Vitamins are essential for the optimum functioning of the body. Antioxidant-rich foods, well-balanced diet and a low stress environment are vital in maintaining good health. The sources of antioxidants from food are many. One of those sources is from banana. There are many medicinal uses of banana.
Raw foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, edible seeds contain a lot of beneficial nutrients. Fruits are essential components of a healthy and well-balanced diet. One such fruit is the humble banana. Though banana is called as a poor man’s fruit, its health benefits are for all.
Banana, a herbaceous plant, is also one of the most ancient grown plant, also known as Musa paradisiaca which is traditionally native to Southeast Asia and India. The most thrilling part about banana plant is that all the parts of the plant have some or the other medicinal value.
Banana fruit is nutritious, calorie filled that contains potassium and soluble fiber in ample. It also contains vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C and magnesium which helps in cell regeneration and soothes the skin.
Listed below are the medicinal uses of banana
Banana is one of the most dense source of potassium, which helps in maintaining optimum function of the muscles. It helps in contraction and relaxation of the muscle fibers and is vital for cardiac health as it helps in keeping the blood pressure under control.
Potassium also helps in maintaining fluid balance in the cell and regulates the inflow and outflow of nutrients and cell waste in the cell.
The soluble fiber present in banana helps in relieving gastrointestinal disorders like both constipation and diarrhea by absorbing water and forming a gel like substance that restores normal peristalsis of the gut.
It also slows the digestion, thus increasing the gastric emptying time. Banana fruit and banana peel both are rich in this soluble fiber
Bananas are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C that have functions like boosting immunity, growth and regeneration of cells and tissues and others
Banana contains an amino acid called tryptophan which is a precursor of a substance called serotonin, which is called as a ‘happy hormone’ and enhances mood, relaxes the mind and induces good quality sleep.
It is useful remedy for people fighting depression. This serotonin also helps in relieving menstrual cramps in women during the menstrual cycle
The peel of the banana contains polyphenols and carotenoids which act as antioxidant in the body and help in neutralizing free radicals that may be the cause of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and some types of cancers
The raw and the unripened type of bananas contain resistant starch that slows down digestion and may improve insulin sensitivity. This helps in controlling the blood sugar levels after meals and reduces appetite by delaying gastric emptying.
However, it should be noted that the ripe variety of bananas have a higher sugar content and can increase the blood sugar levels if consumed in excess.
Banana fruit is one of the best remedy for ulcers, acidity and heartburn. It helps in neutralizing the acidity of gastric juices and maintaining the acid influx in the stomach, thereby decreases the ulcer irritation in the stomach.
Research has shown that the raw green variety has antiulcerogenic effect against some medicines like aspirin.
Evidence has shown that ethanol based extracts of banana flower restrict the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli and thus help in preventing infections. The extracts obtained from the peel and pulp of ripe bananas possess antibacterial activity. That’s why it is said that banana has plenty of medicinal uses.
Fuel for the body
Being calorie and potassium rich, bananas are the most common go-to options for pre or post workout snack. They are usually consumed by athletes during high intensity training and exercise.
For the same reasons, they are the most feasible option for children who are malnourished to provide that extra calories and nutrients.
The extract from the core of the stem is protective against developing kidney stones and bladder stones. It is native ingredient in cooking to some parts of India and helps in flushing out urinary blocks
Bananas help in retaining the calcium and phosphorus in the body which is required for a good bone health. The fruit is used as a remedy for wound healing and burns. The pulp of a ripe banana when made into paste, provides instant relief from the pain due to burn or wound.
The leaves of banana can be used as cold compress for burns and wounds. Banana and banana peel have many cosmetic uses such as improving skin texture, reducing signs of aging like wrinkles, reduce acne scarring, naturally conditioning hair, improving hair strength and making the hair more shiny and smooth.
It has been used as an ingredient in face and hair masks recently
Another fact to keep in mind about banana is the colour. The colour makes a difference in the nutritional content of the peel. Green bananas, or the unripened and the raw variety are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid which improves mood and delivers better sleep quality and, resistant starch which has gut health benefits.
On the other hand, a ripened yellow banana peel contains more antioxidants and antiaging effects.
Medicinal properties as per parts of the plant
Despite medicinal uses of banana, the part of the banana plant also has some medicinal properties. This is unique to this plant that has something to offer from each of its part. They include :
One can make a banana root tea from the root which has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used a pain relief remedy for easing out pain during injury
Peel and pulp
Antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Improves skin and hair health, treats warts, wounds and insect bites
Helps in maintaining fluid balance inside the body and acts as a diuretic. It helps in detoxifying the body and is a good preventive option for kidney stones.
Astringent properties, which is used to treat numerous ailments like leprosy, hysteria, fever, epilepsy, hemorrhoids and insect bites
The flower has been traditionally used to cure bronchitis and constipation. They also help in relieving menstrual cramps.
Banana is a nutritious and medicinal plant. It is one of those first foods that is fed to an infant when they begin complementary feeding since it is easy to chew and digest by the infant’s digestive system. It is one of those multi utility plant that is used as a remedy for several ailments since ancient times.
There are numerous ways to consume banana. Bananas can be peeled and eaten raw, banana peels are usually eaten in a cooked, boiled or fried form. Because of the plenty of medicinal uses of banana, People have started to get more innovative in putting its use in cooking because of the medicinal uses of banana. Banana peel can be added to banana bread or smoothies.
Banana stem and flowers are used in cooking to make curries. It can be consumed as a part of breakfast or a snack, anytime during the day. It is inexpensive and widely available throughout the year.