Crazy About Coconuts
Can you guess how many coconut palms there are at Coconut Grove?
Here in Port Douglas, we have an abundance of coconut palms that add to our lush tropical surrounds, more than 11,000 to be exact!
Just take a look around and you’re bound to spot them every corner you turn, which is probably why our little seaside town has been regarded the "Coconut Capital of Australia".
Often people associate coconuts with an exotic location, azure seas, soft sand & coconut trees (Port Douglas to a tee!). However, there’s so much more to the coconut than most people know, so we’ve taken the time to gather our favourite coconut facts and history to expand your general knowledge of the versatile fruit. We have also snuck in a few of our very best coconut beauty tips that you will be thanking us for.
Did you know?
Coconuts can float across the ocean, wash up onto other shores and plant their roots again. There have been cases where individual coconuts have travelled as far as Scandinavia!
- You can use the term coconut to refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit. Also, the coconut fruit is actually a drupe as opposed to a nut! This brings it into the same family of fruits such as plums, cherries, almonds and olives.
- On average, the coconut palm bears fruit for 15 to 60 years. However, if the palm is kept in ideal conditions, fruit production can go for as long as 80 years! The maximum age of the coconut palm is between 100 and 120 years.
- Coconut trees can grow up to 5-18 metres.
A Bit of History
Are you a history lover? Here are a couple of historical facts to feed your addiction...
It’s obvious to see the coconut has had quite an impact on our history and they are still going strong in the present. We think they are well deserving of their hype.
- Going back to the 16th Century, the coconut was originally given the name ‘coco’. Coco was a Spanish word for a mask used to frighten children. Apparently the three holes and beard of the nut suggested a face!
- Believe it or not, coconuts were even used in the World Wars! In World War I, gas mask manufacturers in the US discovered that masks using coconut carbon were great at filtering toxic substances. Steam-activated coconut char was created by burning coconut husks. Coconut-fired carbon is still used to clean up radiation these days! It was an important part of what was used in the cleanup project at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
- In World War II, coconut water was also used medically. Strangely enough, coconut water is a workable short-term substitute for human blood plasma! It was also positively tested as emergency intravenous fluid back in the 1940’s. Coconut water is usually sterile and when mixed with plasma, it can act alike to saline.
The Many Uses of the Coconut
- One of the most obvious uses of a coconut - cooking! Coconuts come in so many forms for cooking including coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, dessicated coconut, coconut flakes, coconut water, coconut sugar - the list goes on! Whether it's an Indian style coconut curry, a delectable dessert or a healthified coconut water smoothie - the outcome is sure to be delicious. Go and creative in the kitchen with coconuts!
- They are incredibly useful for art. Throughout history, coconuts have played an integral part in cultural performances in some of the more tropical locations of the world. The ‘maglalatik’ is a dance indigenous to the Philippines. Coconut shell halves are strapped to various parts of a male performer’s body and used as makeshift drums.
- Coconut carving is a thing too! Coconut shells are extremely tricky to cut, so this type of art requires a great deal of practice and skill, but it can be mastered. We have a local coconut carver here that creates amazing caricature - like faces on coconuts, perfect for gifts! You can find Armin at our Port Douglas Markets every Sunday morning at Anzac Park.
Now let’s get into the beauty benefits of the coconut - this list could go on for so long it would require a whole new article! I’m sure you’re aware of the recent raving around coconut oil. This seemingly new ‘fad’ is something that’s actually been tried and sworn by for many years! Ever wondered what all the fuss is about? We are here to tell you…
- Go ahead and pamper yourself using coconut oil as a moisturiser! If supple, glowing skin is your thing, you’ll love what coconut oil can do for you. Use it daily and you’re guaranteed to get the best results as it hydrates and protects the skin, improved skin tone and prevents wrinkles and skin aging.
- Coconut oil acts as a gentle makeup remover too! You can apply it directly to the face as an oil cleanser, or wipe away with a cotton pad. The oil will melt away any makeup you have on your face (including waterproof mascara!).
- Heading out to the beach? You can use coconut oil as a hair protectant! Lather the end of your locks with coconut oil before getting them wet. This will protect the fragile ends of your hair from sun, salt and chlorine and your hair will dry smooth instead of tangled. It can also helo with eczema & scalp condition, so rub it into your roots if you have these problems.
Virgin coconut oil can protect your health in so many ways. With regular intake, coconut oil can help by improving your digestion, reducing the risk of major diseases, help you lose weight and boost your energy! Studies have shown the following health benefits...
- Boosts metabolism, aids with weight loss and thyroid function.
- Can help with Diabetes by improving insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
- Improves heart health & reduces health risks associated with diabetes.
- Supports the immune system - say goodbye to the commonc cold!
- It’s anti-fungal, antiviral & antibacterial.
- Improves digestion & nutrient absorption.
- Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
- Plus so much more!
I think it's official, Coconut's are a miracle fruit that can take over the world! Check out a few more uses of this super-fruit...
- School head lice? Try a coconut oil treatment!
- Rub a little on wounds and cuts to promote healing and avoid infection.
- Given its antifungal properties, the oil can be used on any fungus.
- Use to season cast iron skillets and frying pans.
- You can make a homemade vapour rub by mixing half a cup of coconut oil with a few drops of eucalyptus and rosemary oils to rub on the chest and throat when that Winter cold strikes!
In case you were wondering - we have 24 coconut palms of our own here at Coconut Grove. Sorry to keep you hanging! ;)
Come and check out our coconut palms for yourself, click here to check our rates & availability.