Coconut, Tree of Life
In the Philippines, where I grew up, the coconut is very important that it is considered as the tree of life.
The basic reason is that the tree trunks, the whole fruits they bear, the leaves, in essence the whole tree can be of use to us.
Coconut is big business as well. The Philippines is a second major exporter of copra, which is dried coconut meat/flesh, a good source of coconut oil, which can be used for cooking, shampoo, and ingredients to beauty products and use for medicinal purposes..
The leaves are used to bind and wrap specialty foods like tupig, a much love dessert from the Ilocos region, where some of my ancestors lived.
The long spinedly woody part that runs through the fronds can be gathered up together to make a good stick broom called walis tingting in the Philippines.
The trunk of the tree is solid and strong hence it is known to be used in making wooden bridges and huts. In fact there is a beautiful building in the Philippines called the Coconut Palace, a project of Imelda Marcos.
The ‘water’ from a young or mature coconut fruit is a delicious thirst quencher.
The shell from the fruit can be made into charcoal.
This is my favourite, have fun polishing your floor and get good exercise by using the coconut husk.
These are just a few where you can use the coconut, the tree of life.
But having said that falling coconuts have killed more people that by shark attacks!
For the Filipino legend, click here.