Cocos nucifera L.

Nota de alcance

Parte empleada: fruto.
Usos: para el cabello y desparasitar.
Preparación: para desparasitar, preparar un licuado de agua de coco, con unas hojas de epazote y semillas de calabaza. Esto se toma por tres días en ayunas.


Agua del fruto: Diurético


Cultivo pantropical.

Fruto Galactógeno: comer el endosperma del fruto ayuda a la producción de leche materna en las madres que dan de lactar.

Nota de alcance (en)

Origin and historic background
Just as doubtful as the etymology of Cocos is the origin of the plant. The case of a Central American origin has been debated, but an Eastern origin is more likely, as in the East a far larger range of varieties exists and fossil nuts of a Cocos species were found in the Pliocene deposits at Mangonui, New Zealand. The coconut palm was probably introduced to Puerto Rico by the Spaniards, but it seems certain that the coconut preceded the white man on the Pacific shores of Central America. Whatever may have been the original center of coconut evolution, a subsequent question is, how did it become disseminated all over the tropical regions. It is supposed that it was partly brought by man, but that also the ocean current cooperated in dissemination and that coconuts are able to float in sea water for Fig. 199.

Ethnobotanical and general use

Nutritional use
Toddy is obtained from the unopened spathe of the inflorescence when wounded; it yields a sap rich in sugars and vitamin B and is used fresh as a drink; syrups and jaggery sugar may also be manufactured from it. When fermented, the sap becomes an alcoholic drink which can be distilled to arrack. By exposure of the alcoholic sap to air, the alcohol is converted into acetic acid and vinegar is thus obtained. Coconut milk obtained from unripe fruits is a refreshing drink in the tropics. It can be condensed into a very pleasant substitute for cream. Coconut milk is also used for tissue culture in the laboratory. The fresh milk contains sugars and a small percentage of oil and protein, as well as vitamins (B, C) and minerals (K, P, Mg). The dried solid endosperm is used to make sweets, biscuits, pastries, and confectionary in general. The grated material is similar to copra, but has a lower moisture content and a higher oil content and is of a finer quality. 'Cabbage' and 'apple' are luxury foods. The cabbage is derived from young leaf buds which are consumed as vegetable; the apple is the common name of the haustorium of the embryo. 'Copra' is the dried solid endosperm used in commerce. Coconut oil is expressed from copra. Good copra has an oil content of 60-65%. Cooking fat, margarine, soap and other cosmetics are manufactured from the oil.

Medical use
In certain tropical regions, roots, bark, wax, flowers and fruits are used medically. The bark may be used as a dentifrice and and antiseptic. The ash is employed for scabies. The soft, downy substance from the lower leaf surface is used as a styptic. The astringent roots are employed in dysentery and intestinal ailments. Coconut water is used as a diuretic and an antihelmintic. All parts of the plant are thus used in one way or another, several parts have many applications. Commercially the fruit is however the most important organ of the plant. When unripe, the fruit has a smooth shining green skin which becomes yellow at maturity. Unripe fruits yield coconut water or milk, originating from the fluid endosperm. In this stage, a thin white and fleshy layer surrounds a cavity filled with sap. But as the fruit matures the soft and milky endosperm becomes solid. Coir of good quality is obtained from unripe fruit, being harvested when the fruit is still green. The fruit inesocarp is first subject to a rotting process lasting for about one year during which the parenchymatous connecting tissue is broken down by fermentation. The material is then beaten to remove the remnants mechanically. The waste of coir, mainly composed of parenchyma, is thus separated from the fiber which corresponds to entire vascular bundles or to fiber bundles. In the mature fruit, the endosperm is solid and the commercial copra is obtained from it. The main product of copra is the coconut oil; as the oil is expressed from the endosperm, the residues i. e. the remaining cell material forms the coconut cake.

Fruit, leaf, oil, (often from "young coconut"): bad belly, colds, cough, diabetes, diarrhea, headache, heart, pain, parasite, pressure, purge


Uses: healing, dengue, kideny                                                 

Origin: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guaiana, Gabon, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela                 


Root: Boiled with Ruellia tuberosa root for bladder ailments. Used for hemorrhage in NW Guyana.

Stem: Palm heart poultice for ulcers.

Fruit: Used in treatment of hypertension in NW Guyana.

Seed: Used as oil for skin in NW Guyana.

Fruit and Seed: Grated coconut meat yields oil which is rubbed on babies for soft skin, also to promote hair growth and soothe furuncles. Water in fruit is drunk to clean the kidneys. Coconut fibers made into a tea for regulating blood pressure. Seed oil used as a febrifuge, laxative, and to treat grippe. Juice is drunk with molasses and sour orange to treat colds. Oil is drunk plain or mixed with salt for gout, rheumatism, coughs and colds.

Part unspecified: Used for treating typhoid and earache, by Amerindians at Kurupukari, Guyana.

Origin: Native to the Pacific.

Pharmacological Activities: Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antineoplastic, Antioxidant, Antiprotozoal, Antiviral, Hypoglycaemic, Hypolipidaemic, Hypotensive, Immunomodulatory and Antitrichomonal.

Cultivated chiefly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Water from tender fruit—cooling, used in thirst, fever, urinary disorders, gastroenteritis, and asasourceof K for cholera patients.
Fruit—stomachic, laxative, diuretic, styptic, sedative; useful in dyspepsia and burning sensation.
Oil from endosperm—antiseptic; used inalopecia.
Root—astringent; used inurinary and uterine and disorders.

Nota bibliográfica (en)

1) South American medicinal plants : botany, remedial properties, and general use / I. Roth, H. Lindorf. Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2002. -- p. 492.

2) Barret, Bruce Economic Botany vol. 48, nro. 1 .-- p. 8-20 1994

3) Geraldini , Isanete, Journal of Ethnopharmacology v. 173, 2015 . -- p. 383-423

4) Robertt, A., et al.. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana)/Smithsonian NMNH. cited online: 17-08-2017.

5) Plantas medicinales de La Matamba y El Piñonal, municipio de Jamapa, Veracruz/ Escamilla Pérez, Blanca Edith; Moreno Casaola, Patricia. INECOL: Mexico, 2015, 99p.

6) Escalona Cruz, José Luis; et al/ Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales vol. 20, no 4. 2015. p -- 429 - 439

7) A guide to medicinal plants / Hwee Ling, Koh; Tung Kian, Chua; Chay Hoon, Tan. Singapore:  World vScientific Public Co. Pte. Ltd., 2009. p 289 p.

8) Mejía, Kember; Rengifo, Eisa /Plantas medicinales de uso popular en la Amazonía Peruana.-- Lima : Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional, 2000. -- p. 286

9) Khare, C.P./ Indian Medicinal Plants. -- Nueva Dheli: Springer, 2007 . - p. 836.

Cocos nucifera L.
Término aceptado: 30-Dic-2016