Botanical Name :: : Musa paradisiaca
Indian Name :: Kela
The banana is one of the oldest and best known fruits of the world. It is delicious and seedless and is available in all seasons at a price which is within everybody’s reach. It is a very hygienic fruit as it comes in a germ proof package. Its thick covering provides an excellent protection against bacteria and contamination. The mature fruits vary in sizes and may be greenish, yellow or reddish in color
Origin and Distribution
Original home of banana is believed to be India and Malaya. The fruit as well as its plant is considered to be a very auspicious in all the religious and social ceremonies in India. In the mythological ages in Europe it was called the ‘apple of paradise’. The Greek and Arabian writers referred to it as a wonderful fruit of India. The Malayan soldiers probably took them to Madagascar about the fifth century AD and from there it spread to east coast and mainland of Africa. Later, it was introduced in Western countries and other parts of the world. In India, there are three important banana producing areas South India, Western India and Eastern India from Bihar to Assam.
The banana is of great nutritional value. It has a rare combination of energy value, tissue building elements, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of calories being richer in solids and lower in water content than any other fresh fruit. A large banana supplies more than 100 calories. It contains a large amount of easily assimilate sugar, making it a good source of quick energy and an excellent means of recovery from fatigue.
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 70.1%|| |
Calcium – 17 mg
|Protein – 1.2%||Phosphorus – 36 mg|
|Fat – 0.3%||Iron – 0.9 mg|
|Minerals – 0.8%||Vitamin C – 7 mg|
|Carbohydrates – 27.2%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Fibre – 0.4%||* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion|
|** International Unit||Calorific Value – 116|
The banana constitutes almost a complete balanced diet in combination with milk. It contains a high grade protein, which includes three of the essential amino acids. Banana and milk supplement each other in an ideal manner and provide all the needed nutrients to the body.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
In the traditional medicine of India and the ancient Persia this golden fruit is regarded as nature’s secret of perpetual youth. To this day, banana is known for promoting healthy digestion and creating a feeling of youthfulness. They help promote the retention of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen all of which then work to build sound and regenerated tissues Banana also contains invert sugar, which is an aid to youthful growth and metabolism.
1. Intestinal Disorder
The banana is used as a dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and blandness. It is said to contain an unidentified compound called. perhaps jokingly, ‘vitamin U‘ (against ulcer). It is the only raw fruit which can be eaten without distress in chronic ulcer cases. It neutralizes the over acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by coating the lining of the stomach.
Ripe bananas are highly beneficial in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, being bland, smooth, easily digestible and slightly laxative They relieve acute symptoms and promote the healing process.
2. Constipation and Diarrhea
Bananas are of great value both in constipation and diarrhea as they normalize colonic functions in the large intestine to absorb large amounts of water for proper bowel moments. Their usefulness in constipation is due to their richness in pectin, which is water-absorbent and this gives them a bulk. producing ability. They also possess the ability to change the bacteria in the intestines-from the harmful type of bacilli to the beneficial acidophilus bacilli.
Mashed banana together with little salt is a very valuable remedy for dysentery. According to Dr. Kirticar, a combination of ripe plantain, tamarind and common salt is most effective in this disease. He claims to have cured several cases of both acute and chronic dysentery by this treatment. 1 Ripe bananas are also very useful in dysentery of children, but they should be thoroughly mashed and beaten to cream before use in these cases.
4. Arthritis and Gout
Bananas are useful in the treatment of arthritis and gout. A diet of bananas only for three or four days is advised in these conditions. The patient can be given to eat eight or nine bananas daily during this period and nothing else.
Being high in iron content, bananas are beneficial in the treatment of anemia. They stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood.
The fruit is very useful for those who are allergic to certain foods and who suffer in consequence from skin rashes or digestive disorders or asthma. Unlike other protein foods, many of which contain an amino acid which these persons cannot tolerate and which causes allergy. Bananas contain only benign amino-acids which in most cases ate not allergic. The fruit, however, does cause allergic reactions in certain sensitive persons and they should avoid it.
7. Kidney Disorders
Bananas are valuable in kidney disorder because of their low protein and salt content and high carbohydrate content. They are useful in uraemia, a toxic condition of the blood due to kidney congestion and dysfunction. In such cases, a diet of bananas should only be taken for three to four days, consuming eight to nine bananas a day. This diet is suitable for all kidney troubles, including nephritis.
Bananas are considered useful in the treatment of tuberculosis. According to Dr. J. Montelvz of Brazil, South America, the juice of the plantain or the ordinary cooked bananas works miracles in the cure of tuberculosis. He claims to have cured patients with advanced stage of tuberculosis with frequent cough, abundant expectoration or phlegm and high fever in two months by this treatment.
9. Urinary Disorders
Juice from Banana stem is a well known remedy for urinary disorders. It improves the functional efficiency of kidney and liver thereby alleviating the discomforts and diseased condition in them. It dears the excrettonory organs in the abdominal region of toxins and helps to eliminate them in the form of urine. It has been found to be of great help in the treatment for the removal of stones in the kidney, gall bladder, and prostate. It is advisable to mix this juice whenever possible with the juice of ash pumpkin.
10. Over weight
A diet consisting of bananas and skimmed milk is considered an effective remedy for weight reduction. In prescribed course of diet treatment, the daily diet is restricted to six bananas and four glasses of skimmed milk or buttermilk made from skimmed milk for a period of 10 to 15 days. Thereafter green vegetables may be introduced gradually, reducing the intake of bananas from six to four. This regimen of prescribed course of diet treatment can be continued till the desired results are achieved. Bananas are suitable for overweight people as they contain practically no sodium.
11. Menstrual Disorders
Cooked banana flower eaten with curd is considered an effective medicine for menstrual disorders like painful menstruation and excessive bleeding. Banana flower helps increase progesterone hormone which reduces the bleeding.
12. Burns and Wounds
A plaster is prepared by beating a ripe banana into a fine paste. It can be spread over burns and wounds and supported by a cloth bandage. It gives immediate relief. The young tender leaves of banana tree form a cool dressing for inflammations and blisters.
Uses of banana
Ripe bananas are chiefly eaten raw as a dessert or a breakfast fruit. It is also used in salad together with other fruits and vegetables. Unripe fruits are cooked. Banana chips are made from fully mature unripe fruits. The flour prepared from the dried unripe bananas is three times richer in minerals than the wheat flour, It is also more digestible than cereal starches and is an ideal food for infants and invalids.
Banana, taken as a table fruit, must be thoroughly ripe as otherwise it may be difficult to digest The raw bananas contain 20 to 25 per cent starch. But during the process of ripening, this starch is almost wholly converted with assimilate sugar. Bananas should never be kept in a refrigerator as low temperature prevents their ripening. The fruit should not be taken by those who are suffering from kidney failure because of its high potassium content.