Coconut milk and coconut water are increasingly popular natural remedies for a host of health conditions. Coconut in general is well-regarded in the natural health field, including the use of coconut oil. A staple of Thai food, coconut milk in particular is actually the liquid you get from pressing the white coconut meat (whereas coconut water is the water found waiting inside the coconut itself). It can be added to a variety of recipes as a rich and flavorful base (as with Thai food) or can substitute in many places where you would otherwise use dairy milk--even on your morning cereal. Its higher fat content, however, means that it can be rather thick at low temperatures.
Coconut milk does indeed have a fairly high fat content (around 17%), though the fats in coconut are of a relatively healthy kind (medium chain fatty acids) and can increase one's HDL levels. Nevertheless, concerns about substantial consumption of coconut milk and overall cholesterol levels remain.
Ayurvedic medicine makes much use of coconut milk, and both folk medicine and modern studies promote coconut milk in the prevention and treatment of mouth ulcers and stomach ulcers as well. As a healthier source of dietary fats, coconut milk seems to help some people maintain a healthier weight and body fat levels.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Balance Electrolytes and Lower Beats Per Minute
[YEA] 09/16/2007: JAY from Phila, PA: "I'd heard that water coconut has been used to balance electrolytes and lower bpm. It can be found as a"drink" in cans, usually in the international foods aisle or in its "natural, raw" state in some food markets."Replies
07/26/2011: Elissa from Newcastle, Nsw Australia replies: "I'm obsessed with coconut water. I regularly go to (and now work at- yay! ) an organic cafe that sells 'Dr. Martin's coco juice', which is just the raw coconut water from young (green) coconuts. It is so refreshing, helps with sugar cravings and just makes you feel so good. The only downside is that I spend lots of money on it - I like to have it at least every other day, and preferably every day. Yummm. I'll have to invest in a coconut plantation one day.
I wonder about the coconut milk people are talking about - do you drink canned coconut milk? I've read that canned coconut milk is contaminated with BPA because of the canning process. I tried drinking a glass of it once and it made me feel sick. Although, knowing my body that could have been a sign my digestive system was getting a kick start. I have however had coconut milk (canned) in hot chocolate. Oh it was amazing. So creamy and so gooood. I recommend it to anyone!"
07/27/2011: Janet from Kendal, U.k replies: "I did a youtube search on how to make your own coconut milk, came up with two alternative methods. BEWARE so moreish once you've tried.
You can use either fresh coconut or desicated, depending on availability. Also if you google search health benefits it does give you added reasons to indulge yourself. ENJOY.!!!"
[YEA] 02/11/2010: Bommy from Penang, Malaysia: "I read on net sometime back about benefits of coconut milk as skin care. I read that you can get smooth, soft, glowing skin by applying raw coconut milk on skin. I tried and I must say this is the best beauty tips I have got ever. Just apply the coconut milk on your face and leave it for about 15mins and wash your face after that. You skin will be glowing and feel smooth. I have been using very expensive creams before but none works as well as the coconut milk. You can also applt this coconut milk all over your body to get really attractive complexion... :)"
[YEA] 11/07/2007: Annie from London, UK: "I had a severe urine infection.I was going to he bathroom every 10 mins But found the cures within hours of drinking coconut milk. It is available from fresh coconuts but also in cans and cartons . A friend of mine's infection spread to the kidneys and had to be referred to hospital as the antibiotics were not helping and she was in severe pain. I recommended her this treatment within 3 days she was cured. She drank a glass of the coconut milk 5/6 times a day. Her tests showed the infection was completely gone and the kidneys were clear and healthy!"Replies
[YEA] 12/06/2009: London from Sandusky, Ohio replies: "Absolutely.
Coconut milk does appear to work for a bladder infection, or UTI.
Ever since I had my daughter 4 years ago, I get chronic bladder infections, I'm prone to them. I get one about every six months. I've tried everything from the over the counter medications to cranberry supplements, syrups, and juices, Uva Ursi(which has worked for me a couple of times), and Apple cider vinegar(which is sometimes effective at getting rid of minor bladder infections in the early stages).
Last year, it went to my kidneys, and I became very ill. I had a full blown kidney infection. At that time I was on the apple cider vinegar trip, ( I was stubborn, my Mom kept telling me to just go to the doctor and get antibiotics, and I didn't listen till the last minute)and that did nothing for my kidney/bladder infection. When I finnaly broke down and went, they put me on STRONG antibiotics I was amazed at how effective they were at curing me, and within a week, my infection was gone, but then I got the worst yeast infection I've ever had in my life, and so I spent another week battling that, LOL!!!
Sometimes you need to break down and get antibiotics.
