Coconut / Buko Herbal Medicine

10+ Surprising Health Benefits from Coconut / Buko (Cocos nucifera) that you should know..

Coconut / Buko (Cocos nucifera). In most Pacific islanders, is called the tree of life for its versatility of use. Almost every part of the Coconut / buko tree has good use as seen in many domestic, commercial and industrial applications. It is also valued in traditional medicine for the many health benefits it provide, from graying hair to cancer. We shall examine in this article how they are used and what are the scientific basis if any.


Scientific Name: Cocos nucifera

Common Names: Cocos nucifera

The Coconut / Buko tree ;(Cocos nucifera), is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) The Coconut / Buko tree is of the genus Cocos. The Coconut / Buko tree or Coconut / Buko palm can be found in rainforests and countries with tropical climate such as in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. In the United States, Coconut / Buko tree can be found in Hawaii, the Southern tip of Florida, and the Virgin Islands.

The Coconut / Buko tree has erect graceful gray colored trunk, swollen at the base and grows slightly curved. The truck is ringed due to old leaf scars and is smooth. The Coconut / Buko tree is topped by a crown composed of about 25 to 30 pinnate feather-like leaves that are about 6 feet wide and 18 feet long. There are about 200 leaflets in every leaf, colored yellow green when young and as it matures turned to brown. The Coconut / Buko leaves are shed as it grows old and young new shoots grows from the top most of the crown.

Coconut / Buko flowers start to bloom when the Coconut / Buko is about 4 to 6 years of age. The Coconut / Buko flowers are yellow and are sweet scented. The flowers grow in clusters from a branched stalked with both male and female flowers growing from the same inflorescence.

The flower buds turned to Coconut / Buko fruits that grow to a large nut like shape about 10 inches in diameter and about 12 inches in length. The fruit is commonly called as Coconut / Buko . The Coconut / Buko has a smooth hard protective outer layer, usually green, but others may be pale yellow, silver-gold or brown depending on variety and age. Coconut / Buko fruit has a husk of about 1 to 2 inches thick with an inner hollow round seed of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter. The Coconut / Buko seed has a hard shell that when cracked open will reveal a layer of white edible meat and about a glassful of sweet watery Coconut / Buko milk. A matured Coconut / Buko tree can produce about 50 to 200 Coconut / Buko s per year depending on variety and growing conditions.

Coconut / Buko Health Benefits as in Traditional Medicine

Traditional Health Benefits of Coconut / Buko

Coconut has long been used in traditional medicine for almost any kind of illness and almost all parts have their uses. Among these health benefits are as follows.

  • Antifungal and antimicrobial treatment for skin and mouth problems such as ring worms, candidiasis, psoriasis, sores, skin burns, sunburns, toothache, sore throat and ulcers.
  • Coconut oil is massage over the skin as anti ageing regimen to keep  skin soft and youthful looking. Used as oil massge to remove heel cracks and darkening of armpits.
  • Coconut  oil is used to treat scalp and hair problems. From greying hair, dandruff  to baldness.
  • Coconut oil is an antidote for pesticide poisoning
  • Coconut water is used to treat colitis, kidney stones, and stomach acidity.
  • Coconut water is also used as diuretic to improve removal of excess water.
  • Coconut water is used for the treatment of urinary tract, gall bladder and kidney problems.
  • Used for the treatment of catarrhal inflammation associated with common colds and coughs.
  • Consume the flesh of Coconut with Coconut Milk and Honey. It increases libido in both men and women.
  • Coconut water is used to treat measles.

Science Based Health Benefits from Coconut / Buko Herbal Medicine

Coconut / Buko has many claims of health benefits in traditional medicine. Only recently that laboratory studies and researches has been made to verify its effectivity and science has uphold some its claims as cure for many health problems.

Coconut health benefit 1: Immune System Booster

  • Coconut oil is good for the immune system.
  • Coconut water is now considered as a potent nutritional source that can boost energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.

Coconut health benefit 2: Aids the digestive system

  • Coconut has been found to improve digestion and hasten the absorption of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Coconut is also effective in expelling parasites such as tapeworms and lice

Coconut health benefit 3: Antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal actions.

  • The coconut oil contains antimicrobial lipids, capric acid, caprylic acid and lauric acid that are known to possess antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
  • Coconut helps strengthen the immune system by converting lauric acid into monolaurin which limits the activities of viruses that cause diseases such as influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, and even AIDS.
  • Coconut also fights bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori that are causes of diseases such as throat infections, gum disease, ulcers, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea.
  • Coconut is also used in the treatment of fungi and yeast infections such as ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash and candidiasis.

