From Lower Dover Field Journal, a comprehensive portrait of the coconut palm. I wasn’t aware of all the health benefits:
Recent western medicinal research concluded that coconuts’ form of saturated fat actually helps to prevent heart disease, stroke and the hardening of arteries. Unlike other oils and fats, coconut oil contains a large amount of the fatty acid known as lauric acid, which is the predominant fatty acid found in mother’s milk. Studies have shown the coconut oil’s effectiveness against HIV, SARS, Crohn’s disease, as well as other chronic illnesses. It detoxifies the liver, helps to build lipoproteins, fats, hormones, and bile. Coconut’s amazing healing properties are also attributed to reducing the risk of other degenerative conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes. The fatty acids help to create a healthy digestive tract, which in turn allows for better digestion and absorption of the nutrients in our foods. They also speed up metabolism, providing fewer calories than other fats but are still a viable effective source of energy.
The rubber tree has played an important role in modern industrial society, but its influence on human history stretches back 3600 years, as a fascinating post at the Lower Dover Field Journal makes clear.
The Guanacaste is one of the biggest tree species in Central America. A post in the Lower Dover Field Journal shows what it’s like to fell (or at least radically trim) one of them — a big lightning-killed specimen next to an electric line.
Unlike more developed countries, the power company doesn’t have access to large cherry pickers, and quite frankly, a tree of this size would require an enormous reach. So they took to the old fashion way, climbing, ropes, chainsaws, and a pulley rope system.