Coconut (Ye Zi)
Botanical Name: Cocos nucifera
Coconut meat and coconut butter are highly nutritious and rich in fiber. Coconut milk, cream, and oil are high in healthy mid-chain triglycerides (MCTs) AKA mid-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), and coconut water provides loads of electrolytes. All coconut products are found by most people to be delicious. The fruit is made up of the shell, kernel (meat), and water. A medium-sized coconut can provide almost all daily-required essential minerals, vitamins, and energy. Coconuts are full of lauric acid, the important saturated fatty acid that increases good-HDL, helping regulate cholesterol levels in the blood. Lactose-free, it is an excellent substitute for anyone allergic to dairy or nut and grain-based milks.
Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – Is coconut heart healthy?
Below is an overview of coconut, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of coconut.
How to take FULL advantage of Coconut's healing powers...
JOIN ME in an exploration of the healing herb, Coconut (Ye Zi). Dive deep into the benefits and applications of Coconut, from Eastern and Western perspectives, and so much more!
Western Name: Coconut
Also Known As: N/A
Organs/Systems: Digestion, Skin, Muscles, Heart, Intestines
Key Actions: Nutritious, Emollient, Digestive, Hydrating, Anti-aging, Anticarcinogenic, Antioxidant, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral
Medicinal Uses: Aids digestion, iron and mineral deficiency, supports heart health, weight loss, lowers cholesterol, Crohn’s, IBS, rejuvenates skin and hair, improves blood pressure, stabilizes insulin, brain function, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, tooth decay.
Pin Yin: Ye Zi
Also Known As: Yen Ai (Coconut Milk)
Meridians: Heart, Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, Large Intestine
Key Actions: Tonifies Qi, Nourishes Blood, Tonifies Yin, Tonifies Jing, Promotes Fluids, Promotes Urination, Kills Parasites
Medicinal Uses: Strengthens muscles, aids digestion, builds stamina, supports heart health, aids weight loss, regulates blood pressure, thirst, saliva, reproductive juices, and fluids, promotes proper growth and development, urination, and lustrous skin, treats malnutrition, IBS, foggy brain, memory, Alzheimer’s, constipation, intestinal parasites.
Basic Habitat / Botany:
Coconuts belong to the large Palmaceae family of palm trees. The tall-growing tree (up to 100 feet tall) is unbranched and erect. It can live to be 75-100 years old. Several hundred cultivars are grown throughout the tropics. The fruit is round or oval-shaped with a rough outer husk that is light green. Interior to the husk is a woody brown shell enclosing inner meat (kernel-endosperm) that is bright white and fibrous and contains water in its hollow center. The coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut.
Coconuts require moist, sandy, well-drained soil and thrive along saline-rich coastal regions. They are native to the islands of Southeast Asia: the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Meat, Water, Milk, Cream, Oil, Butter, Powdered, Flour, Syrup
Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Neutral to Warming
Caution: Considered very safe.
Key Constituents: Electrolytes, Cytokinin, Enzymes (including Acid phosphatase, Catalase, Dehydrogenase, Peroxidase, and Polymerases), Minerals (including Copper, Calcium, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, and Zinc), B-complex vitamins, Vitamins (including C and E), Selenium, Potassium, Simple sugars, Saturated fat
History/Folklore: Coconut is a unique fruit in that it contains a high fat content. About 89% of the fat in its meat is saturated. Most of these are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are absorbed intact in your small intestines and used by your body to produce energy.
Many worldwide studies have proven MCTs help to increase good cholesterol while lowering the ratio of bad to good cholesterol in the body. Coconut oil helps treat malnutrition as it is easy to digest and absorb. Because of the antimicrobial properties of MCTs, coconut oil helps kill disease-causing bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and viruses. It will slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, boost metabolism and help prevent strokes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases.
Do not confuse MCTs with saturated fatty acids that may be harmful to heart health. MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) are distinctly different from the longer chain saturated fatty acids more commonly found in our diets.
