A date palm that sprouted from a seed found in excavations near Masada continues to grow and is now 14 inches tall. Most of the date trees in the Jordan Valley today come from California, and scientists have hope of learning more about the ancient date that flourished in Israel 2000 years ago.

Solowey, who raised the plant, has grown over 100 rare and almost extinct species of plants. Together with Hadassah Hospital’s Natural Medicine Center, she seeks to use the plants listed in ancient remedies to seek effective uses for modern medical conditions. The Judean date has been credited with helping fight cancer, malaria and toothaches. Solowey was skeptical about the chances of success at first, but gave it a try. “I treated it in warm water and used growth hormones and an enzymatic fertilizer extracted from seaweed in order to supplement the food normally present in a seed,” she said.

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