in the body.  It has the capability to neutralize the effect of poison in the blood.

These are but few of the many healthful benefits that you and I can get from coconut water.  If you haven’t tried this drink yet, you better get a bottle or two from your local store. Or, if you are somewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, you can actually buy a fresh coconut at the market.

Coco toyo: condiment from coconut water


 

Soy sauce is one of the most important condiments that Filipinos cannot live without.  It’s the primary ingredient to the ever popular adobo dish.  And I bet you even have a favorite commercial brand that you can readily get from the supermarket or the nearest sari-sari store.  But, how about trying to make your own version of soy sauce? From coconut water, I mean.

coco water - toyoThere are significant bases why a coconut tree is called ‘the tree of life’. From its roots to the utmost tip of its leaves, you will surely find some good uses of a coconut. It provides several health benefits to mankind, as well as  hefty economic returns to those who cultivate it.

But, perhaps not many people are yet aware of the full potentials of coconut. Take for example the coconut water.  Even if most of us know of the amazing health benefits of this refreshing drink, it was only recently discovered that coconut water can also make a tasty and delightful condiment that can even be turned into an income-generating resource.  In fact, many coconut farmers today still discard this fluid when they do copra production.

Recent studies have found that coconut water can make very good substitute for the soybean-based sauce.  It is very easy to prepare, too.  You just collect a liter of coconut water and sift the tiny particles away.  Boil the coconut water in a pan for an hour or until the liquid thickens and turned dark.  Then, remove it from the fire.  Once cool, you may transfer your coconut soy sauce to a bottle container for proper storage.

That’s all it takes to make a healthy home-made condiment!

Aside from being healthy, coconut soy sauce, or coco toyo, does not necessarily have to contain preservatives; and it can last for around six months. It also does not require any additive to enhance its flavor because its natural taste is delicious enough.

Not only that!  You may even want to market it. It does not require huge capital to start a coco toyo  business.  Besides, it is now high time that we should turn to healthy eating habits and lifestyle.

Here is how to make “coco toyo”.  [Acknowledgement to Ms. Karren M. Verona, Executive Producer of Agri Tayo Dito TV program on ABS-CBN, who supplied this procedure]

coco toyo

Ingredient:

      2 liters coconut water (Be sure that it is fresh and from any foreign particles)

Procedure:
  1. Put the coconut water into a pre-heated pan.
  2. Stir it constantly for about 10 minutes.
  3. Cover the pan and let boil.  Leave for 20 – 25 minutes.
  4. Stir the coconut water again.  This time the water must have already changed color from clear to light brown.
  5. Wait until the water becomes caramelized (or black).  Let cool, and store it in a clean bottle or other container.

See also Coconut water

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