Palm oil and date palms have been a part of the human culture for centuries. It is widely accepted as a stimulant of all kinds of food and drink, including the making of good quality wines. Palm oil has also been widely used in perfumery, cosmetics, and as a moisturizer for dry skin. The properties of date palm fruits make them a very natural choice for food products since they are rich in vitamins A, B,C,D & E, niacin, potassium, and protein. Some of the benefits of using date palm oil and date palms are:
Palm oil and date palms contain a number of vitamins that improve the functions of the body. These include vitamin A, which is a strong antioxidant that neutralizes damaging free radicals. Vitamin A is essential in the formation of collagen, which is a fibrous protein found in bones, teeth and connective tissues of humans and animals. Vitamin A is also beneficial in the formation of red blood cells, which are essential in tissue repair and distribution.
The aromatic oil extracted from the flesh of the palm fruit, dates, is known to possess antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. This oil is said to be the most powerful source of flavonoids among all the varieties of tropical fruits. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants, which are proven to prevent cell damage, prevent DNA damage and destroy cancer cells. These qualities make the date palm a popular ornamental plant, which produces large quantities of honey. The honey is used in a variety of culinary dishes.
The Egyptian people have been known to use the fruit of the date palm tree in magic ceremonies. According to Bible, King Solomon used it as an amulet against jealousy and witchcraft. Queen Isabella of Spain was so impressed by Solomon’s power that she granted him a monopoly over her kingdom. The Palm of Eden is considered to be a sacred tree in the eastern culture. It is an important element of religious rituals, in the process of Jewish weddings.
The most common uses of date palms are in the production of date paper. Palm trees grown for this purpose yield small, dark brown pellets, and are used for making date-glazed paper. The palm tree produces seeds through rhizomes, which are tiny versions of leaves. The seeds are ground up, mixed with water, and then fermented, resulting in a pulp that can be used for creating date-pulp tea.
In addition to its ornamental uses, the date palm has a number of other medicinal uses. Called the queen of all fruits, it contains carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and lipids, as well as protein and several kinds of fats. In traditional medicine, it is recommended for use in treating skin diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, insomnia, and oral cavity infections. Ancient Egyptians used it to treat swine flu, and Greeks used it to fight serious stomach infections.
The date palm is closely related to the Orchid, and much like the Orchid, it is classified as a biogenetic tree. The resemblance between the two species is perhaps because both are low-growing deciduous trees. In the wild, palms grow for a year or two, and then drop off to be replaced by new saplings. The palms tend to be slow growing, reaching up to 15 feet in height, with the amount of growth varying from one particular species to another.
The name “date palm” comes from the Arabic word al-Yahyai, which literally means “palm trees”. Like all palm trees, the date palm is native to the omen regions of the Middle East. Because it blooms during the dry months of the year, it is planted to replace dead trees that have failed to flower in time. This gives it a key role in ensuring that spring and summer blooms do occur for the local villagers, who depend on its fruits for food and income.