For Your Health and Beauty

(page 3)

The Brazilian wax palm (Copernica prunifera (Miller) H. Moore), formerly known as Copernica cerifera, produces the high quality Carnuba wax. This wax is on the fronds which have to be cut to harvest the wax. The younger the frond, the better the wax. The best wax is used for lip salves, lipsticks, and in pasta – it gives it body. It is also used to cover tablets and to lubricate dental floss. There are other industrial uses, but that’s another story.

These examples have all been for mass international usage, but there are also local uses. In China they commercially use the Trachycarpus fortunei (Hook.) H. Wendl to stop bleeding. They also harvest the fibres which cover the trunk. After charring, it is used in many traditional Chinese medicines.

If the uses of this family of palm trees is still limited, they are indeed one of the major players in cosmetics, especially for fats and wetting agents coming from palm oils and coprah oil. The next time that you use soap or lipstick (ladies) or treat your prostrate (gentlemen), don’t forget what you owe to palms !

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