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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

BananaBanana, Ryukyu

(Musa paradisiaca)
(Musa sapientum syn M. paradisiaca var. sapientum)

CONTAINS: Banana meal contains water, albuminoids, fat, carbohydrates (more than 2/3 starch), fiber, phosphates and other salts, sugar, magnesium and postassium.

The genus Musa contains about 40 species distributed throughout the tropic regions of the Eastern hemisphere and having been introduced to the Western hemisphere.
Bananas have become a staple food product of the world. The unripe fruit is rich in starch which turns to sugar on ripening. In England, the term 'bananas' was given to fruit which could be eaten raw and 'plantain' was the name assigned fruit which required cooking.
Considered astrologically to be ruled by the Moon.

M. acuminata: Native to Malay archipelago
M. Fehi: Native to Tahiti.
M. Cavendishii aka Chinese banana: It possesses a thinner rind and is found in cooler countries).

PART USED: Ripe and unripe fruit and the juice.


Root has been used as an anthelmintic and for reducing bronchocele.
Fruit has been used as part of an anti-ulcer diet in combination with pineapple, blueberries, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. (See The Green Pharmacy, by James A. Duke, Ph.D.)
Banana and oatmeal packs have been used to soothe the skin after removal of chiggers. (Chiggers drown in castor oil).
Once a folk remedy for all types of gastro-intestinal problems.
At one time the juice was believed to be an antidote for snakebite (Lancet, April 1, 1916) and (Lancet, June 10, 1916).

Fruit is eaten raw, roasted, baked, boiled, fried, in soups and stews, dried and ground into flour to be used as a meal.
In East Africa, an alcoholic beverage is prepared from the fruit.
The young shoots of several species are cooked and eaten.
Just before flowering, the rootstock is soft and full of starch and sometimes used as food.

The mashed fruit mixed with warm olive oil to form a paste is used as a mask for dry skin.

The leaves are cut into strips and used to weave mats and bags. They are also used for packing material and at one time for cigarette papers. The mature leaves yield a fiber, the best of it known at one time as 'Manila Hemp'.

(Musa basjoo)
[ba jiao gen]

The leaf is considered diuretic and used for beri-beri and dropsy.
The root has been decocted for beri-beri, constipation, dropsy, jaundice, leucorrhea, poisoning and restlessness.

©2000 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH