When in Mombasa, Kwale or most of the Kenyan Coastal regions, one of the things bound to catch your eyes apart from the sandy beaches, is the tall elegant coconut trees. They are also referred to as palm trees. Coconuts grow exclusively in the Kenyan Coast in all of the country and are a popular snack especially for tourists visiting the region. But did you know that the coconuts of the Kenyan Coast have much more use than just being a tropical snack? Here are some of the uses.
You probably have used coconut oil for your hair or skin at some point. Whether directly or otherwise, coconut oil is perpetually being used as a major ingredient in skin and hair care products. It is believed to have vitamins and minerals that smoothen the human skin and stimulate hair growth, therefore, gaining popularity all over the world.
The coconut can be eaten and drank in different ways. For starters, the easiest way is by breaking open the coconut shell and eating what is known as coconut meat. This is the fleshy white part found inside the hard husks. Coconut milk and coconut water are also edible products of the fruit. Coconut milk is obtained by pressing the coconut meat. Coconut water also known as madafu in Swahili can be drained from a young/unripe fruit and drunk for its believed medical benefits.
The hard coconut husks are often discarded because some are fragile and easily break once the fruit is opened up. However, the husks can be used for making ornaments and other interior décor items. Some artists even make carvings on the husks thus creating environmental friendly art.
The coconut husks can also be used as alternatives to firewood and charcoal especially in rural coastal regions. The advantage of these husks as sources of energy is that they produce less smoke compared to firewood.
Wraps and Mats
Palm tree leaves are just as useful as the fruits. The leaves are used to make wraps for foods and market goads as opposed to using plastic bags. The wraps are biodegradable and easy to discard. The fibres of the palm tree are also used to make mats and carpets that are commonly used in the coastal region thanks to the heavy influence from Muslim culture.
These are just a few examples of ways the coconuts from the Kenyan coast. Do you have any other coconut uses you know?