The desert date tree: a model of resistance
Nestled in the heart of the desert, the date palm of the desert easily manages to survive, despite adverse weather conditions (large temperature variations, wind ...) thanks to its unequaled ability to adapt. Very powerful, its root system clings into the ground to gain strength and can draw the resources of the earth in depth (up to 7 meters). Provocative, the plant is never deficient since it is constituted of water and lipid reserves that allow it to survive up to 2 years without water.
The date: the miracle of the desert
Rich in polysaccharides, the date is used by the Maghreb countries to sweeten dishes and desserts. It is one of the key ingredients of the region. But besides its culinary qualities, the date is also very appreciated in cosmetics. African healers use it to relieve rheumatism and headaches, heal leprosy, diabetes and cholesterol.
Its almond is rich in essential fatty acids, amino acids, proteins and ceramides. Components that are exactly the same as those that make up the hair fiber. It is therefore able to restore vitality, gentleness and strength to hair dry, damaged or brittle.
One can also draw from its pulp a rich substance, ideal for producing nourishing soaps. In Western Sahara, young women, not without a certain originality, use the yellow color of the fruit as a pigment for makeup eyelids.
A solidarity project around the desert date palm
The desert date palm is a small thorny tree that was originally found all along the belt of sub-Sahel Africa. But the region has experienced an increasing impoverishment of its wealth and its inhabitants following the great droughts that occurred in the 70s-80s and the overconsumption of plants by cattle herds. To revive it, former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade set up the Great Green Wall project in 2004. Since then, the aim has been to build a 7000km long and 15 wide belt of vegetation (from Dakar in Djibouti).
Several plant species have been selected (among them the desert date tree) for their ability to resist in the desert and are replanted there. The aim is to allow people to reclaim space, to develop derived activities (food for humans and animals, firewood, active for silk and cotton work, medicinal use and cosmetics ...) and benefit from them while protecting the environment.
In addition to the 11 countries participating in the operation, the latter has also attracted the Klorane Institute (Pierre Fabre Group) which draws plants active-care of its hair products. The brand has a range of three products based on desert date. For the purchase of one of these products, 1.50 euros are donated to the association in order to support the plantations. But the Institute also supports scientific research around the benefits of the plant and education of people to develop living conditions, convinced that it is through education that the region will draw its own development capabilities.