The use of coconut as a laxative is not common or highly effective. This fruit can be used to rehydrate the body, cleanse the gastrointestinal tract of harmful bacteria and parasites, and improve the functioning of the metabolism. Too much coconut water can cause watery bowel movements in some individuals, though not for everyone. When this occurs, doctors typically recommend that those users decrease their consumption until bowel movements return to normal.
A coconut is a fruit with a hard, fibrous outer shell which is removed prior to preparation and eating. The portions of the coconut which are suitable for consumption include the soft, white fleshy meat found along the interior of the seed, and the water which naturally occurs inside the meat and the seed. When the meat has been ground and pressed, it produces a white liquid known as coconut milk. This milk can be used alone, or combined with the coconut water of the seed. Coconut meat and milk are high in oil content, and this oil is often pressed from the organic materials and sold separately as a cooking additive or dietary supplement.
The meat of the fruit contains the most fiber out of all of the edible portions. One serving of this fibrous, white tissue can contain as much as seven grams of fiber. Fiber is the portion of food which cannot be digested by the body. It often causes an individual to feel full faster, remain satisfied, and exits the body without depositing fat. Eating coconut meat can increase the body's bowel movements during the course of a day, though it is unlikely to create a laxative effective. The consumption of the meat of a coconut as a laxative is typically not advisable for those suffering from chronic constipation as it may worsen the bloating, cramping, and gas associated with this condition.
The milk, water, and oil of the coconut are equally beneficial for improving an individual's overall health, though they do not tend to contribute to the use of coconut as a laxative. These portions of the fruit are significantly lower in calories than the meat of the coconut, and contain some essential vitamins and nutrients. They may be extracted from fresh coconuts or purchased in pre-packaged bottles in local grocery stores. Coconut milk has been shown to improve the functioning of most metabolisms, giving users an energy boost and causing their bodies to use calories more efficiently.
The content and composition of coconut water is similar to that of plasma found in blood. For this reason, this type of water is used in some tropical areas as a re-hydration fluid. It is commonly given to young babies and children with intestinal discomforts, and to those suffering from intense diarrhea, to maintain the balance of fluids in the body. When this milk is extracted without exposing it to any outside environmental factors, it can be administered directly into the blood stream. This was practiced during World War II and Vietnam by military doctors when they did not have access to intravenous plasma solutions for wounded soldiers.
The consumption of too much of this type of water can cause a negative effect on the bowels of some individuals. This amount of water necessary to achieve this differs on a case by case basis. This occurrence is not common enough to validate the use of the water of the coconut as a laxative. Doctors frequently recommend that patients who do use coconut water do so based on their own bowel tolerance. When their stools become watery, users should decrease the amount of coconut water they are drinking in a day.