The date is a food of high nutritional value. It provides natural sugar in the form of glucose and fructose. This sugar is ready for immediate absorption and is, therefore, infinitely superior to cane-sugar. It is usually taken raw or with milk which make it highly nutritious in most respects. Taking it with curdled milk is also common. In Sahara, rich people take it with butter by removing the seed and filling the cavity with butter. It is a scientific way of taking fat. It is also taken in several cooked forms. The seeds of the fruit, roasted and ground into powder makes a beverage like coffee, called ‘date coffee’. The date palm yields a sweet juice of high food value. It can be taken fresh with great advantage or make into a tasty country sugar. The juice can also be allowed to ferment and made into alcohol.
NATURAL BENEFITS AND CURATIVE PROPERTIES
Dates are valuable as medicine for their tonic effect. Being easily digested, they are very useful for supplying energy and repairing waste. Milk in which clean and fresh dates have been boiled is a very nourishing and restorative drink to children and adults alike, especially during convalescence.
The nicotinic content in dates is an excellent remedy for intestinal disturbances. According to Metchnikoff, the great Russian scientist, liberal use of dates keeps in check the growth of pathological organisms and helps to establish a colony of friendly bacterial in the intestines.
The date is a laxative food. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of constipation as the roughage provided by it stimulates sluggish bowels. They should be immersed in water at night and taken after making them into a fine syrup the next morning to secure laxative effect.
Dates are an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. In such cases, drinking water in which fresh dates have been rubbed or soaked will bring quick relief.
Dates are an effective remedy for weak heart. Dates soaked overnight in water and crushed in the same water in the morning after removing the seeds should be taken at least twice a week in this condition. It will strengthen the heart.
Dates are highly beneficial in the treatment of sexual weakness. A handful of dates soaked in fresh goat’s milk overnight should be grounded in the same milk in the morning. A pinch of cardamom powder and honey should be mixed in this preparation. This becomes a very useful tonic for improving sex stamina and sterility due to functional disorders.
According to Dr. Aman, a date tied to the wrist of the baby and allowed to be sucked by him during teething time hardens the gums and prevents other complaints like fretfulness and diarrhoea. A teaspoonful of paste of the date prepared with honey is an effective medicine for diarrhoea and dysentery during teething. It should be given three times a day.
The dates require great care for selection. The sticky surface of the date attracts dust and impurities of the air to settle there. It is, therefore, advisable to purchase the best varieties in good packing condition and to wash them thoroughly before use.
(CULLED FROM FOODS THAT HEAL BY: H. K. BAKHRU)
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