Date Palm is a tree grown in Northern Africa and Middle Asia for its tasteful fruits. This medium size tree reaches up to 20 m and it often grows in oasis. The fruit is called date, and it has a medium size (2-3 cm diameter) drupe with color from bright yellow to red, depending on the variety. There are more than 30 varieties of dates with different tastes, sizes and colors.
Because they are spread particularly in Muslim countries (Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Pakistan, Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia) they are popular as filled with all sorts of jellies, marzipan, almond or lemon peel and used for the special holiday of Ramadan.
Dates are also necessary in other uses. Their oil is looked for in the cosmetic industry, dried to be strung on necklaces and burned for charcoal or silversmiths. In Pakistan, gluey syrup is made from dates and applied on leather bags or pipes to prevent leaking.
Dates’ seeds are grounded and used as an additive for coffee. The wood is lighter than coconut but not very durable. These fruits are known to contain a large amounts of tannins used for intestinal problems and as a detersive. As tea or infusion are said to have healing powers in colds, fever, sore throats. The trunk exudes a gum traditionally used for treating diarrhea and urinary diseases, while the roots are used for calming toothaches.
Before commercialized dates are sorted by the number of ripens: kimry (unripe), khalal (full-size crunchy), rutab (ripe, soft), tamr (ripe-sun dried). Although rich in Vitamin C, the substance is lost proportionally with how many ripens the date has suffered. It contains a large amount of sugars and carbohydrates and therefore it is not recommended to diabetics.