Doum palm was considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians, and the seed was found in many pharaoh’s tombs.
Doum palm is a tall, multi-stemmed evergreen palm tree growing slowly up to an ultimate height of around 15 metres. The stem can be 15cm in diameter. This is a very distinctive species since it is one of the few palms that produces side branches.
The doum palm has been cultivated for its various uses for thousands of years in Egypt. An important local food source, the plant is also utilised for medicine and various other commodities by the local people
A drink made from it is used for the treatment of jaundice (weyba). When softened and dissolved in liquid, the root bark of the tree is used for the treatment of intestinal colic (qirxet) and inguinal hernia. A solution from the leaf fibre (after being boiled and soaked in water) is used as an eyewash to treat conjunctivitis (himam ayni) in Sudan. The fruit itself when eaten raw is also good for the treatment of stomach pain and bladder infection. The fleshy middle part of the fruit is believed to increase the flow of urine (diuretic) and thereby treat ailments that include blood pressure, heart failure, kidneys, liver disease and diabetes. Similarly, drinking the root extract is also believed to be good for treating blood in the urine.