Palms Have Many Uses …
The best known palm is probably the coconut, due to both its great taste and health benefits. Other palms are useful as well for housing, food, decoration and medicines.
Among the many palm species at Belize Botanic
Gardens is Crysophila stauracantha, known in Belize as the “Give and Take” palm.
You might be wondering whats the reason this palm is call the “Give and Take” palm. Its because the palm-fronds provide material to make brooms, however the palms large, pointy thorns can be very painful if you are careless about handling the cutting or if you unwittingly grab a younger specimen by mistake, while walking in the bush.
In either case, I am told you just use your machete to cut off a piece of the palm’s own bark and use it as a poultice to help reduce the pain.
You may not have ever seen a palm frond broom in your lifetime, not counting Halloween, however, believe it or not, these brooms are still in use for sweeping floors in Mayan communities throughout Belize and the surrounding region.