However...this time, although I did not have a kidney infection, just a bladder infection, and the antibiotics they put me on, weren't as strong, they really weren't working for me and I was getting frustrated, so I decided to try coconut milk.
The day I decided to try the coconut milk thing, I woke up with a nasty cold. I kid you not, within three days of drinking a can of coconut milk a day, the cold was COMPLETELY gone, and the bladder infection much, much better!!!
I've always had techniques to shorten the duration of my colds, like vitamins and teas and stuff, but I've never had a cold just be gone, in three days.
I've been having to deal with this painful bladder infection for 3 weeks now, and now it seems to be gone.
I drank about 5 cans of coconut milk in a three day period. Also, at first I didn't like the taste so I sweetened it with ice and sugar and it tasted awesome. By about the second day I didn't mind the taste so much so I just made sure to chill the can in the fridge before opening it. works!!! I'm amazed."
12/10/2009: Doreen from Miami, Florida replies: "it sounds to me that you need to boost your immune system. drinking coconut milk is ok but coconut water is better. they both contain natural antiviral and antibiotic elements. stay away from sugar though .it will encourage the growth of bacteria and so will drinking alcohol. as a mom you are vulnerable to exhaustion...get some sleep whenever you can and eat natural foods and take supplements. eat yogart and drink the coconut water 2 or 3 times a day. you will feel better and your nail and hair and skin will look amazing!"
12/10/2009: Terisha from Ny, Ny replies: "Umm, why is coconut water better than coconut milk? Coconut water is simply the latest craze to hit the beverage market at the moment. Needless to say I am a little skeptical of this post. Coconut milk has been around for a long time but you should find one without additives."
12/11/2009: Rob from Manhattan, New York replies: "I have never heard of Coconut Water for bladder infections. Though I do like it for a natural sport
electrolyte drink. Especially in the hotter days of summer. It is very high in Potassium and has saved me a couple times in 100 degree weather from falling over."
[YEA] 02/05/2010: Kat from Newark, Nj replies: "Is coconut water healthier than coconut milk?
To answer Terisha's question:
Coconut water is not "the latest craze". Coconut water is the clear juice that comes out of young coconuts. And coconut milk is a thick white fluid pressed from a mixture of a mature coconut's meat (flesh) and water. Both are fat free and have a good source of potassium and other nutrients. The big difference is that the water, obviously, has fewer calories than the milk. But the milk offers less sodium than the water. So it really depends on what your body needs. If you look up coconut water, research shows that drinking it might reduce high cholesterol but because of the high sodium content, it might increase high blood pressure....
From the Caribbean island that my family is from, coconut water is used quite frequently in cleansing the urinary tract and aiding in symptom relief. I have also drank the pure coconut water (along with a cranberry pill) to help with my UTI and in the matter of 2-3 days my UTI was gone!!"
01/28/2012: Dawn from Vancouver, Canada replies: "D Mannose way less calories then cans of coconut milk. Gets rid of a bladder infection in days and the pain in hours. If you take oil of oregano 2 a day (it eats the bacteria) Thats my cure I used to get bladder infections 2 times a month. Also it gets rid of kidney infections. Google it I keep it as a staple in my house. Also if you have an IUD after having ur daughter that may be the cause of your bladder infections. I don't know if you do but it seems once you get any infection bladder or otherwise they come back. Anyways food for thought. and after getting rif of my iud and taking dmannose I no longer get bladder infections."
02/12/2012: Ladyliza from Granada Hills, Ca replies: "To Debbie from Melbourne.. You are incorrect regarding being able to eat cholesterol from coconuts because they are plants. Coconut oil is a saturated fat and for many it does raise bad cholesterol. On the positive side, however, it always raises the good cholesterol. I had to go off the oil as it raised my cholesterol through the roof. I would assume the milk has cholesterol too but I don't know. I don't know about coconut water."
02/12/2012: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Ladyliza, please do some research - you are not correct. Cholesterol is only found in animal products like milk, eggs, cheese, meat etc. Plants do not contain cholesterol, nor do fruits and grains. You are not correct. Refined coconut oil has NO cholesterol. It cannot lower or raise good or bad cholesterol at all. If your cholesterol was raised when you took it, it must have come from an animal source or it was your own body producing the cholesterol by itself. Do a search on why cholesterol is good for you. It may save you or a family member's life.
On the other hand cholesterol is good for the body in fact it is needed by the body and in particular the brain.
