Coconut is commonly known as “Nariyal” and is considered as a good luck charm for new beginnings. It is full of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, vitamin C, etc.
Coconut is widely used for its oil as it has numerous skin and hair benefits. Coconut oil manages skin problems like dryness, itchiness, scars etc. as it is rich in vitamin E and has antimicrobial, antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It also promotes hair growth and prevents dandruff due to its antifungal property.
According to Ayurveda, applying Coconut oil on to the skin helps in wound healing and manages scars, blemishes, eczema, psoriasis etc. due to its Snigdha (oily) and Ropan (healing) properties. Massaging your scalp with Coconut oil helps to promote hair growth and prevents dandruff due to its Keshya (promotes hair growth) and Snigdha (oily) properties.
Drinking Coconut water helps manage weight by enhancing body’s metabolism. It maintains electrolyte balance in the body and prevents dehydration. Using virgin Coconut oil for cooking might also help manage cholesterol levels by maintaining a balance between good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.
In Ayurveda, the use of Coconut is divided according to its maturity:
1. Tender Coconut: It is a Pitta dosha-pacifier due to its Sita (cold) effect on the body. It has almost 90% water.
2. Half-mature Coconut: In this stage, Coconut contains less water than the tender ones. It is lighter on the metabolic system and has a soft pulp.
3. Fully matured Coconut: When a Coconut becomes mature, it becomes heavy to digest, and can also aggravate Pitta or Vata Dosha. This type of Coconut has firm ‘meat’ or pulp.
If fully matured Coconut is consumed in large quantities, a person might experience hyperacidity
Benefits of Coconut
Coconut is beneficial in managing high cholesterol as it is rich in phenols. Virgin Coconut oil and Coconut water also has potent antioxidant activity. This reduces oxidative cell damage and lowers the risk of high cholesterol.
High cholesterol is due to an imbalance of Pachak Agni (digestive fire). Impaired digestion at the tissue level produces excess waste products or Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion). This causes accumulation of bad cholesterol and blockage in the blood vessels. Using Coconut or Coconut oil in your daily diet helps to improve Agni (digestive fire) and reduce Ama. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. It also helps to remove blockage from the blood vessels by eliminating toxins.