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History of Coconut

History of CoconutSuch a tall impressive tree with a large fruit and an abundance of health benefits must have been refreshed and nourished people since olden times.

Many historic records show varying accounts of the origin of the coconut. The word coconut was first mentioned in an English print in 1555 coined by Spanish and Portuguese explorers who saw what resembled a coco (monkey face) in the fruit of the tall trees found in the tropical islands they visited. These were probably looking at the three distinct round holes at surface of the large hard fruit.

Coconuts are believed to have originated in South Asia particularly in the Ganges Delta In India though there are studies which point towards South America where fossil evidence prove that coconuts also grew there in prehistoric times. Fossils in New Zealand also prove that the palm thrived along this country's coast 15 million years ago. The oldest fossils however were discovered in Kerala, South India and Khulna, Bangladesh.

Other documented accounts debate on the exact origin but one thing agreed upon by most coconut history experts is that these sturdy fruits have travelled across the world either through human intervention with seafaring explorers bringing the large fruits back to their countries from the island they visited. The proliferation of trees especially along sandy coastlines could most likely also be due to the light, fibrous husk of the mature fruit that allows it to float and survive immersion in salt water thus allowing them to drift along ocean currents and grow where they are eventually deposited.

In modern days, coconuts are known by botanists as Cocos nucifera. These impressively tall fruit-bearing palms are extensively grown and utilized in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Polynesian islands. These trees are also found in South America, India, Hawaii and Florida.

Known in Sansrit as kalpa vriksha or "tree which gives all that is necessary for living" because virtually all parts of the plant have valuable uses. Even across Asia, especially in the Philippines where coconut is one of the most harvested agricultural products, it is regarded by the farmers, manufacturers and consumers as the "tree of life" indicating the consistency of its value across different nations.

From the roots to the leaves, the coconut tree has been used as a wood source, fuel, fiber and raw material for a multitude of products from handicrafts, décor, gardening medium, ropes, nets and much more.

For most people though, its infinite culinary uses of the coconut water, milk meat, sugar and oil that have propelled it to its present day importance as an agricultural product.