Coconut water, also known as the “fluid of life,” is the nutrient-dense and mineral-rich sap found in the center of a coconut!
The coconut is the fruit or seed of the coconut palm tree and contains a liquid that people in many regions of the world have deemed nutritious and even therapeutic.
The coconut is unique in that it has essential minerals and ocean trace minerals naturally available in its sap.
Most farmland is over-used and deficient in dietary minerals. The vegetables and fruit generated on this land simply do not have the essential chemical elements that our bodies require. Because the coconut palm prefers soil that has a moderately high degree of salinity, it is generally found along the tropics. Its affinity for the shoreline means that this generous seed can provide us with both essential dietary minerals and many trace minerals. (1)
The rich mineral profile of coconut water has made it a popular sports drink.
Coconut water contains a high amount of potassium, chlorides, calcium, and magnesium. These are essential minerals that our body needs for certain functions, such as metabolism, and they also serve as electrolytes. Because of this, coconut water can replace the valuable electrolytes that are lost during vigorous physical activity.
Coconut water is also a popular hangover remedy. Alcohol inhibits antidiuretic hormone (ADH, also called vasopressin) and therefore prompts the body to eliminate more fluid than it otherwise would. This can result in slight dehydration, and coconut water immediately restores electrolytes lost from alcohol consumption.
In tropical areas, it has been reported that 5 million children die every year due to diarrhea and subsequent dehydration. The mineral profile of coconut water is so similar to human plasma, that doctors have actually injected it intravenously to prevent dehydration. (2)
Inside an unopened coconut, the water is sterile and free of any bacteria, fungus, or parasite. It can be safely injected directly into the bloodstream without harming the blood cells and is non-allergenic. This was a common practice in WWII and during Vietnam, when intravenous solution was in short supply. A patient can safely receive as much as one quarter to one third of the patient’s body weight in coconut water intravenously. (3)
Anecdotes from Thailand and the Pacific Islands give coconut water the reputation of a potent tonic that enhances libido and virility in both men and women. Coconut water from young, green coconuts has the mosttonifying properties, rather than those that are mature, which are identifiable by the coarse brown husk on the exterior.
In the Philippines, buko juice has effective clinical applications.
Coconut water has clinically been found to dissolve kidney stones. This remedy is especially popular in the Philippines, where coconut water is known as buko juice. According to Dr. Makalalag, coconut water can be injected directly into the urethral catheters in order to dissolve or reduce the size of a stone. Patients may also drink the juice 2 – 3 times a week and still receive therapeutic value. Dr. Makalalag reports that of 1,670 patients who have had chronic reoccurrence of kidney stones within a ten-year period, only 13% continued producing kidney stones when on “buko therapy.” And of that 13%, all patients passed small and relatively painless stones. (4)
Here in the US, some patients who suffer from chronic kidney stones take pharmaceutical grade potassium citrate to prevent the kidney stones from forming. The high amount of naturally occurring potassium in coconut water acts in a similar way to potassium citrate in inhibiting the formation of kidney stones.
Coconut water can also alleviate glaucoma. Glaucoma is related to elevated pressure in the eye, which eventually damages small blood vessels and the optic nerve. Presently, the most common way to treat glaucoma is with medicated eye drops that block adrenaline-like substances and reduce the production of aqueous humor. As with any drug that blocks an essential chemical pathway, there are many serious side-effects associated with this form of medication. Oral ingestion of coconut water offers a natural and harmless way to remedy glaucoma that also benefits the body in other ways. The effect of coconut water on glaucoma lasts for about 2.5 hours. (5)
Water from young, green coconuts is regarded as superior in both taste and quality. Coconut water has been shown to act as an antioxidant, protecting hemoglobin in the blood from nitrate-induced oxidation. Its antioxidant value is diminished when the coconut water is treated with heat or processed. (6)
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Not only is coconut water delicious, but it is rich in nutrients and minerals to provide a number of therapeutic benefits. Coconut water is unique because it contains essential minerals in its sap, and it is also full of necessary electrolytes to prevent dehydration and enhance sports performance. Coconut water is completely sterile and can be taken intravenously to alleviate dehydration, and it is also often used as a natural remedy for a low libido. Additionally, coconut water has been proven to dissolve kidney stones and even remedy glaucoma without any of the side effects of conventional medications. To receive all of these health benefits and more, make sure that you enjoy water from young, green, coconuts that are fresh-frozen within two days of harvest, like our new Body Ecology Coconut Water!
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