Coconut is incredibly versatile. Here are some common uses.
Uses Of Coconut
Clearly coconuts aren’t native to the UK and as such, we have little idea how useful they are. Here are a few of the common uses of various parts of the tree.
This is the obvious one. Coconut milk and cream are key ingredients in many dishes. They are used particularly often in Thai food, but also other types of Asian cuisine. In addition to this, the seeds provide oil and an alcoholic drink can be gathered by tapping the tree for the fermented sap of coconut flowers. This is known as ‘toddy’ and after distillation, you get ‘arak’.
It works as it is – as a tree. Palm trees are incredibly striking with their curved trunks and their fronds fluttering in the breeze. Nothing says ‘tropical paradise’ quite like a palm tree.
The fibres from the husk of the coconut are coarse and strong. They can be woven together to create rope, sacks or matting. When used in this way, the material is known as ‘coir’ and there is a very good chance you own a coir mat.
In many countries, palm tree fronds are tied together to create a broom. They may also be used singly as fans. It is also possible to weave them to make waterproof containers, such as would be suitable for drawing water from a well.
The husks and shells are particularly good for this and they are actually a source of charcoal as well.
It’s fairly obvious if you look at one, but half a coconut shell makes a perfect bowl. Also, with the husk still on, they can be used to buff floors.
Coconut wood is good for construction and the trunks are often used as they are when building bridges. The wood is strong and also resistant to salt, which is often advantageous. Coconut is increasingly being used instead of hardwoods that are now considered endangered. In Hawaii, the trunk is also used to make drums and small canoes.
You must have seen coconut body butter at some point or other. Coconut is used in all sorts of beauty products, not just for its moisturizing qualities – it also smells nice.
It would be remiss to avoid mentioning this one. Two halves of coconut shell are absolutely perfect for mimicking the sound of a trotting horse. You’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You know it’s true.
Jill Hardlow shares her interest on natural coir matting and the best of its uses.