- The word banana may be West African in origin, possibly from the Wolof word banana and passed into English via Spanish and Portuguese. (Ayoola 2011) (44)
- Grown in about 130 countries, more than 100 million tons of banana and plantain were produced worldwide in 2007 according to FAO estimates. (44)
- in 2007 more than 9.9 million hectares of banana and plantain were harvested worldwide.
- Africans consume about 21 kg of banana
and plantain per capita. Ugandans consume 191 kg per year more than one half kg per day, the highest per capita consumption in Africa. (Ayoola 2011) (44)
The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. The main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem, growing from a corm, to a height of 6 to 7.6 meters. Leaves are spirally arranged, as long as 2.7 meters and 60 cm wide, fragile and easily torn by wind, with the familiar frond look. Each pseudostem produces a single bunch of bananas; the pseudostem dies after fruiting, as offshoots usually develop from the base of the plant. Each pseudostem produces a single inflorescence, the banana heart, containing many bracts between rows of flowers. The banana fruits develop from the heart, in a hanging cluster made up of tiers (hands), up to 20 fruit to a tier.
Bananas and Plantains
• The botanical classification of banana and plantain is quite confusing. Plantain is often viewed as a subspecies of banana and banana as a subspecies of plantain. (59)
• The edible fruit of the plantain has more starch than the banana and is not eaten raw. Plantain has a maximum starch before ripening. It is usually cooked green, either boiled or fried. (59)
• The Plant List lists Musa x paradisiaca and Musa x sapientum as synonyms.
• For consider plantains
as a member of the banana family. As a variety, they are starchy and low in sugar, eaten cooked as they are unsavory and unsuitable when raw.
• Plantain averages 65% moisture content (bananas average 83% moisture). Hydrolysis—the conversion of starch to sugar occurs faster in high moisture—is faster in bananas than in plantains.
Plantains are often used as vegetable while banana is eaten as fruit.
- Cultivated throughout
the Philippines in many varieties.
- Juice of the
flower-stem contains potash, soda, lime, magnesia, alumina, chlorine,
sulfuric anhydride, silica and carbon anhydride.
- High potassium content - a medium banana contains about 450 mg of potassium. (Because of potassium homeostasis in the body, 40K ingested is balanced by 40K potassium excreted. The net dose of a banana is zero.)
- Preliminary phytochemical screening of fresh stem juice yielded vitamin B, oxalic acid, sulphate, vitamin C, starch, tannin, glycosides, phenolic compounds, gum mucilage.
- Study yielded 6 triterpenes: 6 triterpenes: cyclomusalenol, cyclomusalenone, 24-methylenecycloartanol, stigmast-7-methylenecycloartanol, stigmast-7-en-3-ol, lanosterol, and a-amyrin and eight flavonoids.
- Mineral content and nutritional value of varieties (lakatan, latundan, saba, and bungalan) showed the carbohydrate content to exceed 25%.
Stems yielded tannins and glycosides in abundance, with moderate amounts of saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, polyphenols and reducing sugars. Phlobatannins was absent. (see study above) (22)
- Proximate analysis of roasted plantain showed high crude protein of 7.1.7% followed by fat content of 4.35% while boiled plantain showed crude protein of
6.01% and fat content of 3.69%. Musa paradisiaca both roasted and boiled are good sources of protein and carbohydrate.
- Phytochemical analysis of flowers yielded alkaloids, saponins, glycosides, tannins, flavanoids, and steroids. (see study below) (56)
- Bunch of bananas with
"puso" - male inflorescence.
• Demulcent, nutrient,
cooling, astringent, antiscorbutic, antifebrile, restorative, emmenagogue,
• The ripe fruit is laxative, demulcent, and nutrient.
• Unripe fruit is cooling and astringent.
• Dried fruit considered antiscorbutic.
• Root is antibilious and alterative.
• Juice of the plant is styptic.
• Because of its high potassium content, bananas are naturally slightly radioactive, more than other fruits.
• Good sources of vitamin A, fair sources of vitamin B, and good sources of vitamin C.
All are deficient in calcium and phosphorus, and only fair in iron.
• Studies have attributed biologic activities: antiulcerogenic, antidiabetic, antiatherogenic, antidiarrheic, antitumoral, antimutagenic, antihypertensive.
