For Your Health and Beauty

(page 2)

Today, many types of palm trees are used in large quantities by the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. The Saw Palmetto from Florida, (Serenoa repens (Bart.) Small) contains acids and sterols which are highly therapeutic. Before Europeans arrived in Florida, the Seminole Indians used the fruits to treat urinary problems. Early Americans used these fruits to treat such things as difficulty in urinating, as an aphrodisiac, and even to increase breast size! It wasn’t until the 1970‘s that serious work was done with it, notably in French and German laboratories. Today, the extract of the fruit is the base of many products used in the treatment of the enlarged prostrate. In most Latin and German countries it is treated as a medicine and refunded by the state. In Anglo-Saxon countries it is considered to be a food supplement and demand is rising rapidly. This international success has led to an increase in demand for these fruits. 4000 tons of fruit are harvested annually in Florida to satisfy demand. The fruits come from trees in the wild which are numerous. Their growth rate is very slow, and there are no artificial plantations. Other extracts from this palm enter into cosmetic products such as those created for oily skin and for the struggle against baldness. Homeopathic treatments use these fruit for prostatitis.

The coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) produces Copra oil, used to make the famous Tahiti “Mono_” (suntan lotion). One litre of oil is left to macerate with 12 gardenia taitensis flowers. Coconut oil is a base product for greases and wetting agents, used for soaps. In fact, every time you use soap or shower gel, coprah oil is almost certainly present as a wetting agent. Coconut milk is also used in cosmetics and homeopathic remedies for certain allergies.

The palm Elaeis guineesis Jacq, the famous African oil palm, gives us oil from the fruit pulp as well as from the stone. These are also widely used as fats, emulsions, and wetting agents in cosmetic formulations. The fruit pulp contains vitamins A and E. These have anti-oxygenating properties which are being investigated as food supplements.

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