Date other uses
Date Palm stump showing the wood structure.
Date seeds are soaked and ground up for animal feed. Their oil is suitable for use in soap and cosmetics.
They can also be processed chemically as a source of oxalic acid. The seeds are also burned to make charcoal for silversmiths, and can be strung in necklaces. Date seeds are also ground and used in the manner of coffee beans, or as an additive to coffee.
Date palm leaves are used for Palm Sunday in Christian religion. In North Africa, they are commonly used for making huts. Mature leaves are also made into mats, screens, baskets and fans. Processed leaves can be used for insulating board.
Dried leaf petioles are a source of cellulose pulp, used for walking sticks, brooms, fishing floats and fuel. Leaf sheaths are prized for their scent, and fibre from them is also used for rope, coarse cloth, and large hats.
The leaves are also used as a lulav in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
Stripped fruit clusters are used as brooms. In Pakistan, a viscous, thick syrup made from the ripe fruits is used as a coating for leather bags and pipes to prevent leaking.
Date palm wood is used for posts and rafters for huts; it is lighter than coconut and not very durable. It is also used for construction such as bridges and aqueducts, and parts of dhows. Leftover wood is burnt for fuel.
Where craft traditions still thrive, such as in Oman, the palm tree is the most versatile of all indigeneous plants, and virtually every part of the tree is utilised to make functional items ranging from rope and baskets to beehives, fishing boats, and traditional dwellings.
Traditional medicinal uses
Dates have a high tannin content and are used medicinally as a detersive (having cleansing power) and astringent in intestinal troubles. As an infusion, decoction, syrup, or paste, dates may be administered for sore throat, colds, bronchial catarrh, and taken to relieve fever and number of other complaints. One traditional belief is that it can counteract alcohol intoxication. The seed powder is also used in some traditional medicines.