Fact CheckHealth

Does consumption of coconut trigger cough?

Claim: Twitter users claim that eating coconut causes coughing.

Does consumption of coconut trigger cough?

It is not true. Well processed and channeled coconut is even good for coughing.


A Twitter account Freeman, (@charlolar), posted on October 21, 2014, that what causes coughing is coconut. The handle stated that: “@iam_dannex: What Causes Cough? #iNogoTell_by_icee songOftheSeason” coconut.

Does consumption of coconut trigger cough?
Screenshot of Twitter post

Another twitter account, uncle uche (@uche_uncle), reacted to the tweet recently.  The user commenting on the effect of coconut and corn on cough tweeted on July 4, 2020, “If you are having respiratory issues …. roasted corn and coconut is very likely to trigger a stupid cough in you.”

Does consumption of coconut trigger cough?


According to a Homeopathy Doctor, Dr Hetal Jariwala, the assumption is not true because coconut is very healthy to the human body. He noted that coconut products, such as coconut water “will not cause cough but it depends on person to person and the individual’s resistance power to tolerate any food items”.

In a telephone interview with Dubawa, a Consultant Pulmonologist at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Dr Sogaolu, said the claim of such a cause is false.

Also, a medical doctor in Ibadan, Dr Oluwaseun Ige, in an interview with Dubawa said Coconut does not cause cough. He said many coughs are caused by infections such as common cold, pneumonia, but there are also non-infectious causes such as smoking, allergies, irritants. He noted that cough is a reflex initiated when the respiratory tract is irritated by infection or any irritant. The reflex results in expulsion of air from the lungs that carries the foreign material from the respiratory tract. Coughing resulted from eating coconut is a protective reflex to clear off any meat that can get its way into the airways. If the meat gets into the airways, that could result in a medical emergency.

Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019, Garima Arora, also indicated in a post that no matter which illness anybody is suffering from, it is important to keep one’s self hydrated by drinking lots of water; noting that coconut and lemon water help to hydrate one’s body when suffering from cough and cold.

Coconut and its Nutritional Values

According to a researcher, Larissa Andrews, typically, the coconut, on the other hand, is known as the sweetness food containing all of the important nourishment required for the human body. In India, it is known with the brand of “narial” and regarded as being holy fruit which usually holds a fundamental place in spiritual ceremonies. It is discovered to be adding nourishment, fattening and conditioning dietary food and turns out to be an incredible tonic to get wellbeing. The liquid of the coconut is overflowing with plenty of vitamin c which usually meets the everyday desire for the body. The coconut liquid comprises potassium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, sulphur and sodium.

From time immemorial, there is a common assumption that you do not eat coconut when coughing as it can aggravate cough. In a form of teasing, some friends even offer coconut to their friends that have cough, ironically indicating the negative effect of taking coconut products during cough. But is there any relationship between coconut and cough? Does this fruit truly trigger or aggravate cough? Are there some hidden facts to be exposed concerning this ancient belief?

Understanding cough

Cough is a person’s body method of responding once something irritates the throat or airways, which stimulates nerves that sends a message to the brain. The brain then tells muscles in the chest and abdomen to push air out of the lungs to force out the irritant. This, most times, results in an occasional cough, which is normal and healthy. But a cough that persists for many weeks or one that brings up discoloured or bloody mucous secretion might indicate a condition that wants medical attention. 

Hence, it is a common reflex action that clears your throat of mucus or foreign irritants. Also known as tussis, cough is a voluntary or involuntary act that clears the throat and breathing passage of foreign particles, microbes, irritants, fluids, and mucus; it is a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs. Coughing can be done deliberately or as part of a reflex; likewise, it can be a sign of a serious illness, but more often, it will clear up on its own without the need for medical attention. While everyone coughs to clear throats from time to time, a number of conditions can cause more frequent coughing.

Causes of Cough:

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, MFMER, an occasional cough is instigated to help clear irritants and secretions from a person’s lungs and prevents infection. However, a cough that persists for weeks is sometimes the results of a medical drawback. In several cases, quite one cause is concerned. The following causes, alone or together, are responsible for the majority of cases of chronic cough:

  • Postnasal drip. When a person’s nose or sinuses turn out additional mucous secretion, it will drip down the rear of your throat and trigger your cough reflex. This condition is additionally referred to as higher airway cough syndrome (UACS).
  • Asthma. associate asthma-related cough might come back and go together with the seasons, appear after an upper respiratory tract infection, or become worse when you’re exposed to cold air or certain chemicals or fragrances. In one style of bronchial asthma (cough-variant asthma), a cough is the main symptom.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition occurs when stomach acid flows back into the tube that connects your stomach and throat (esophagus). The constant irritation can lead to chronic coughing. The coughing, in turn, worsens GERD, a vicious cycle.
  • Infections. A cough will linger long when different symptoms of respiratory disease, flu, a cold or other infection of the upper respiratory tract have gone away.
  • A common but under-recognized cause of a chronic cough in adults is pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
  • Blood pressure drugs: Angiotensin-converting protein (ACE) inhibitors, that square measure ordinarily prescribed for top pressure level and coronary failure, square measure famed to cause chronic cough in some individuals.
  • Chronic bronchitis: This long-standing inflammation of your major airways (bronchial tubes) will cause a cough that brings up coloured body fluid. Chronic bronchitis is sometimes a part of the spectrum of smoking-related respiratory organ illness referred to as chronic impeding pulmonic illness (COPD).

Emphysema is additionally incorporated below this term, and chronic bronchitis and emphysema often coexist in current or former smokers with COPD.

Less commonly, chronic cough may be caused by the following:

  • Aspiration (food in adults; foreign bodies in children)
  • Bronchiectasis (damaged airways)
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Nonasthmatic white corpuscle respiratory illness (airway inflammation not caused by asthma)
  • Sarcoidosis (collections of inflammatory cells in different parts of your body, most commonly the lungs).


Medical experts do not agree with the claim that coconut can cause or aggravate coughs. They rather affirm that every part of the coconut is healthy for human nourishment.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with the Broadcastings Corporation of Oyo State, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in Journalism and enhance Media Literacy in the Country.

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