Leaves, fruit, roots, flowers.
Edibility / Nutritional
- The "puso" (male
inflorescence) of saba is extensively used as a vegetable.
- Unripe fruit is sugared and candied.
- Ripe fruits also used in making brandy, rum, and wine.
- Rich in vitamins A, B, and C; a fair source of iron.
• Young leaves used for cool dressing of inflamed and blistered
surfaces and as cool application for headaches.
• Powdered roots used for anemia and cachexia.
• Mucilage prepared from seeds used for catarrhal and mild inflammatory forms of diarrhea.
• Juice of tender roots used as mucilage for checking hemorrhages from the genitalia and air passages.
• In China, juice of roots used as antifebrile and restorative.
• Juice of the trunk applied to scalp to increase hair growth and prevent hair from falling.
• In West Africa, used for diarrhea.
• In Gambia, sap of inflorescence used for earaches.
• In French Guiana, flowers used as emmenagogue.
• In the Gold Coast, sap from roots given as enema for diarrhea.
• In Cambodia, Java and Malaya, juice from trunk used for dysentery and diarrhea.
• Juice from flowers, mixed with curds, for dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia.
• Flour made of green bananas used for dyspepsia with flatulence and acidity.
• Ripe fruit, mixed with half its weight in tamarinds and a little salt, is a valuable food in chronic dysentery and diarrhea,
• Cooked flower used for diabetes. Flowers also used as cardialgic.
• Sap of the flower used for earaches.
• In Bangladesh used for treatment of diarrhea.
• In Western Ghat in India, leaves are used for bandaging cuts, blisters and ulcers.
• Ripe bananas combined with tamarind and common salt used for dysentery.
• In traditional medicine in India,
used for diabetes.
• Used as hemostatic in Brazil and India.
• In South-Western Nigeria, green
fruits used for diabetes.
• In Southern Uganda, leaves put under the pillow at bedtime to prevent nightmares and hallucinations. Also, infusion of leaves used for bathing in pre-hepatic jaundice. (55)
• Papermaking / Clothing: Plant fibers used in the manufacture of paper and clothes. A
related species, Musa textiles (Abaca, Manila hemp) is produced on a
commercial scale for its fiber use in the manufacture of paper.
• Wrapping / Cooking: Leaves used for wrapping food for cooking.
• Leaves used for polishing floors, lining pots for cooking rice.
/ Flowers: Study on the chloroform extract of M sapientum
flowers showed hypoglycemic activity with significant reduction of blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin and improvement in glucose tolerance.
• Hypoglycemic/ Fruits: Study
on the green fruits of M paradisiaca indicate it possesses hypoglycemic
activity and lends credence to its Nigerian folkloric use for diabetes.
• Antioxidant: (1) Musa
sapientum flower extract showed improved antioxidant activity in diabetics. (2) A study of extracts of M. sapientum var. sylvesteris showed concentration-dependent scavenging effects, with antioxidant activity stronger than that of vitamin C.
• Gastroprotective: Study
on the unripe plantain extract of M sapientum and unripe pawpaw meal
showed alteration of the gastric phospholipid profile and through a
prostaglandin pathway may have a profound effect on the gastroduodenal
mucosa and implications for gastric and duodenal ulcers in rabbits. (3)
• Antihyperglycemic / Flowers: Study
showed banana flower extract to have an antihyperglycemic action and antioxidant properties, comparatively more effective than glibenclamide. (4) Study evaluated the hypoglycemic potential of M. paradisiaca flower extract in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Acute oral toxicity study revealed the non-toxic nature of the extract. At 200 mg/kbw, there was significant reduction of blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, urea, uric acid and creatinine. The efficacy was comparable to glycazide, a known hypoglycemic drug. (36)
• Analgesic: Study of the aqueous and ethanolic extract of Musa sapientum showed central analgesic action. (5)
• Wound healing: Study of aqueous and methanolic extracts of Musa sapientum showed wound healing properties through increased wound breaking strength, reduced glutathione, decrease percentage of wound area, scar area and lipid peroxidation. Wound healing was probably through antioxidant effect and various biochemical parameters. (6)
• Anti-Ulcer Activity: Study of dried powder of banana pulp showed anti-ulcerogenic activity, esp in the unripe, mature green plantain banana (var. paradisiaca). (7)
• Banana Peels Phytochemicals: Study showed the peel can be a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. The study of anti-nutrients showed generally low values except for saponins. Study suggests, properly processed and exploited, the peel could be a good source of livestock feed, providing a high quality and cheap source of carbohydrates and minerals. (8)
• Antimicrobial Activity: Study of ethanolic extracts of unripe bananas, lemon grass and turmeric showed antimicrobial activity at stock concentrations. Unripe bananas showed a high antimicrobial activity against all test organisms. (9) Ethanol extract of Musa sapientum showed antibacterial activity against the tested microorganisms - Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (B. subtilis, B. cereus, and E coli.)
