The Tree of Life

Who doesn’t love palm trees? Just thinking of them brings me to a tropical state of mind. Sunny beach, ocean breeze, salty air… are you there yet? 🙂

Palm trees are just one of the many amazing things our planet has to offer, in particular, the Coconut Palm Tree – also called “The Tree of Life”. It’s the only tree on earth of which every part can be used.

The Coconut Palm Tree provides almost everything you need, to live in the tropics: food, drink, shade, shelter, clothing, fuel and much more. Over the years its value has only increased as coconuts and its by-products became more popular.

My wonderful business partner in Vietnam was born and raised in the “Coconut Capital” of Vietnam. For the locals in Vietnam, coconut trees are so much more than a “tropical state of mind” or a “beautiful view”. Coconut trees have a special place in their <>hearts, and they are very important in their cultural and economic life because the export of coconut products brings great economic efficiency and local jobs.

Many people have heard about coconut products like coconut oil and coconut milk, but all parts of the tree, are used to produce more functional products. Here’s an overview:

Coconut water
Fresh or canned coconut water is used for drinking and cooking. It’s tasty, refreshing and loaded with important nutrients.

Coconut shell
While many coconut shells around the world are discarded and burned as waste, there has been an increase in using them to make activated carbon charcoal or normal coal. Coconut shells with a nice shape are suitable to make handicraft products, like coconut bowls or lighting holders.

Coconut husk
Coconut husk is the part of the coconut which found around the outer shell. The husks are used in many different ways, like as fuel and as a source of charcoal. When the husk is soaked in salt water, the fibers are separated to produce “coir”, a natural fiber made from coconut husks. It’s used to make all kinds of household items such as rope, brushes, string, mats, coarse clothes and much more.

Coconut leaves
coconut tree leaves are used to thatch roof for the huts or villas. Apart from thatching homes, the coconut leaves can be used for making mats, baskets, and brooms. They can also be used for creating bags, decors, shades, fans, and hats. Vietnamese also use it to make a special hat, called the “Vietnamese conical leaf hat”. It’s used as protection from sun and rain, but can also be used as a basket for shopping vegetables at the market.

Coconut tree trunks
The trunk of the tree is used to make products like our beautiful Palm Spoons and Palm Chopsticks, but also to make furniture. In some parts of the world, its even used to build houses. The natural pattern of coconut wood makes it look very unique.

Coconut roots
The roots are used to make dye. This is done by cutting the roots into pieces and boiling them in water. The coconut roots are also the source of medicine that can be used for dysentery, diarrhea and other digestive problems. It can also be used to make a mouthwash.

Coconut meat
There are two kinds of coconut meat. One is young and one is old. The young one is used to make products like coconut jam. The old one gets pressed in a machine or by hand to make coconut oil.