Cocos nucifera L.

Cocos nucifera L.

Botanical Name:         Cocos nucifera L.

Synonym:                      Cocosnucifera var. synphyllicaCocos nucifera L. 

                                           Palma cocos Mill.

Kingdom:                       Plantae

Order:                              Arecales

Family:                            Arecaceae

Genus:                             Cocos

Local Name:                  Khopra

Urdu Name:                   Khopra

English Name:               Coconut

 Part Used:                     Fruit


Cocos nucifera L. is tall treewith a crown of pinnate leaves. Tree trunk is straight to marginally curve.Leaves are pinnatisectand leaflets are tapered. Inflorescence occurs in the leaf axil, straw to orange in color, long, and encloses the spadix. Fruits are oval shaped and single seeded. Exocarpis thick and fibrous, enfolding a hard endocarp to which endosperm is adhered1.


C. nuciferais distributed to tropical and subtropical regionsespecially tropical shoreline including Indonesia, Philippines, India and Pakistan2,3.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases


  1. Oil of Cocos nuciferaL. (Coconut) is applied to the affected site in Districts Sukkur and Nawabshah (Sindh). This oil is also used to cure burns, eczema, prikley heat, and boils in Districts Jamshoro, Kamber Shadad Kot, Sukker, and Nawabshah (Sindh), respectively.
  2. Hard shell of C. nucifera is burned in oil and applied on the affected area in District Umerkot (Sindh).
  3. Paste of butter and C. nucifera oil is used for curing ringworm in District Tando Muhammad Khan (Sindh).


  1. Mentha spicata L. (Mint), Sorghum bicolor (L.) Conrad Moench (Jowari), and oil of C. nucifera are mixed and applied to the area affected from scabies in District Sukkur (Sindh).
  2. Oil of Brassica compestris L. (Mustard), Syzgium cumini L. (Black Pulm), and C. nucifera are mixed and applied at scabies affected area in District Badin (Sindh).
  3. Brassica compestris L. (Mustard) oil and C. nucifera oil are mixed and applied for the treatment of scabies in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
  4. Paste of Cyamposis tetragonoloba L. (Cluster bean) and C. nucifera oil is used for curing scabies in District Jacobabad (Sindh).


  1. Powder of Lawsonia inermis L. (Henna) is mixed with oil of C. nucifera or Brassica compestris L. (Mustard) oil and applied at the affected site in District Umerkot Sindh).
  2. Oil of C. nucifera is used for curing alopecia in District Khairpur (Sindh).
  3. Oil of C. nucifera, Lawsonia inermis (Henna), and Phyllanthus emblica L.  (Gooseberry) are mixed and applied for the treatment of alopecia in District Ghotki (Sindh).
  4. Leaves of Lawsonia inermis (Henna) are grounded and mixed in the oil of Syzgium cumini L. (Black Plum) and C. nucifera. This oil is used for the cure of alopecia in District Ghotki (Sindh).
  5. C. nucifera oil is mixed with Gynandropsis gynandra (L.) Briq. (African spider-flower) and applied on the affected area for the treatment of alopecia in District Ghotki (Sindh).
  6. Paste of fuller’s earth, G. gynandra (African spider-flower), Lawsonia inermis (Henna), and C. nucifera oil is used for curing alopecia in District Kashmore (Sindh).
  7. Paste of jaggery, salt, Curcuma longa L. (Turmeric), and C. nucifera oil is heated and applied to the affected site in the District Nousheroferoz (Sindh).
  8. C. nucifera oil and Citrus limon (L.) Burm.f. (Lemon) juice are mixed and applied for curing alopecia in District Kamber Sahdad Kot (Sindh).


Yougurt is mixed with oil of C. nucifera and applied on the affected site in District Mitiari (Sindh).

Hair fall and Dandruff

  1. Oil of C. nucifera is mixed with Brassica compestris L. (Mustard) oil, and this mixed oil is applied to the roots of hair in District Jamshoro (Sindh).
  2. Powder of dried fruit of Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Neem) is mixed with C. nuciferaoil and this paste is applied to the roots of hair in District Jamshoro (Sindh).
  3. Citrus limon (Lemon) juice, sugar, and C. nuciferaoil are mixed and applied to the scalp daily to get rid of dandruff in District Jamshoro (Sindh).
  4. Paste of yogurt, egg, and C. nuciferaoil is applied to the scalp for curing dandruff in District Jamshoro (Sindh).
  5. C. nuciferaoil is used to cure dandruff in Districts Khairpur and Larkana (Sindh), and for the treatment of hyperkeratinization in District Thatta (Sindh).

