Toddy palm (Sugar palm, Palmyra palm or Cambodian palm) is the national tree of Cambodia. It is a native of South East Asia and also grown in Africa, India and Malaysia. It is a member of the palm family. It is a large tree that reaches up to a height of 25-30 meters. The has a broad bark, long and spiny stalk, unisexual flowers, and fan shaped leathery leaves deeply divided up to the centre. The fruit resembles a coconut. It is three sided, is deep purplish in colour. It contains a soft kernel with hollow watery, icy and jelly like edible pulp. The sap of toddy palm is extracted or squeezed from the tip and then dried to produce palm sugar. An alcoholic drink called arrack and palm vinegar are produced by fermentation of toddy or sap. The fruit pulp makes a nutritious drink and can be eaten fresh. It has a cooling effect.
Chemical composition: Fruit and sap contains vitamins A, B and C, proteins, minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
Part used: Flowers, roots and fruits.
The sap is used to make palm sugar or jaggery which has low glycaemic index and provides minerals necessary for the body. It is often used as sugar substitute for diabetics.
The roots of toddy palm are anti-helminthic and diuretic. They kill worms in children.
Decoction of the roots is beneficial for respiratory problems.
The decoction in combination with black salt is used as a mouth wash.
The sap is diuretic and laxative. It helps to remove toxins from the body.
Contraindications: It is a safe fruit. However, diabetics should consume in moderation.
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