Coconut has been used in Ayurveda for many centuries. Apart from the culinary uses, coconut and coconut water has many health benefits mentioned in Ayurveda. The coconut palm is a nature’s wonder. In Indian culture, it is appropriately described as ‘Kalpavriksha’ (a mythological tree supposed to grant all the wishes, or the tree that provides all the necessities of life). Ayurveda divides coconut into three types based on different the stages of its life. Read on to know more about the three types of coconuts and their Ayurvedic benefits.
Ayurveda divides coconut into three types, each with different qualities:
Baal (Tender or baby coconut)
This type of coconut consist of 90 to 95 percent water. It has excellent cooling properties. It is a Pitta-dosha pacifier due to its cooling effect on the body.
(If you do not know your body type according to Ayurveda, you can check your body type and know more about the Vata, Pitta, Kapha dosha body types, by reading my other post on this topic by clicking HERE. )
Tender coconut water lubricates the dryness caused by Ama (toxins). It repairs the gastrointestinal tract, and its Snigdha (sweet) quality gives it a Pranaropana (life-restoring) capacity.
Madhyam (Half-mature coconut)
The coconut at this stage has some soft pulp in it. Madhyam coconuts have less water than tender ones. During the maturation process of the coconut, the coconut water receives the vibration of fire or agni from the Sun, so it is lighter on your metabolic system.
The middle-aged coconut is said to be the most nutritious. This type generally has more carbohydrates, protein, minerals, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C than the other two forms.
Pakva (Fully matured coconut)
This type of coconut has firm ‘meat’ or pulp in it with very little water. When a coconut becomes mature, it becomes heavy to digest, and it can also aggravate Pitta or Vata dosha. If large quantities of this type are consumed daily, a person can suffer from hyper acidity.
Benefits of Coconut and Coconut Water:
- Tender Coconut water is very effective in curing hyper-acidity with its Pitta pacifying quality. It is capable getting all the toxins out of the body and purify the digestive system. Tender coconut balances acid levels and cools the digestive system.
- Coconut has Keshya properties, which means it improves hair quality. In Southern regions of India, women massage with/apply coconut oil to their hair every day. Along with that, coconut in the form of its oil/meat is a part of their daily diet which gives them long and lustrous hair.
- Coconut water is a coolant, which makes it soothing and anti-inflammatory for your skin and gut.
- If you are suffering from dryness or heat conditions, or even simple dehydration, coconut water will cool and soothe those conditions.
- Coconut is a natural stress buster.
- Coconut water quenches even the strongest thirst.
- Coconut water is a Electrolyte rich drink, helps replenish minerals and salts as well as fluid, helping your body absorb water for relief of cellular thirst.
- Coconut water and coconut meat helps to improve skin complexion. Coconut milk and coconut meat can be applied to the skin as a face pack to improve skin texture.
Things to take into consideration while consuming coconut:
- Tender and half-matured coconuts are good for almost anyone.
- If you’re a Kapha dosha-dominated person (you body type), drinking too much of coconut water will make you feel so cool and heavy that your Kapha dosha will go out of balance, causing all sorts of health problems. If you do not know your body type according to Ayurveda, you can check your body type, and know more about the Vata, Pitta, Kapha dosha body types, by reading my other post on this topic by clicking HERE.
- As I mentioned earlier, mature coconut is heavy to digest. So when you cook mature coconut, you should cook it with spices and salt. The process of cooking adds agni to the coconut, it becomes lighter and easier on your digestion after interacting with the spices, heat, and the salt.
- People in southern/coastal regions in India eat coconut daily in the form of chutney or curry which is made up of combining spices with shredded coconut which makes it easy to digest.
- You can drink the fresh liquid that comes out of a coconut, but don’t use it in cooking. Cooking will destroy its nutrients.
This natural well-balanced fluid composition with essential Nutrients and Electrolytes would be an ideal drink, as compared to any other artificial soft drink beverage in dehydrating conditions.