Please watch this video by Dr. Natasha McBride (a Neurosurgeon) on why cholesterol is good for you. Research "cholesterol found in animal food sources" only
06/15/2012: Abbey from Honiara, Solomon Islands replies: "Actually you're both right. Coconut does not have cholesterol in it, thats true - only things that have a face or a mother have cholesterol. BUT, coconut is a saturated fat and therefore encourages the liver to produce more cholesterol - so consuming it will in fact raise your levels. Having said that, there is certainly a place for it in a healthy diet!"
Coconut Milk Vs. Coconut Water
06/14/2011: Nm from Santa Fe, Nm: "Can you tell me if coconut water is better for you than coconut milk? How do the two differ? I like the milk more as I put it in smoothies. And I would like to see how it helps parasites and herpes but I don't want to have it raise cholesterol levels???"Replies
06/14/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Nm coconut milk or coconut water cannot raise cholesterol levels because you only get cholesterol from animal products (butter, meat, cheese etc).
Anyway cholesterol is needed for the functioning of the brain and should not be avoided. The brain is made up of saturated fat.
Here is a vide on why you need cholesterol.
06/15/2011: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Hi Nm, maybe you could consider to read a couple of books about cholesterol and the fact that the cholesterol you eat has hardly any effect on the total cholesterol in your body. Don't believe everything you are told because a lot of it is just misinformation! If the subject interests you you can also watch the video Debbie from Melbourne posted. Anyway, I reviewd some excellent books on the book section in case you are interested! It is quite fascinating information..... And you can also find quite a bit of information on this site too!"
08/20/2011: Renato from Haledon, Nj replies: "Just a clarification. Coconut milk cannot be drank the way one would drink the juice extracted from an orange or an apple. Coconut milk is made by extracting the juice from the white meat of a mature coconut. The left over is called a mash. The mash is then thrown away. You can eat the white meat of a mature coconut, but most of the meat of a mature coconut is tough/hard. Coconut milk is added in food preparation or cooking. You are not supposed to drink coconut milk by itself unless you want to have frequent visits to the john. Besides, coconut milk if drank in its extracted liquid form will make you hurl! It is not sweet.
Coconut water is actually coconut juice. Coconut juice is present in almost all young coconuts. You may drink the juice directly from the coconut. The juice may be a bit cloudier compared to clear water. The white flesh inside the young coconut is edible. Both the juice and the flesh inside may be sweet.
How do you know if the coconut is mature or young? This takes a bit of experience. However, as a guide line, an unhusked coconut that is green in color is a young coconut. An unhusked coconut that is brown in color is matured or even aged. As a added tip, coconut oil is made by drying up the white meat (now called copra) and then pressing it in a process where the oil is produced.
How do I know this... because I grew up in a tropical country where coconut is in abundance and is also a means of livelihood by the locals."
08/21/2011: Bo from Birmingham, Uk replies: "There is available now, Coconut Milk that one can drink or use on cereal or in smoothies, etc. It is different from the milk or cream used in the islands for cooking, so it is appropriate for drinking. I use it instead of Soy Milk.... and most healthfood stores and supermarkets sell it now."
10/12/2011: Luke from Tampa, Florida replies: "I've been making my own coconut milk at home, and it's the best milk you can make in my opinion (if you like coconuts). It's even good in coffee.
Sometimes I get 3 quarts from one coconut if it's large. It does have a natural sweetness to it if the coconut is fresh. It's tough to find fresh coconuts in grocery stores or health food stores. You have to find a fresh farmer's market or an importer if you're far away from the tropics. With store bought coconuts; even in Florida I only get around 40% success rates with freshness. At the farmer's market, I get around 80%. Fresh coconut water will smell nice and have a slight sweetness. Old coconut water will smell not so nice and taste bad, and have "floaters" in it (slimy looking particles).
I just empty the coconut water into a (heavy-duty) blender, and then add the coconut meat after removing the shell. Add water to 3/4 or so full and blend, strain through a nut-milk bag, put pulp back in blender, add water again to about 3/4 full and blend again, strain this and compost the pulp or use for recipes. I add a bit of sea salt, and you can add some sweetener if it's not sweet enough for you. It will usually separate overnight in the fridge and the cream on top is better than whipped cream. You can shake it up again if you want to keep the cream in the milk. This beats any store bought canned or carton coconut milk. The stuff in the cartons is watered down, so they have to add thickeners, usually cheap chalky calcium, or starch and it doesn't taste nearly as good as homemade.
I hope this helps those of you who want to make fresh coconut milk."
