Thursday, 18 August 2011

The History behind Coconuts

The modern coconut as we know it was known to have existed 37 to 57 million years ago during the Eocene Period in India and Australia. The origin of the coconut plant is the subject of debate since some scientific research suggests the Pacific Ocean or Indian Ocean. While others see the origin in north western South America since the ‘Nipa’ fruit which is one example of an older palm fossil that has been found.

Coconut palms are the most familiar palm from the tropic which used to be a wild plant and has been spread by human activity and currents in the ocean. In the present day it has become a part of everyday life in many places for its resources like food, shelter and fuel.

Coconuts were even used as currency for the purchase of goods right up till the beginning of the 20th century, on the Nicobar Island (Indian Ocean). Coconut palms were mentioned in written scripts 2,000 years ago in India.


The coconut finally became known in the 16th century when Vasco de Gama brought the nut back from the Indian Ocean. In Portuguese, ‘coco’ means ‘grinning face’ or ‘monkey face’ resembling the three dark circles on the outer.  In 1755, Samuel Johnson published his English language Dictionary with the fruit spelled ‘cocoanut’. Many people was confused and thought that Johnson had confused cacao beans with nuts. Eventually when chocolate was introduced into England, the “a” was left out and sometimes spelt with a hyphen ‘Coco-nut’.

Coconut Water

Natural coconut water has been a popular choice of drink because of it natural rehydration properties, it is also packed with natural vitamins and minerals.Throughout World War ll Coconut water was given to injured soldiers as an alternative to saline which led to saving endless amounts of soldiers lives. Hunters, fisherman, farmers and labourers throughout South America and Asia have been drinking coconut water for many years to boost their physical and mental performance. This ancient reputation has been passed down through the generations. 

More about coconut water in my next posting.