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 thats 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), dont forget what you
owe to palms !