Banana or Plantain is one of the most savored fruits, and though they come in various shapes, sizes and varieties, two of these varieties are widely used:
Musa sapientum – These fruits are small and raw ones are used as vegetable.
Musa paradisica – These fruits are large and eaten when ripe.
In Ayurveda banana is referred by various synonyms like Kadali, Vaarnaa, Mocha, Ambusara, Anshumatiphala. Various varieties are also described – Manikya kadali, Martyak kadali, Amrita kadali, Champak kadali, etc.
It is considered as one of the sacred trees and symbolizes Lord Vishnu. The fruit is offered to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi for happiness in family and married life. The Banana leaves symbolize growth and regeneration and in auspicious ceremonies leaves are tied to the pillars and food is served on them.
Banana Tree Uses
According to Ayurveda, all the parts of the Banana tree have healing properties. The banana tree uses are listed as follows:
Flower Of Banana Tree
It is sweet and astringent in taste. The properties are unctousness, heavy and cold. It alleviates Vata, Pitta, blood disorders and emaciation.
- Juice of flowers
- Flowers are taken as infusion for painful menses.
- Flowers of Banana and Albizia lebbek (Shirish) mixed with Pippali (long pepper) are pounded with rice water is helpful in Asthma.
Stem Of Banana Tree
- Juice of stem alleviates Vata disorders and thirst.
- Juice of stem helps in flushing out kidney stones.
- Sherbet (syrup) is given in cough.
- Inner tender stem is eaten as a vegetable.
Leaves Of Banana Tree
- Kshara (Alkali) prepared from ash of Banana leaves is mixed with flour and made into paste. Intake of this alleviates stomach disorders.
- Alkali mixed with turmeric is helpful in skin disorders.
- Leaves are wrapped on wounds for proper healing.
Corm Of Banana Tree
- It is sweet in taste and cold in property.
- It increases digestive fire, taste and strength.
- It alleviates acidity and burning sensation.
Raw and Ripe fruits have the following culinary and medicinal benefits:
Raw Banana Fruit
- It is cold, heavy and unctuous in properties, increases Kapha and alleviates Pitta, Vata, thirst, burning sensation, wounds, emaciation and diabetes.
- In abdominal disorders unripe fruits are steamed a little and made into bread. It is taken with curd
- Unripe Banana fruit roasted on charcoal relieves dyspnoea (Difficult or labored respiration).
Ripe Banana Fruit
- It is sweet in taste, cold in property and has sweet post digestive effect. It is aphrodisiac, anabolic and improves your taste sensation.
- It is helpful in hunger, thirst, eye disorders, is an astringent and aids in digestion. In excessive discharge of menstrual blood, banana fruits mixed with ghee should be taken.
- Active Nutrients: It is an excellent source of Vit A, Vit. B6, Vit. C, Vit. D, Manganese, Potassium, and soluble fiber.
Other Benefits of Ripe Banana:
- It has mild laxative property.
- It helps increase focus and mental acuity.
- It helps neutralize acidity.
- It reduces Blood Pressure, risk of stroke and neurodegenerative diseases Example: Alzheimer’s disease.
- It elevates mood, relaxes the mind, is helpful in premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and depression.
- It can be applied locally as the pulp is helpful in treating the burns and wounds.
- It can be used as a face pack to prevent wrinkles.
- It is used as a hair pack for dry hair.
- It is helpful in morning sickness.