King Coconut

Coconut water undoubtedly is an all-time favourite of most rawsome vegans worldwide. But have you tried the king of all coconuts, the bright orange coconut indigenous to Sri Lanka, Southern Asia's mesmerizing tropical island? They are called king coconuts (Cocos Nucifera var. Aurontiaca)  for a reason and are not just coconuts but complete with a unique taste and magnificent natural and nutritional properties.

King Coconut Tree

The king coconuts in the world market come from Sri Lanka, the home of king coconut, giving you the exotic equatorial feeling. It is known as Ran Thambili (golden king coconut), the most popular type among the wide variety of king coconuts. Thambili is the local name for king coconut, which means 'orange', the colour of the king coconut. The reason for locals to name it by its resembling colour could be that there are two types of drinking coconuts in Sri Lanka, green coconut and orange.

Sub-varieties of Sri Lankan king coconuts:

Sri Lankan king coconuts grow without chemicals or human intervention and are found in the wild in most areas. So, they are naturally organic. The king coconut has sub-varieties, such as 


  • The common King Coconut:  Aurantiaca variety, medium-sized nuts with orange epicarp and sweet water. 
  • Ran Thembili: A typica variety golden colour large nuts with a pink-coloured mesocarp in immature fruits.  
  • Gon Thembili: Namely typica, ivory-coloured nuts 
  • Rathra/Rath Thembili:  Aurantiaca type red/pink-coloured mesocarp similar to King Coconut but is a rare variety.
  • Nawasi Thembili: It also belongs to the Aurantiaca variety and is identical to King Coconut with soft and edible mesocarp.
  • Yellow Dwarf: Nana variety and yellow epicarp nuts
  • Red Dwarf: It also belongs to the nana red epicarp nuts
A roadside king coconut stall

These are endemic to Sri Lanka with unique flavour characteristics compared to green coconuts, which are available in other coconut-growing countries. However, the yellow dwarfs and red dwarfs are similar to the green dwarf (green coconuts) and are relatively yellow and red coconuts rather than king coconuts.

Even though king coconuts are popular and native to Sri Lanka, the orange colour coconuts can also be found in Kerala and some other parts of South India, known as red coconut or red dwarf (Chomana Thenga). The red dwarf is also found on some islands in Indonesia.

Beware, All that glitters is not gold.

Many tourists have difficulty recognizing coconuts and king coconuts regardless of their bright orange colour. Due to this issue, many people may get deceived. Examining their outer appearance, you can identify the difference between king coconut and coconuts with a beautiful yellow/amber hue.

King coconut has soft outer skin, but the yellow coconuts have a rough outer peel. The king coconut's husk is not much thick, but the yellow coconuts have a thick fibrous husk. Yellow coconuts also are remarkably thick-shelled nuts. However, when the king coconut matures, its husk gets rough, and the shell also tends to be thick and hard, just like the coconuts.

But you can relish the young yellow coconut as a drinking coconut and enjoy its jelly-like soft flesh layer like the king coconut. However, if it's not king coconut, it's not king coconut with the lingering taste.

No one will get deceived by coconuts over king coconuts in Sri Lanka because there are wide varieties of king coconuts extensively found and sold throughout the country, not only for tourists but also for locals as their favourite beverage of choice. You can find plenty of street vendors who sell clusters of king coconuts along roadsides on benches, on the beaches, on roadside kiosks and even in supermarkets. Tourists can stop at any roadside king coconut vendors to enjoy this thirst-quenching exquisite natural drink.

Harvesting of king coconut:

coconut transport in Sri Lanka - Bicycle

King coconuts grow in clusters of around 15-25 nuts per bunch, and the king coconut tree is generally shorter than coconut trees. King coconuts are harvested when young, approximately in 7 to 8 months. King coconuts are available all year round. King coconut cultivation in Sri Lanka is mainly concentrated in Kurunegala, Gampaha and Galle districts.

The king coconuts found in towns of the district of Kalutara have the best sweet nut water and are used exclusively for the export market. All king coconut water you see in the world market is natural and gluten-free; most are certified organic by the national coconut research institute of Sri Lanka.

The king coconuts found in towns of the district of Kalutara have the best sweet nut water and are used exclusively for the export market. All king coconut water you see in the world market is natural and gluten-free; most are certified organic by the national coconut research institute of Sri Lanka.

King coconut is best to rehydrate and refresh. The King coconuts' liquid has more magnesium and calcium than orange and more potassium than a banana. Therefore, it is ideal for smoothies or fruit juices. Not only that, King coconut has lauric acid, which naturally occurs in breast milk and is suitable for vegan children, nursing (breastfeeding) mums, and pregnant women. It also supports hormone health and cellular health.

drink king coconut

The Magical Medicinal Benefits of King Coconut

There are lots of health benefits of king coconut, including anti-ageing properties. The pure water of king coconuts has been used in traditional Sri Lankan medicine for over 4500 years and Ayurveda herbal medicine by conventional herbal health practitioners. It is also referred to as the Ayurvedic coconut and a living pharmacy. King coconut water is often used as a home remedy for digestive problems such as indigestion, abdominal pain and fullness. Studies show that King coconuts are a rich source of B-complex vitamins, minerals like amino acids, and electrolytes.

King Coconut is a Natural Anti-ageing and Boosts Skin Health

Cytokinins in King Coconut water reduce the risk of degenerative and age-related diseases. The presence of ascorbic acid king coconut water is found to have anti-ageing effects on skin care. King coconut water also helps to fight against cancer.

