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What Are the Medical Uses of Phoenix Dactylifera?

A bowl of medjool dates from a phoenix dactylifera tree.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
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Phoenix dactylifera, also referred to as the date palm, has had a variety of purported medicinal uses throughout history. Some of the most common include the treatment of respiratory illnesses, gastrointestinal disturbances, and the improvement of fertility in both males and females. It is widely believed that Phoenix dactylifera possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties and may be used to treat conditions such as lupus or arthritis. Negative side effects related to the date palm are relatively rare, although some people may experience an allergic reaction to the fruit. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of the date palm in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Respiratory illnesses have been traditionally treated with Phoenix dactylifera. Asthma, bronchitis, and tuberculosis are specific illnesses that may be treated with this herb. The date palm can be used as an expectorant to make coughs more productive and may also help to sooth a sore throat and reduce fever.

A variety of gastrointestinal disturbances may be successfully treated using Phoenix dactylifera. In some cases, the date palm may be used as a laxative or taken to induce vomiting. Regular use of this herb may also help to treat inflammatory bowel disease. Caution should be used so that dehydration does not occur. If urine output decreases or sweating no longer occurs, a doctor should be consulted for further evaluation.

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Those who have been diagnosed with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of Phoenix dactylifera. The fruit from the date palm tree is thought to cleanse and detoxify the liver and may protect the cells of the body from premature death. Some studies have indicated that the fruit from this tree may help to prevent certain forms of cancer.

Throughout history, Phoenix dactylifera has been used as an aphrodisiac and to increase fertility. This fruit is believed to have mild estrogen-like effects, increasing the chances of fertility in women. Males may develop an increased sperm count as well as improved motility when using this herbal supplement.

Most people are able to use Phoenix dactylifera without experiencing negative side effects, although allergic reactions are possible. A mild reaction may involve itching, sneezing, or the development of a rash. A severe and potentially fatal type of reaction known as anaphylaxis can cause chest pain, facial swelling, and difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms develop, emergency medical attention is required to save the life of the patient.

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