The coconut, according to fossil records, has been in existence for possibly 80 million years, around the early Cenozoic period. Its role in prehistoric growth and migration in the tropics has no comparison in the plant kingdom.
Extolled for its many virtues as a source of food, water, construction materials and fuel, coconut oil has played a major role in basic human existence.
In recent times, however, coconut oil was considered the most villainous of fats in the world. This misconception is changing rapidly.
Misunderstood and criticized, it was portrayed as the chief cause of clogged arteries and bad cholesterol.
Buried in medical journals and never brought to light until a few years ago, coconut is now enjoying its long-delayed place in the spotlight of good health.
Trust nature to provide us with all we need of things healthy and life-supporting.
While modern medicine has extended our life expectancy with breakthroughs in science and technology, there is a new consciousness sweeping the world—the return to nature. Thus the search for superfoods that can enhance our new wellness lifestyle.
Popular among the superfoods are acai, the violet berry from the Amazon; maqui, the blue-purple berry from the Patagonia region; and goji berry from the Himalayas. Practically every berry, including blueberries, contains phytochemicals (the powerful essence of plants) that has been determined to be the source of their health benefits.
Then there are the sprouts—alfalfa and radish, including wheatgrass, whose life-giving nutrients are considered a must in health circles.
Consider herbs and spices like turmeric (luyang dilaw, used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to cleanse and heal respiratory problems, tremors), garlic oil (called the natural antibiotic), chili as an immune booster, and ginger as a digestive balm and metabolism-stimulant.
And the list continues. Enter coconut oil.
Virgin coconut oil has been the subject of extensive studies by many respected doctors, among them Dr. Bruce Fife, whose 15-year research and surveys can be found in Pub Med, the largest database of medical science in the US National Library of Medicine (http://www.pubmed.gov).
Credited to Dr. Fife are several books on the coconut. In the Philippines, renowned for his pioneering efforts to study and promote the coconut was Dr. Conrado Dayrit, who wrote the first edition of the book on coconut oil, elevating coconut oil from traditional folk medicine to hard-core science.
Why and how did the coconut deserve its name as the tree of life? Look at its many uses: