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The Coconut Tree Has Been Called “The Tree of Life” – Here’s Why

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Published: 4th of June, 2023 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: April 15, 2024 at 17:23 pm

The coconut tree is a part of Guyana’s rich flora and also a part of the country’s rich cultural heritage. The two major ethnic groups, East Indians and Africans, have made very good use of the coconut tree. Other ethnic groups might have also utilized the coconut tree, but to a lesser extent. Historical records show very little affiliation of the Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese, and Amerindians with the coconut tree. In addition to the hectares upon hectares of coconut farms across the country of Guyana, almost every Guyanese has several coconut trees growing within the yard space of their home.

The coconut tree has been called the “tree of life” in Guyana and elsewhere around the world. There are some very good reasons for this. Aside from bearing a healthy and great tasting fruit, the coconut tree provides an abundance of conveniences for humans. Almost every part of the coconut tree can be productively utilized. On top of that, the coconut tree grows easily on almost any type of soil. It requires very little care and water, and can survive very harsh conditions. The coconut tree is also very easy to plant, and is pretty much self-perpetuating. When a dried coconut falls to the ground and is left there for several months, it starts to take root and grow into a whole new coconut tree. While still a young plant, it can be removed from its original location by carefully digging under the roots and then transplanting it to another location.

The Africans have been known to traditionally use coconut milk, produced from the meat of dried coconuts, to make cook-up rice, vegetable soup, and a wide variety of other dishes. Other coconut-rich products gifted to Guyana by the Africans include coconut buns, red bread also called “salara,” and cassava pone.

The East Indians on the other hand have imported the Indian tradition of shredding the coconut leaves to make broom. They too have used coconut milk and grated coconut jelly in a wide variety of dishes and food products.

The coconut itself is full of nutrients. Coconut water, which is sold across the country at “coconut stands,” gives a natural energy boost. It also helps fight and protect against a wide range of diseases and potential illnesses. Coconut water is used for example, to help prevent and even remove kidney stones. It also has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. The meat of the young coconut, also called “coconut jelly,” is equally healthy and tasty.

In Guyana, the leaves of the coconut tree are shredded to make coconut broom which does an awesome job dusting the floor. The trunk of the coconut tree has been used in olden times to make canoes and the branches were used to make oars. Burst the trunk and you will find the heart of the coconut tree which is also edible and highly nutritious.

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils in the world and is beneficial to the skin, hair, eyes, and digestive system. Coconut oil has been recommended by herbal medicine advocates to combat a wide range of human ailments.

The shell of the dried coconuts, due to its high oil content, makes a powerful combustible, and is often used to fuel fire in outdoor cooking. Further, the husk of the dried coconuts can be burned as a mosquito repellent in outdoor settings. The fiber from the dried coconuts as well as the fiber from the trunk has been for agricultural purposes.

In the video below, a beautiful young woman eats the heart of a fallen coconut tree.

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