Know the health benefits of banana leaves
However, Boldsky advises, in a report on banana leaf, that you consult a doctor when using it for therapeutic purposes, noting that banana leaves are as nutritious and healthy as banana fruit.
1. The common cold and the flu
The results of a scientific study have shown that medicinal herbs, including plantain leaves, can be used as herbal remedies for colds and flu because they contain powerful antioxidants.
One study reported the beneficial effect of all parts of the banana against fever, including its leaves. The phytochemicals in banana leaves help prevent or treat conditions like fever due to their antipyretic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effects. Drinking a decoction of banana leaves is generally considered a cure-all for health.
3. Wound dressings
According to a study, banana leaf is a cheap and effective dressing in many developing countries due to its uniqueness, cost-effectiveness, and readily available properties. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of banana leaves are the same as those of petroleum jelly dressings and therefore can help treat and heal a wound in a shorter time.
4. Strengthen the immune system
One study found that lectins, a type of protein, are abundant in banana leaves. Lectins have powerful immunomodulatory properties that can help increase the number of T cells in the body. T cells are part of the immune cells that help detect and identify pathogens in the body and send signals to B cells to fight and eliminate them.
5. Cellulite reduction
Banana leaves are used in India as a topical treatment that helps reduce cellulite inflammation in the body, known as cellulitis. Banana leaves are crushed and applied to the skin where cellulite is present. The polyphenols present in the leaves help to reduce the cholesterol in the skin cells responsible for the development of cellulite and thus reduce it.
6. Treatment for hair problems
Banana leaves work as a great ingredient for hair and are used to get rid of some hair problems like dandruff and gray hair. Some people’s personal experiences say that cutting and mashing banana leaves to extract water and then applying them to hair can help turn hair jet black, reduce gray hair while also strengthening hair follicles.
According to one study, banana leaves are a potential source of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rutin. Rutin, the main flavonoid found in banana leaves, benefits diabetic patients by controlling their glucose levels and preventing any risk of related complications. Banana leaves also help break down maltose, a type of sugar, in the body, higher amounts of which indicate diabetes.
8. Treatment of ulcer
Gastrointestinal ulcer is caused by an imbalance of acid, pepsin and defensive factors such as nitric oxide in the stomach. A scientific study dealt with the anti-ulcer properties of banana leaves. The study results say that banana leaves contain flavonoids and many organic and inorganic compounds such as alkaloids, antioxidants and phenolic acids which can confer protective effects against gastric mucosal injury and cure ulcers.
9. Improve appetite
Many long-term and short-term conditions such as liver disease, fever, kidney problems, food poisoning, and hepatitis can reduce a person’s appetite. The distinctive aroma is used to stimulate the appetite when served as a dish wrapped in banana leaves.
10. Relieves the pain of bites
A scientific study has reported the antivenom activity of banana leaves against snake bites. The study indicates that when banana leaf extract interacts with snake venom proteins, the tannins and polyphenols in the leaves tend to inactivate the toxic proteins thereby reducing their effect to some extent, which is results in pain relief when banana leaf paste is applied to snake bites. But the study still needs more evidence.
11. Hygienic food packaging
Banana leaves have been used traditionally in food packaging for many hygienic reasons, chief among them the fact that they are toxin-free compared to plastic wrap. The antibacterial properties of banana leaf also prevent food spoilage due to bacteria and germs. Banana leaf wraps keep food safe and fresh for longer. Banana leaf wrappers also don’t require much cleaning because they are environmentally friendly.
12. Unique flavor
Banana leaves are used extensively in cooking, especially in steamed meals. Banana leaves, when used as an ingredient in diets, add polyphenols, which are known to reduce many inflammatory and chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. When hot foods are served on a banana leaf, its waxy coating tends to melt into the food, giving it a uniquely delicate flavor.