[YEA] 07/12/2006: Marcel from Diamond Bar, CA: "I half cooked a bunch of leafy vegetables with coconut milk. Coconut milk adds flavor to my cooking. I added some fresh herbs like basil, ground pepper, garlic, and onion. I did not add salt as I stopped using it salt since 1980. When done, I ate it alone the whole day. In one day, I tripped to the bathroom 3 times and really did a good job on emptying my guts. My bowels looked greenish, long formed and at about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. The bowel was greenish because the digestion was fast and did not have a chance to change color to brownish. I felt good and light all day long. The green leafy vegetables can be Kale, spinach, water lily (kangkong). I will try other green vegetables with the coconut milk and see its effect."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 12/07/2009: Joanne F. from Westport, Ct, USA: "We had new insulation installed in our attic last Friday. My office is right where the pulldown stairs to the attic are located. Before piping in the new insulation, the workers removed all the old insulation by dropping it down into my office and out the window (no windows in our attic). Basically scattered my office with very old fiberglass particles. They vacuumed up before they left, but everything and I mean everything was coated with fiberglass. I wiped down everything with hot water immediately after they left. I didn't think anything of it until today, Monday, 3 days later. This afternoon I had just bought some coconut milk at the grocery store for the first time and drank a big glass of it when I got home. About 5 minutes later, my sinuses starting draining down the back of my throat including something big and "chunky". I ran to the sink and coughed up, sorry to be gross here, a big glob of mucous and something very weird, light orange, that seemed to be different material. Not food. I was very weirded out and thought that a piece of a cancerous tumour had just popped out of my sinus cavity! Then it hit me that maybe this was fiberglass particles that my body was expelling.
If anyone has any knowledge of detoxing from fiberglass inhalation and can offer some suggestions, would be appreciated. I am drinking more coconut milk in the hopes that if I have anything left, it will get coughed up again. Yucky!!!"Replies
12/08/2009: Anonomous from Falling Pines, America replies: "Check this out about FIBERGLASS and ASBESTOS clean up.
01/12/2012: Vstew62 from London, England: "Hi there, I would like to find out if the creamed coconut blocks bought from the grocery store can be used for ailments? The one I have, claims it is 100% pure coconut and I buy it from the carribean stores I use it in my rice as I love the flavour. As it is 100% pure can I use it to good effect (also so cheap! ) I was thinking of using it for MONO virus (Epstein Barr Virus) as it has had good outcomes. Any advice much appreciated."
08/21/2011: Jenny from Kansas City, Missouri: "Hi, I was wondering if hexane is used to make coconut milk? I have learned that soy milk is made by using hexane and wondered if they same went for coconut milk? I was also curious to know if coconut milk is as beneficial as coconut oil?
[YEA] 08/25/2007: SG from Bakersfield, CA: "I wrote earlier about my experience with eight years of un-diagnosed herpes. Since then, I've been experimenting with it, and I've got complete control over it--I can make myself completely symptom-free, or cause an outbreak within 30 minutes.
THE CURES: Coconut. Yep, another vote for that one. I recently discovered Thai food, and they put coconut milk in just about everything. Taking special care to eat Tom Kha Gai (Food of the gods!) or Thai curry dishes several times a week, I've discovered that I have no need for my previous supplement: Gigartina Red Marine Algae, 1000mg (4 capsules) per day. And it's a lot more fun! To be fair, though, the Red Marine Algae works just as well.
If I want to cause an outbreak within an hour, all I have to do is not eat any coconut products for a few days, and then have a Diet Red Bull. Chock full of both Aspartame and arginine, if your doctor needs you to have an outbreak for testing purposes, this will do the trick. Drinking two of these per day sent me to the emergency room with horrible sores, and was how I discovered I had herpes. Other energy drinks (containing arginine) kept me having sores for the next few months until I realized the connection."Replies
11/03/2010: Venezra from Naples, Fl replies: "Red Algae is supposed to CURE Herpes, help Shingles, for Weight Loss, and Cholesterol. Do Some research on the net. I love the internet & Earthclinic, what a great resource!"
How to Make Coconut Milk
11/14/2008: Carolyn from Northwest, OH: "My husband and I started drinking coconut milk on our cereal instead of cow's milk for various reasons.
This is how I make my coconut milk:
Buy regular sweetened shredded coconut in the baking aisle. Measure out 1 cup of shredded coconut into to a blender. Add 2 cups of warm water. Blend briefly and let sit for 30-45 mins. Strain through a fine cloth (cheese cloth or similar) into a glass bowl and put in the fridge until cool. (Recipe easily doubles, but then I extend the sitting time to 60 mins.)
Now here's where it gets interesting (and economical): The oil will rise to the top of your milk. Skim this off and place in a sauce pan. Simmer the oil and stir until the curds "fall out" of the oil, about 5 mins. Filter this oil through a coffee filter into a clean glass jar. You have now made coconut oil good for cooking with. I keep mine in the refrigerator to maintain utmost freshness.
