Drugs A - Z
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera)
Generic Name: Phoenix dactylifera
CategoryHerbs & Supplements
Arecaceae (family), date sugar palm, edible dates, fluorine, pectin, Phoenix canariensis, Phoenix dactylifera, Phoenix sylvestris Roxb, profilin, selenium, sun-dried date.
The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) has a long history of cultivation and its fruit has been used as a source of nutrition. Although its exact native distribution is unknown, it probably originated somewhere in the desert oases of northern Africa and perhaps also southwest Asia.
Today, date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits are part of the daily diet in many Middle Eastern and neighboring countries. Extracts of the date palm kernel have been evaluated in scientific studies for use as a topical antiwrinkle agent. Date palm is not listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Skin aging (wrinkles):
Plant hormones found in date palm kernel may have anti-aging benefits. However, currently, there is insufficient available evidence to recommend for or against the use of date palm as an antiwrinkle agent.
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Cancer, decaying teeth (prevention).
Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for date palm in adults. Date palm kernel has been studied in a cream formula and applied twice a day for five weeks in the eye area to reduce fine wrinkles; this dose has not been proven effective.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for date palm in children.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to date palm fruit or pollen. Date palm is among the most common allergens in Arab countries. Allergies to pollen from date palms and similarly cultivated species have been shown to cause allergic rhinitis, wheezing, rhinoconjunctivitis, and bronchial asthma.
Side Effects and Warnings
Date palm is likely safe when used in food amounts in nonallergic people. However, date palm is not listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.
Date palm fruit has been associated with oral allergy syndrome, allergic rhinitis, wheezing, rhinoconjunctivitis, and bronchial asthma.
Foreign body puncture wounds due to date palm thorns or thorn fragments, some causing systemic illness and requiring surgical removal, have been reported. Several cases of articular synovitis, bony pseudotumors, granulomatous synovitis, and synovitis (all types of join inflammation) due to embedded date palm thorns or thorn fragments have been reported in regions where date palm trees are an indigenous species.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Interactions with Drugs
Insufficient available evidence.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Insufficient available evidence.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Dilys Burke, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Tera Stock, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).
BibliographyDISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Adams CD, Timms FJ, Hanlon M. Phoenix date palm injuries: a review of injuries from the Phoenix date palm treated at the Starship Children's Hospital. Aust.N.Z.J.Surg. 2000;70(5):355-357.
Al Farsi M, Alasalvar C, Morris A, et al. Compositional and sensory characteristics of three native sun-dried date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) varieties grown in Oman. J Agric Food Chem 9-21-2005;53(19):7586-7591.
Al Shahib W, Marshall RJ. The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future? Int.J.Food Sci.Nutr. 2003;54(4):247-259.
Almehdi AM, Maraqa M, Abdulkhalik S. Aerobiological studies and low allerginicity of date-palm pollen in the UAE. Int J Environ.Health Res 2005;15(3):217-224.
Asturias JA, Ibarrola I, Fernandez J, et al. Pho d 2, a major allergen from date palm pollen, is a profilin: cloning, sequencing, and immunoglobulin E cross-reactivity with other profilins. Clin Exp Allergy 2005;35(3):374-381.
Bauza E, Dal Farra C, Berghi A, et al. Date palm kernel extract exhibits antiaging properties and significantly reduces skin wrinkles. Int.J.Tissue React. 2002;24(4):131-136.
Bener A, Safa W, Abdulhalik S, et al. An analysis of skin prick test reactions in asthmatics in a hot climate and desert environment. Allerg.Immunol (Paris) 2002;34(8):281-286.
Copley MS, Rose PJ, Clapham A, et al. Detection of palm fruit lipids in archaeological pottery from Qasr Ibrim, Egyptian Nubia. Proc Biol Sci 3-22-2001;268(1467):593-597.
Kwaasi AA. Date palm and sandstorm-borne allergens. Clin.Exp.Allergy 2003;33(4):419-426.
Kwaasi AA, Harfi HA, Parhar RS, et al. Cultivar-specific IgE-epitopes in date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruit allergy. Correlation of skin test reactivity and ige-binding properties in selecting date cultivars for allergen standardization. Int.Arch.Allergy Immunol. 2000;123(2):137-144.
Kwaasi AA, Harfi HA, Parhar RS, et al. Cross-reactivities between date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) polypeptides and foods implicated in the oral allergy syndrome. Allergy 2002;57(6):508-518.
Luby SP, Rahman M, Hossain MJ, et al. Foodborne transmission of Nipah virus, Bangladesh. Emerg.Infect.Dis 2006;12(12):1888-1894.
Moore JE, Xu J, Millar BC, et al. Edible dates (Phoenix dactylifera), a potential source of Cladosporium cladosporioides and Sporobolomyces roseus: implications for public health. Mycopathologia 2002;154(1):25-28.
Taskiran E, Toros T. Chronic synovitis caused by a date palm thorn: An unusual clinical picture. Arthroscopy 2002;18(2):E7.
Waibel KH. Allergic rhinitis in the Middle East. Mil.Med 2005;170(12):1026-1028.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.