Saturated fats are described as short, medium, or long, depending on their carbon chain length. They all have different effects on health. Saturated fats are sometimes mistakenly grouped with trans fats, which are synthesized from unsaturated vegetable oil through hydrogenation, creating a very unhealthy saturated fat that is known to cause heart disease, among other issues. For years health organizations recommended reducing saturated fats to promote heart health. However, natural saturated fatty acids such as MCTs are heart healthy and have many other benefits.
In fact, there is increasing evidence that no naturally produced saturated fat is necessarily unhealthy. The Inuits, for instance, thrive almost entirely on whale blubber with no heart issues. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the primary culprit for promoting heart disease is inflammation caused by high sugar consumption from processed foods in the SAD (Standard American Diet) and increasingly in other diets worldwide.
Saturated fats are found mostly in meat, cheese, milk, and coconut and palm oils. Research from around the world supports the health benefits of coconuts and the MCTs they contain. Few foods contain MCTs, so enjoying coconut oil is an excellent method for including these important fatty acids in your diet.
Research has found that coconut oil also helps prevent tooth decay as it combines with enzymes in the mouth to help kill off harmful bacteria that lead to dental problems.
Coconut milk is not the liquid inside the coconut, this is called coconut water or juice. Coconut milk is made from the expressed juice of grated coconut meat and water. Coconut cream is a richer product pressed from the meat without the water.
Coconut oil is the oil cold-pressed from coconut meat. Commercial coconut oils can vary dramatically in quality. Low-quality oil is produced by chemical extraction and is often hydrogenated (creating trans fats recognized as causing heart disease and cancer), bleached, and deodorized. High-quality oil is pure, organic, unrefined, and cold-pressed.
Coconut meat is calorie-dense but highly nutritious. It is especially rich in manganese and copper. Manganese supports enzyme function and fat metabolism and copper supports bone formation and heart health.
Coconut trees take 4-5 years or longer before they begin to produce fruit. They will produce 20-150 mature fruits a season.
The enzymes found in coconuts aid digestion and metabolism. Fiber-rich foods like coconut help control your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Coconut milk is added to a wide variety of foods from many parts of the world including Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. In Indonesia, South India, and Malaysia, rice is steamed in coconut milk with herbs and spices and served with chicken or meat curries. Coconuts were used by early Polynesian cultures on long ocean voyages as a source of water and nutrition.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, coconut milk is known for supporting the heart and aiding stamina. In general, the mainland Chinese do not make as much use of coconuts compared to those who live on the coast, where coconuts are more easily available.
The fiber from the husk is used to make ropes, mats, brushes, sacks, and fiber for mattresses. In horticulture, it is used in potting compost, especially in orchid mix. The palm fronds (or leaves) are used to make brooms and baskets. Dried coconut leaves can be burned to ash and harvested for lime. A dried husk and shell are used as fuel and to buff floors.
Coconut’s obscure origin in foreign countries led to the idea of using cups made from the shell to neutralize poisoned drinks. These cups were frequently engraved and decorated with precious metals.
Coconut oil is the main ingredient in Ayurvedic oils. It is also used to make soaps, cosmetics, hair oil, and massage oil. The best coconut oil is unrefined and unprocessed virgin coconut oil.
Coconuts are an essential element in Hindu rituals. They are often decorated with metal foil and symbols of prosperity and good fortune. Fishermen will offer coconuts to the sea for good luck and successful fishing. The Hindu goddess of well-being and wealth, Lakshmi, is often depicted holding a coconut.
Many Southeast Asian and Pacific cultures have origin myths in which the coconut plays a key role.
In the Philippines, coconut shells are filled with special foods and used as offerings to the deceased and one’s ancestors.
In the movies and on the radio, two coconuts knocked together were used to recreate the sound of horse hooves trotting along.
According to urban legend, more deaths are caused annually by falling coconuts than by sharks!
Young vs. Old
Build Muscles / Lose Fat
Coconut milk and water are full of electrolytes that help prevent dehydration, diarrhea, prevent heat strokes, heart problems, muscle aches, cramps, and low immunity.
How to use Coconut (Ye Zi) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.
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