Furthermore, king coconuts have antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties that can effectively treat skin infections. King coconut's components can treat inflammation inside and outside the body. King coconut water can be applied to skin rashes, summer boils, and prickly heat to reduce inflammation. It is also suitable for acne and can be ideal as a natural eye wash.

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Promotes Digestion

King Coconut water contains higher dietary soluble fibre and naturally occurring bioactive enzymes. It serves as a tonic, supports digestion and improves constipation. This natural liquid can be mixed with powdered Aralu (අරළු, अरलु Terminalia chebula, known as black- or chebulic myrobalan, a medicinal plant native to South-East Asia) to create a fruitful laxative that helps you cure constipation. It also helps treat diarrhoea and cholera, and other gastrointestinal diseases.

King Coconut Reduces Internal Body Heat/Temperature:

The human body responds to both external and internal changes, and body heat is one of them. There may be several reasons for a person's body temperature to rise, including an illness like overactive thyroid, medication or intense physical activity. The blood vessels increase in number when pregnant as the body's mass and metabolic functions increase. As a result, some women may experience increased body heat or a higher body temperature than usual. The Aralu and king coconut blend not only aids constipation but also has a massive cooling effect on the body.

Intrauterine temperature (womb) and some uterine diseases caused due to internal body temperature are why some young women fail to conceive. King coconut water is believed to be an excellent drink to cool the system naturally.

The hot flashes that occur with night sweats, racing heartbeat or facial flushes during menopause can be a reason for internal body heat. King coconut water can be proven to expel heat from the inner body naturally.

roadside king coconut stall outside sri lanka

King Coconut for Diabetic Patients:

King coconuts are harvested when young, just like the young green-drinking coconuts, where they pick the coconuts early for water. King coconuts can be sweeter than mature green coconuts but have less sugar content than regular coconuts. The sweetness of the coconuts depends on the harvesting times. King coconuts are usually picked from trees around 7 to 8 months of nut maturity with the maximum concentration of reducing sugars (glucose and fructose) along with optimum levels of minerals and vitamins. Therefore it can be considered to be an ideal drink for diabetic patients.

King Coconut water is an easily digestible sugar. King coconut water's higher (plasma) osmolality directly influences rapid intestinal absorption, mainly governed by carbohydrates and minerals. Therefore, king coconut water is a good source for blood sugar restoration and staving off cravings for artificial beverages with added sugars and harmful additives. Magnesium in king coconut water helps maintain lower blood sugar levels against Type II diabetes due to increased insulin sensitivity.

For Heart Problems and High Blood Pressure

The presence of L-arginine in king coconut water has been found to have a cardio-protective effect, favouring relaxation. A correct balance of electrolytes is essential for regulating blood pressure, muscle coordination and heart and nerve function. King coconut water contains magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus and calcium, and these minerals help regulate blood pressure levels and promote general wellness.

Natural Immunity Booster

During summer, the immunity always appears to descend. King coconut water is complete with vitamins, has antiviral and antifungal properties, and helps boost the immune system. Consuming king coconut water aids in replenishing your body's nutrients and keeping diseases at bay.

Energy Booster & Prevents Dehydration

King Coconut water is ideal for rehydrating when the weather heats up. As king coconut is rich in serum electrolytes, it is used as a hydrant fluid and energy booster when the energy levels plunge, especially after vigorous workouts, sports or heavy duties. It is also suitable for relieving muscle cramps and replenishing lost salts in these physical activities.

The king coconuts with 5-6 months of maturity are the best for using nut water as a suitable alternative for saline water with higher mineral concentration yet lower sugar levels. It is also rich in electrolytes similar to human plasma. Due to being isotonic with human blood, both king coconut and green coconut water were used by the British and Japanese during World War II as IV fluid for dehydration and emergency plasma transfusion as a natural substitute for saline solution.

drinking coconut

Rich with Antioxidants

With the fear of cancer and awareness of free radicals, people pay increased attention to the intake of antioxidants. King coconut can be effectively used as an essential dietary antioxidant. The free radicals produced in body cells during metabolism can cause stress and unstable mental conditions. Too many unstable molecules will damage cells and increase the risk of diseases. Research has shown king coconut and young coconut water contains antioxidants that can inhibit these conditions.

King coconut products

Apart from king coconut water, you could find king coconut hair oil, king coconut wine and king coconut vodka in the market. 

King Coconut Oil for hair

King Coconut Oil has magical benefits that work wonders for skin & hair problems and has been used for centuries. King Coconut Oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids and can improve skin and hair health. It is flawless for those who have split ends, as well as for those with dry and frizzy hair. The king coconut oil contains antioxidants and vitamins to keep your skin moisturized throughout the day and is excellent for healthy, glowing, radiant skin and beautiful hair. It is suitable as a night serum for dry skin tones and reduces dark spots.

king coconut oil for hair

King coconut wine

The distinctive king coconut wine is made of water extracted from hand-picked king coconut with a blend of Sri Lanka's most delicate spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg to a unique sweetness. A glass of king coconut wine can give a quintessential experience for a wedding or Christmas.

King Coconut Vodka

King coconut vodka is a unique spirit and an ideal addition to your favourite drinks for a weekend or any occasion and has a pleasant aroma.

In conclusion

The King coconut water is an incredible source that restores electrolyte concentrations while rehydrating human bodies. It contains vital minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. It also contains vitamin C and vitamins of the B-complex group such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pyridoxine and folate and provides numerous health benefits. Therefore, king coconut water is highly recommended as a healthy, natural beverage.

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