Coconut, Cocos nucifera L., is a tree that is cultivated for its multiple utilities, mainly for its nutritional and medicinal values. The various products of coconut include tender coconut water, copra, coconut oil, raw kernel, coconut cake, coconut toddy, coconut shell and wood based products, coconut leaves, coir pith etc. Its all parts are used in someway or another in the daily life of the people in the traditional coconut growing areas. It is the unique source of various natural products for the development of medicines against various diseases and also for the development of industrial products. The parts of its fruit like coconut kernel and tender coconut water have numerous medicinal properties such as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antidermatophytic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, immunostimulant. Coconut water and coconut kernel contain microminerals and nutrients, which are essential to human health, and hence coconut is used as food by the peoples in the globe, mainly in the tropical countries. The coconut palm is, therefore, eulogised as 'Kalpavriksha' (the all giving tree) in Indian classics, and thus the current review describes the facts and phenomena related to its use in health and disease prevention.
Copyright © 2011 Hainan Medical College. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.