Brown spots:

Paste of Cicer arietinum L. (Chick Pea) and C. nucifera oil is applied for treatment of brown spots in District Khairpur (Sindh).

Hand burn:

C. nuciferais burnt in coal and mixed with coconut oil and it is applied to the affected site for the treatment of hand burn in District Khairpur (Sindh).

Candida Infection:

Ashes of C. nucifera are used for curing Candida infection in District Sajawal(Sindh).

Tinea capitis:

Oil of C. nucifera and Sesamum indicum L. (Sesame) are mixed and used for the treatment of tinea capitis in District Nawabshah (Sindh).

Athlete’s Foot

Oil of C. nucifera is used for the treatment of Athlete’s foot in District Tando Jam(Sindh).

Chemical Constituents

C. nucifera contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, mineral, and dietary fats4. Water of C. nucifera is abundant insugars, proteins,minerals,amino acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, nicotinic acid (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), riboflavin (B2), biotin, folic acid, vitamin B1,vitamin B6, enzymes (acid phosphatase, diastase, catalase, peroxidase)5,6,7.Kernel and water contain fatty acids such as palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, lauric acid, linolenic acid, myristic acid, caproic acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid4.

Chemical Structure:

Cocos nucifera

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies

Water of C. nuciferais used internally for the protection against induction of myocardial infarction6. Tea prepared from shell fiber of coconut is used for the treatment of diarrhea and amenorrhea while its extract is used in treating menstrual disorders such as amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, and gonorrhea. Cream prepared from shell fiber is applied on burnt area, injuries, abscesses, and dermatitis. Coconut oil is massaged for reducing hair loss and also applied topically for wound healing. Decoction of coconut pulp (white part) is effectively used in Malaysia for the treatment of fever and malaria8.

Coconut kernel and coconut water possess several medicinal properties including antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, antifungal, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, antidermatophytic, antioxidant and immunostimulant3,9,10,11,12,13. Soap of coconut is used as a disinfectant against C. albicans and strepto mutans14.


  2. Solangi, A. H., andIqbal, M. Z. (2011). Chemical composition of meat (kernel) and nut water of major coconut (Cocosnucifera) cultivars at coastal area of Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany43(1), 357-363.
  3. DebMandal, M., andMandal, S. (2011). Coconut (Cocosnucifera: Arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention. Asian Pacific journal of tropical medicine4(3), 241-247.
  4. Bawalan, D. D., andChapman, K. R. (2006). Virgin coconut oil production manual for micro-and village-scale processing.
  5. Arditti, J. (2009). Micropropagation of orchids. John Wiley & Sons.
  6. Anurag, P., andRajamohan, T. (2003). Cardioprotective effect of tender coconut water in experimental myocardial infarction. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition58(3), 1-12.
  7. Yong, J. W., Ge, L., Ng, Y. F., andTan, S. N. (2009). The chemical composition and biological properties of coconut (Cocosnucifera) water.Molecules14(12), 5144-5164.
  8. Lima, E. B. C., Sousa, C. N. S., Meneses, L. N., Ximenes, N. C., Júnior, S., Vasconcelos, G. S., and Vasconcelos, S. M. M. (2015). Cocosnucifera (L.)(Arecaceae): A phytochemical and pharmacological review. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research.
  9. Loki, A. L., andRajamohan, T. (2003). Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effect of tender coconut water on carbon tetrachloride induced liver injury in rats.Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 40(5), 354-357.
  10. Oyi, A. R., Onaolapo, J. A., andObi, R. C. (2010). Formulation and antimicrobial studies of coconut (Cocosnucifera Linn) oil. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, 2(2), 133-137.
  11. Agero, A. L., andVerallo-Rowell, V. M. (2004). A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatitis: contact, atopic, occupational, drug, 15(3), 109-116.
  12. Arora, R., Chawla, R., Marwah, R., Arora, P., Sharma, R. K., Kaushik, V., andBhardwaj, J. R. (2010). Potential of complementary and alternative medicine in preventive management of novel H1N1 flu (Swine Flu) pandemic: thwarting potential disasters in the bud. Evidence-Based complementary and alternative medicine, 2011.
  13. Ogbolu, D. O., Oni, A. A., Daini, O. A., andOloko, A. P. (2007). In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria.Journal of medicinal food10(2), 384-387
  14. Barnabé, W., MendonçaNeto, T., Pimenta, F. C., Pegoraro, L. F., andScolaro, J. M. (2004). Efficacy of sodium hypochlorite and coconut soap used as disinfecting agents in the reduction of denture stomatitis, Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans. Journal of oral rehabilitation, 31(5), 453-459.