The Coconut Blood Transfusion Myth

Monday Apr 6 | BY |
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Coconut

The coconut tree is the tree of life!

It has more uses than almost any other plant on the planet. Many islands in the South Pacific would be uninhabited if it were not for the coconut.

On remote islands, very little vegetation grows because of the coral soil and also because of the abundance of seawater.

But coconuts will grow and provide the inhabitants of these islands with food, water, fire and more.

Coconut flesh can be eaten in various stages. Young coconuts have a jellylike flesh that can be easily eaten and digested.

As the coconut ripens there is less water inside of the coconut and the flesh becomes harder and oilier. This flesh is mainly used to make coconut oil, which can be used in all kinds of things, both commercial and culinary. Coconut milk is also made from ripe coconuts.

A recently sprouted coconut can be open. Its inside reveals a delicacy that can be eaten cooked or raw. It has a spongy like texture but is very delicious.

Sprouted Coconut Meat

Sprouted coconut – a delicacy

 

Various parts of the coconut tree are also used to make:

Traditional Tahitian Roof Thatching from Coconut Leaves

Traditional Tahitian Roof Thatching from Coconut Leaves

– Traditional roof thatching
– Brooms
– Fuel
– Insect repellant
– Ropes
– Coconut flowers are used medicinally or for honey production
– And more!

One use of the coconut that has circulated in health publications is this idea that in some countries coconut water has been used for blood transfusions. I don’t really know where this idea came from but I think it was probably due to the confusion to the actually medical use of coconut water.

Coconut water has not been used for a blood transfusions, but can be used to replace electrolytes. So those electrolytes are not a blood transfusion but they have been used as an intravenous hydration fluid.

Because coconut water has an ideal composition ratio of sugar, sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes it is the perfect replenishing drink and in extreme situations could be substituted for intravenous hydration fluid.

So there you go…. Coconut water is not going to replace a blood transfusion but it can prevent dehydration and be used medically, if nothing else is available.

There are also a few myths about the coconut. One is that coconut water is a laxative. I’ve heard inhabitants of the South Pacific also avoid coconut water for this reason, even Tom Hanks, the character in the movie Castaway, mentions this but I believe this would only be the case if you had a very constipating diet then coconut water may act as a natural laxative.

If you keep yourself naturally hydrated and eat a lot of water rich foods coconut water will not have that affect on you. Certainly I know plenty of raw foodists who eat and drink a lot of coconuts and have not experienced any problems in that area.

Share your coconut stories below!

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

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