Date Fruit (Palm) Syrup Molasses
Dates are a fantastic natural, raw, sweet treat. When turned into a thick, sticky, brown liquid, they make a great natural substitute to sugar, maple syrup or honey. Although date syrup is nothing new – it has been a popular staple in Middle Eastern kitchens and natural treatments for decades – these days, the West is slowly falling in love with its natural sweet taste, too.
Dates are a great source of energy, natural sugars, fibers, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They have been used in the Middle East to treat or prevent constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, diarrhea, abdominal cancer and many other conditions.
While these treatments have been passed on from generation to generation and have proven their effectiveness throughout the years, dates and date syrup have recently caught the attention of the scientific world, too.
More effective than manuka honey
Recent research, presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Annual Conference in Birmingham, found date syrup to be as effective, or even better, than manuka honey in fighting a wide range of pathogenic bacterial infections.
Most of the diseases and disorders successfully treated with date syrup are all associated with inflammation and bacterial infections. This sparked the curiosity of Hajer Taleb, a PhD student from the Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK. She made it her mission to research the antibacterial effects and put these age-old traditional remedies to the test.
For her study, she used date syrup from Basra, southern Iraq, which is considered one of the best regions for date and date syrup production. She was able to identify a number of phenolic compounds that naturally form in the ripening fruits. These little substances already showed some powerful antioxidant and antibacterial activity in previously published work.
When date syrup was mixed with a wide range of bacterial cultures such as the illness-causing Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, it inhibited their growth in about six hours. Although similar bacterial activity is found in manuka honey, known for its wound-healing properties, date syrup handles it much faster.