Dates are fruits of date palm tree, a tall tree with coconut tree like appearance and reaching up to height of 100 feet. Dates grow in clusters on these tree. Clusters can contain up to 200 dates and can weigh up to 12 kg. The date palm is native to countries bordering the Persian Gulf. Dates fruits are staple food for people of North Africa and Middle East for thousands of years. In India, it is cultivated in arid regions such as Rajasthan.
Botanical name: Phoenix dactylifera
Ayurvedic: Kharjura, Kharjuuraka, Kharjurikaa, Chhuhaaraa (dry date)
Unani: Khurmaa, Khajur, Chhuharaa
Siddha: Perichchankay, Ita
Constituents of Date Fruits
Flavonoids, sterols, procyanidins, carotenoids, anthocyanins, sugar (glucose, sucrose and fructose), protein, vitamins, dietary fibers
Ayurvedic properties and date fruits(khajur)
Date fruits are very nutritious and eaten all over the world. Its Ayurvedic properties and action are given below.
- Rasa (Taste): kashaya/Astringent, Madhura/Sweet
- Guna (Characteristics): Guru/Heavy, Snigdha
- Virya (Potency): Sheet/ Cool,
- Vipaka (Post Digestive Effect): Madhura/Sweet
Heath Benefits of Dates fruits
Dates fruits are very tasty and nutritious food. They are rich in carbohydrates such as sucrose, glucose and fructose (65% – 80%), and a good source of fibres and some essential minerals. The fruit contain about 10-20% moisture, 2% protein, 0.4-0.7% fat, 30-50 mg/100 g Ascorbic acid, 6-8g/100 g fibre and energy 278-300 kcal/100g. They are low in fat and protein, high in sugars and have no starch. Dates are excellent source of niacin, B6, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. They are good source of zinc, selenium and folic acid.
Date fruits are alkalising. They reduce blood acidity. Due to their high soluble content, they gives relief in constipation. Dates absorb water, softens stool and thus eases the bowel movement.
They improve overall health and give strength to body. Date are tonic for heart. Ayurveda says, dates reduces excess bile/piita, vata/wind and kapha/mucous in body. They stimulates appetite and gives relief in skin diseases. They are good source of antioxidants that protect body from many chronic diseases.
In many important Ayurvedic formulation date are used as an ingredients. Example of such medicines are Drakshadi churna, Ealdi Modaka, Eladi Gutika, Shiva gutika Laghu etc.
Medicinal uses of Dates fruits
Date palm fruits has antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, antihyperlidimic (lowers lipid) and liver protecting properties. They are rich in antioxidant and protect against free radical damage. They are natural source of vitamins such as riboflavin, biotin, thiamine, ascorbic and folic acid, and minerals calcium, iron, copper, cobalt magnesium, fluorine, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, boron, sulfur, zinc and selenium. Date fruits have neuroprotective and antioxidant property due to which they protect brain.
The Ayurveda and Unani, date fruits are considered aphrodisiac. Date fruits are good for reproductive system and used to improve fertility.
The recommended dose of dates is 10-50 grams (fresh fruit) and 10-15 grams (dried fruits).
Improving libido, stamina and fertility
- Date is considered to be aphrodisiac and improves sexual potency. Boiling with milk increases the protein content.
- Take few dates and boil in milk for 10 minutes and drink at night.
- Take few leaves of khajur tree and grind to extract juice and mix in water and drink. Regularly take this to improve stamina.
Chewing few 4-5 dates daily is helpful as dates are very good source of natural sugar, vitamins, and micro nutrients. They are restorative and tonic that improves overall health. Boiling with milk further enhances their nutritional value.
Dates have demulcent (relieving inflammation or irritation), expectorant and antitussive (prevent or relieve a cough) properties. Its intake during winters prevents and gives relief in cold, cough and flu. Boil dates in milk for 5 minutes. When lukewarm, drink milk and chew dates.
Kidney, prostate and urine related problems
Date are diuretic. They stimulate urine production. For Kidney, urine and prostate related health problems, regular intake of 4-5 dates daily gives relief.
Dates are full of iron and helps to improve haemoglobin and also purifies blood.
Dates are full of soluble fibers and have laxative in action. Fibres absorb and hold water and thus helps in stool softening. So eating dates gives relief in constipation.
Take few date fruits. Remove the seeds. Roast black sesame seeds or Kale til. Mix both the ingredients. Give round ball like shape (Laddu). This should be eaten to prevent bed wetting.
- Wash dates before consuming.
- During summer, soak dates in water at night and chew in morning.
- Eat according to the digestive strength.