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The Oily Palm Tree.

Palma oleosa.

A very beautiful tree, native of Africa and America. It crows moderately high. The trunk is naked all the way to the top, where the leaves grow in vast quantities: they are long and narrow, and the foot stalks on which they stand are prickly. The flowers are small and mossy. The fruit is of the bigness of a plumb, oblong, and flattish, and is covered over with a tough and fibrous coat. From this fruit the natives express what they call palm oil: it is a substance of the consistence of butter, and of a pleasant, though very little taste.

The oil is the only produce of the tree used: They eat it upon the spot, but we apply it externally against cramps, strains, pains in the limbs, and weaknesses: but we seldom meet with it fresh enough, to be fit for use; and at present, it has given place to the famous opodeldoc, and to several other things, which have the same qualities in a much greater degree.


The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.



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