Coconut health benefit 4: Skin and Hair Care

  • Coconut oil is widely used to promote healthy growth of hair.
  • Coconut is traditionally used to treat baldness, dandruff and head lice,
  • Coconut oil is used as hair conditioner to nourish damaged hair.
  • Coconut oil is also used as topical applicant for wounds and burns to lubricate skin and to protect from infections.
  • Reduces symptoms associated to psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. It also helps to soften the skin and relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Coconut is also used as a protection against the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Coconut health benefit 5: Prevents Heart disease

There is a misconception about coconut oil that has been propagated long since being high in saturated fats that can cause heart diseases. In the contrary, recent researches have shown that the saturated fats found in coconut oil is a type of unique fat molecule known as medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that actually prevents heart diseases. The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil increases the HDL level (good cholesterol) while lowering the LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood thus improving the ratio of HDL to LDL which is the basis for heart disease risks. The p-Coumaric acid in coconut oil prevents the formation of arterial plaque by preventing the stickiness of the blood platelet, lowering the blood pressure and reducing the risk of damaging the arteries and preventing the development of atherosclerosis.

Coconut health benefit 6: Aids weight loss

The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are readily burned into energy preventing the formation of fats. This process also relieves the pancreases of stress, making it more efficient, increasing the body metabolism, thereby burning more energy that results to weight reduction. This likewise reduces the symptoms of pancreatitis. Furthermore, coconut oil is easy to digest helping the thyroid and the enzyme system to function properly as well. In a study done on women who were given coconut oil supplementation for 12 weeks as compared to those given with soybean oil have indicated that women who took 30 milliliters of coconut oil daily have lower body mass index and reduced waist line.

Coconut health benefit 7: Antioxidant and anti-cancer

  • Coconut oil extracted by cold press process or commonly called virgin coconut oil naturally contains Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ferulic and p-Coumaric acids that are known as potent antioxidants.
  • The antioxidants in coconut helps protect the body from free radicals that are the primary cause of premature aging, degenerative disease and even cancer.
  • Coconut oil is traditionally used to protect the body against colon, breast and other cancers.
  • The antioxidative property of coconut oil also protects other essential fatty acids in the body from oxidation.

Other health benefits

  • Coconut oil helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes by improving insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  • Reduces epileptic seizures.
  • Coconut water is good for urinary, kidney and bladder problems.
  • Helps prevent liver disease.
  • Coconut improves the absorption of calcium and magnesium that supports bone development that is beneficial for osteoporosis prevention.
  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.

Coconut / Buko Herbal Medicine Preparations, Usage and Side Effects

Coconut / Buko Herbal Preparation and Usage

  • Coconut / Buko meat can be used in cooking along with other vegetables and meat or can be eaten raw.
  • Coconut water is best consumed fresh after the coconut is opened it is taken as supplement to water intake. It can also be used to wash skin problems and as mouth wash.
  • One teaspoon of coconut oil can be mixed with a glass of milk, coffee or other drinks.
  • Coconut oil may be applied and massaged directly to the affected area.
  • Virgin coconut oil can be taken one teaspoon at a time, twice a day.

Where can I get Coconut / Buko ?

Fresh coconut is available in most Asian and Indian grocery stores and markets.
Fresh coconut should be consumed immediately upon opening to benefit from its natural properties. Fresh coconut water can be refrigerated up to 12 hours in a tightly sealed container to maintain its freshness.

You can make your own virgin coconut oil as follows:

coconut oil
  1. Crack to open a mature (brown) coconut
  2. Scrape the white meat off the shell
  3. Cut and shred into fine pieces using a blender / food processor
  4. Filter and extract the juice into a clean jar using a clean cloth.
  5. Let it stay in a cold place for 24 hours to separate the oil from the curd
  6. Remove and dispose of the the curd and harvest the oil.

Virgin coconut / buko oil are now available in many health sotres even in some grocery and super markets. If you can't find one in your area, online stores such as Amazon carry a few listings such as Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Just llok out for a reputable manufacturer and follow the instructions found in the label for safe use.

Coconut / Buko Herb Warnings and Side Effects

coconut water
  • Fresh Coconut Water is one of the best natural drinks there is.
  • There is no known or reported side effect fro its use and consumption.
  • Coconut water is safe even for children and pregnant women.
  • Moderate use of virgin coconut oil or coconut oil extracted by cold press has no known side effects.

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Article last reviewed: 10.10.2016