Health impact of uses of coconut palm a case study of ITU, Akwa Ibom State.

ABSTRACT

The health impact of uses of coconut (Cocos nucifera) was investigated for its nutritional and medicinal values. Simple survey research method was used while sample was selected using simple random sampling technique. one hundred respondents were selected. Questionnaire was used for data collection. Results showed that there is significant impact of coconut palm on health users in Itu, that there are significant uses of coconut palm produce in Itu, Akwa Ibom State. It was recommended that tender coconut water (TCW) are encouraged to be taken so as to eliminate poisons and ameliorate drug inducement.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     INTRODUCTION

The coconut (Cocos nucifera) is an important fruit tree in the world, providing food for millions of people, especially in the tropical and sub tropical regions and with its many uses. It is often called the “True of Life”. (Chan et al., 2006). At any one time a coconut palm has 12 different crops of nuts on it, from opening flower to ripe nut. Indonesia is the largest coconut producing country before Philippines and India, having an area of about 1.78 million hectare under the crop. Coconut which have it botanical name as Cocos nucifera is used by every country all over the world but this project work is all about the local and industrial ways of using coconut palm products and its health important in Itu Local Government Area (NMCE, 2007).

For thousand of years, coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in India folk medicine it is believed to be antiblenorrhagic antibrondlitis, febrifugal, and antigingivitic. In Ayuredic medicine, the oil, milk, cream and water of the coconut are all used to treat hair loss, burns and heart problem. Records show that in the united states, coconut oil was one of the major sources of dietary fats, aside from daily and animal fats, prior to the advent of the American edible oil (soybean and corn) industry in the mid 1940s (Dayrit, 2005). The coir fiber of interior quality obtained by partial retting in husks and subsequent mechanical decortications are used for stuffing mattresses crushion and upholstery.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) belongs to the family, of the Arecaceae (palmea), the subfamily cocoideae. There are mainly two distinct groups of coconut that is, tall and the dwarf. The varieties grow slow and bear fruits 6 – 10 years after planting (NMCE, 2007). Its copra, oil and fiber are of good quality. This type is comparatively hardy, and lives up to a ripe age of 80 to 120 years. As male flowers mature earlier than the female flowers, this type is highly cross – pollinated. Nuts mature within a period of 12 months after pollination.

The dwarf varieties are fast growing bear early that is take 4 – 5 years (NMCE, 2007).  Due to overlapping of male and female phases, the dwarf varieties are self – pollinated. The nuts are yellow, red, green and orange coloured.  These are less hardy and require favourable climatic conditions and soil type for better yield. Cultivation of coconut depends on soil type, shape of land and rainfall distribution. It grows well on well drained loamy and clayey soil. A year round warm mean annual climate favors the growth of coconut. A mean annual temperature of 270c, an evenly, distributed rainfall of 1500 – 2500mm per annum, and relatively humidity above 60% provide the ideal climate condition for the vigorous growth and yield of the palm (Chan et al., 2010).