Also known as
Latin : Musa sapientum
English : Banana
Sanskrit : Kadali
Hindi : Kela
Marathi : Kela/Keli
Tamil : Kadali
Telugu : Ariti
Malayalam : Kadalivala
Kannada : Valchannu
The very botanical name of banana, Musa paradisiaca, "Apple of paradise" suggests that it is one of the oldest fruits in the world.
Originating from the east of India and neighboring countries, it has gained popularity over centuries and has been taken to America, Africa, Palestine and Egypt by invaders
and visitors making it commercially the most important tropical fruit now.
Often called the most delicious thing in the world, the seedless fruit has gained the status of the staple food of millions around the world, so much so that the soft ripe banana
is the first solid food given to babies.
Vitamins—The ripe fruit is a rich source of Vit-A and a moderate source of vitamins C,B and B2.
The unripe fruit is an excellent source of vitamins which do not perish even after cooking at temperatures upto 60°C
Minerals—Magnesium, potassium and phosphorus are some of the minerals present abundantly in the fruit and calcium and iron are others moderately found in it.
Sugar—The numerous varieties of banana contain glucose levels varying between 15 and 27 percent.
Fibre—The stem is rich in fibre and is cooked as a curry in banana - growing regions. Even the inflorescence is made into a curry in the north-eastern regions.
Strictly speaking, the term plantain is used for the cooking variety of banana, though now, both terms are used intermixed.
How it looks—It is a fleshy, decorative tall herb with long sheathing leaves and bright yellow fruits (on ripening)
What we use—Root, leaves, fruit, stem
What it does—Roots—anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, depurative and tonic
Fruits—sweet, astringent, emollient, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic antidiabetic, antidysenteric
How we use it—
In urinary retention—Take a glassful of the stem juice with a few cardamom seeds crushed into it thrice a day to get rid of painful or burning urination and to
In anaemia—Take a tsp of the powder of the dried root with milk twice a day.
In wounds—Tie the ripe, clean leaves onto the wounds, to clear it from pus and foul odour. Change this dressing twice a day.
In white discharge—One of the best remedies for excessive vaginal discharge is to mix a tsp of the powder of dried amla seeds and a ripe banana everyday for
a 40 days.
In constipation—A ripe banana with hot milk at bedtime every night is a well known smooth laxative for hard bowels.
In menorrhagia or any other bleeding condition—The fruit of plantain should be consumed everyday mixed with ghee to arrest bleeding either from
rectum due to piles, excessive
menstrual bleeding, or any other internal bleeding.
In cough and breathing disorders—Roast a banana and peel it after cooling. The banana, so baked should be consumed everyday to relieve from respiratory distress.
When hair is swallowed—Make a curry of plantain stem and consume. The roughage present in it rolls into its bulk hair and other matter present in the alimentary canal
In boils—Scrape the inside of a ripe banana peel, spread it on a cloth and bandage on to the boil to effect quick healing.
In burns—In an emergency, when nothing is available a banana comes in handy. Mash a yellow ripe banana and spread it over the burn. The demulcent effect of the fruit
healing and prevents scar formation. Repeat this procedure for a few days.
In fungal infections—Mix the yellow ripe banana in neem decoction and are the patches and wash after half an hour. Repeat until cure is effected.
As a cosmetic—The fruit pulp is mixed in honey or used as such as a face mask.
Experimental studies on Musa paradisiaca (banana) in Brazil, showed antiulcer effects in all the models studied.
Bananas are highly nutritious and are essential in the diet of the pregnant and lactating woman, growing children and the aged.
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