Coconut delight

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In Vietnam, the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre is famous for the abundance of coconuts that grow there.

The flesh of the fruit is sweet and tasty while the coconut milk inside is refreshing.

The fruit is used in oriental medicine because the milk is rich in nutrients, Vitamin B and minerals. It is also believed to act as a diuretic, fight fever, promote good health and stop bleeding. Coconut can also be used to help with sunburn, vomiting and nosebleeds.

Meanwhile, drinking coconut milk on a regular basis is good for the heart; it can also help with worms. Coconut milk is often drunk by people suffering from diarrhea because it is rich in magnesium and potassium. Young coconuts contain enzymes that aid digestion and the milk from a six to seven-week-old coconut is the most nutritious.

Coconut flesh can be used to stop any tendon or bone pain, stomach ulcers, hepatitis, dysentery, hemorrhoids, diabetes and colitis. Coconut root helps with nosebleeds, vomiting, cholera and bleeding. Coconut is also a beauty fruit contributing to smooth skin and shiny hair.

To follow are some remedies using coconut as a main ingredient:

- To prevent a nervous breakdown, loss of appetite, insomnia and weak health, cook 100g coconut flesh, 50g longan flesh and 150g glutinous rice with water and eat the resulting porridge.

- When your voice is hoarse, wash and grind 8g rau má (pennywort), and squeeze. Mix the liquid with a glass of coconut milk and drink.

- To tackle dysentery, wash and grind 50g rau má (pennywort) and squeeze. Mix the pennywort water with milk from one coconut. Drink once a day until symptoms cease.

- To stop vomiting, mix two bowls of coconut milk with ten drops of ginger water, and drink.

- Drink young coconut milk which acts as a diuretic and detoxifies the body.

- To get rid of fluke worms in the body, drink coconut milk and eat half a coconut before breakfast. Don't eat for three hours and stay off solids until the evening.

- To rehydrate after a heavy night of drinking and to help with joint pain, cut the upper part of the coconut off to act as a lid. Wash 20g black beans, put them in the coconut and cover with the lid. Place the coconut on a plate, and put everything into a pot containing water. Boil for four hours. Season the coconut soup with salt. You should drink it once or twice a month to stop joint pain.

Young coconut milk can be cooked with steamed glutinous rice or boiled with chicken to make a tasty meal.

Although coconut has many benefits, it is important to be aware of the following:

- Don't drink coconut milk after traveling under the sun or when tired and hungry because it will lead to fever or make you feel cold.

- Don't drink coconut milk before a sports competition.

- Only consume one coconut a day. If you drink coconut milk with a lot of ice and eat coconut flesh in the evening, you may suffer from an upset stomach.

- It is best to drink the milk straight from the coconut because it loses its flavor when removed.

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