And you can take the shredded coconut you strained, spread it in a baking pan and toast in the oven at 250F for 25 mins. You can now use this coconut in your regular baking.
Ha, ha! Three products in one and no messing with whole coconuts!"
03/31/2009: Feda from Sydney, NSW replies: "Very smart, im impressed. you can use it in many recipes too. "
10/02/2010: Piper from Toronto, On replies: "I couldn't find coconut oil. The health food store in China town I bought it at before has closed. I decided to try to make my own. Bought two coconuts. On the internet I saw that you could open with a hammer and a nail, but I used a wine corkscrew and it worked just fine. For cracking, others used a hammer with coconut in a towel. I used a cast iron pan, with coconut in towel against a stone paver. The meat needs to have the brown husk taken off, which I used a cheese grater. Then I put in the food processor to chop finely. Put on the stove and simmered at a low heat, then pour liquid through a sieve, and place in fridge. The oil solidifies on top, so you scoop off and put in a container and the rest is coconut milk. It creates a lot of milk but not a lot of oil."
[YEA] 04/11/2007: Eric from Brooklyn, NY: "Coconut milk helped with me with gout and any other in the joints with in a week than any other thing i have tried.
COCONUT MILK - HOW TO MAKE IT (Recipe Courtesy of http://www.all-organic-food.com/index.htm )
Coconut milk is not the liquid inside a coconut, although this liquid does make a satisfying drink. Rather, coconut milk is made by squeezing the grated flesh of a coconut with some hot water resulting in a rich white liquid that looks very much like cow's milk.
Coconut milk should be distinguished from coconut cream. Fresh coconut milk, when refrigerated, and canned coconut milk, if not shaken, separates into two layers, with the thick (upper) layer being the coconut cream and the thinner (bottom) layer constituting the milk. The top layer can be skimmed off with a spoon and used for recipes requiring coconut cream (usually desserts) with the bottom layer being reserved for recipes specifying coconut milk.
Canned, frozen and powdered coconut milk are widely available, convenient to use and generally of acceptable quality. However, they do not generally achieve quite the quality of coconut milk prepared at home from fresh or desiccated coconut.
For those who might want to try preparing coconut milk at home, the following provides instructions for doing so.
A: Preparing Coconut Milk from Fresh Coconuts
Pierce the eyes of a fresh coconut, drain the liquid inside and place the coconut on a rack and bake in a 325F pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the coconut from the oven, let it cool a bit and crack it with a hammer so that the shell breaks into several pieces. Remove all the coconut meat from the shell, peel off the brown skin and cut the meat into very small cubes. Place the meat in a blender, add hot water to just cover all of the meat and blend until finely grated. Place a sieve covered with cheese cloth over a bowl and pour the coconut meat and water into the sieve squeezing handfuls of the coconut meat to extract as much liquid as possible into the bowl. Discard the squeezed coconut meat and refrigerate the coconut milk that has been extracted into the bowl. Refrigerate the milk and use within 1 or 2 days. B: Preparing Coconut Milk from Desiccated coconut.
Empty an 8 oz package of unsweetened desiccated coconut into a blender and add 1 cup boiling water. Blend for about 30 seconds and allow the mixture to cool a bit. Place a sieve over a bowl lined with cheese cloth. Ladle the mixture into the cheese cloth, fold the edges over the coconut meat and twist the ends to extract as much milk as you can into the bowl. Discard the squeezed coconut meat and refrigerate the coconut milk that has been extracted into the bowl. Refrigerate the milk and use within 1 or 2 days."
Restores Normal Menstruation
[YEA] 10/31/2010: Rosavel from Devonport, Tasmania: "I would say I will recommend virgin coconut oil to everybody because I am using it and it is proved effective, despite the prize which is very affordable, I am a Filipino w/c reside now in Tasmania, Australia, I started using this when I'm still in the Phil. This started like this, I have my menstruation for almost 4 weeks, and I was thinking maybe this is a sign of menopause, but at that time I was just 42 years, my friends keep on telling me to consult, a doctor, but I didn't, for I am afraid it will need a big amount of money, until one evening I was watching a TV news, when there was somebody who give a testimony about the virgin coconut oil, so I said to myself, let me try this, and you know what, as I take the oil, I notice out that my menstruation goes slowly, and everything in my body changes, I feel active, body odor gone, until now I am still using this miraculous oil, and my menstruation is back to normal, I have it just for 3 to 4 days, Hope this testimonial well help everybody, and they well try this oil."Replies
11/04/2010: Akhan from Long Island, Usa replies: "How exactly you use coconut oil? How much you take and how many days?"