• Anti-Helicobacter pylori / Anti-Internalisation Activity: In a study of 9 Thai plant extracts used for gastric ailments, Musa sapientum and Allium sativum showed marked anti-internalisation and present a potential benefit in H pylori , prevention eradication, therapy and avoidance of antibiotic resistance. (10)
• Anticonvulsant: Study in mice showed AMS prevented convulsions possibly through prevention of inhibition of vitamin B6 metabolism with subsequent increase in GABA synthesis in the CNS or due to facilitatory effect on GABAergic neurons - an effect mediated by the antioxidant potential of phytoconstituents present in the AMS. (14)
• Indigenous Antiulcer Activity / Leucocyanidin: Study investigated the anti-ulcerogenic activity of an aqueous extract of M. sapientum. Study yielded an active compound--a monomeric flavonoid, leucocyanidin, that showed anti-ulcerogenic activity, in congruous with standard drug esomeprazole. (15)
• Antioxidant / Antibacterial /Hemagglutination Inhibition: Study of methanolic extract of leaves of M. sapientum var. Sylvesteris showed antioxidant and antibacterial activity in vitro. It also showed hemagglutination inhibition activities and hydrogen peroxide induced hemolysis inhibition activity of human red blood cells. (16)
• Antimicrobial / Cytotoxicity: A methanolic extract of M. sapientum L subsp. sylvestris showed good antimicrobial activity the pulp, moderate activity with the peel, and insignificant activity with the seed. On cytotoxicity evaluation using Brine Shrimp Lethality, pulp>seed>peel. (17)
• Anti-Allergic: A water extract of pulp of ripe M. sapientum was reported to have significant anti-allergic activity on antigen-induced degranulation in RBL-2H3 cells with an IC50 value of 13.5±2.4 (Tewtrakul et al., 2008). (21)
• Haematopoeitic and Immunomodulatory / Stems: Study evaluated various extracts of stems on Musa paradisiaca stem on haematological parameters in albino Wistar rats. There was a significant increase in levels of RBC, PCV, and Hb. Findings indicate phytochemicals that stimulate the formation of erythropoeitin. Results showed stem extrude of M. paradisiaca contain phytochemicals that could be responsible for haematopoeitic and immunomodulatory property. (see constituents above) (22)
• Antidiabetic / Ulcer Healing: Study evaluated the effects of extract of M. sapientum fruit on ulcer index, blood glucose level and gastric mucosal cytokines, TNF-α and IL-1ß and growth factor, TGF-α in acetic acid-induced gastric ulcer in diabetic rat. Results showed antidiabetic and better ulcer healing effects compared with OMZ (omeprazole) or insulin in diabetic rat. (23)
• Antidiarrheal / Antioxidant / Antimicrobial / Seed: Study evaluated the antidiarrheal, antioxidant, and antibacterial potential of a methanolic extract of M. sapientum seed. Results showed antidiarrheal effects in a castor oil and magnesium sulfate induced diarrhea model and charcoal induced gastrointestinal motility test in mice. There was good dose dependent antioxidant potential in DPPH and NO scavenging methods, and strong antibacterial effect against E. coli, S. dysenteriae, and P. aeruginosa. (24)
• Surgical Wound Healing / Gel from Peel: Study evaluated the optimum concentration of gel obtained from unripe banana peel for wound treatment in Wistar rats. A 4% gel obtained from unripe banana peel caused better epthelization of wounds healed by secondary intention compared with other gel concentrations. (25)
• Hemostatic Potential of Sap: Study evaluate the hemostatic properties of M. sapientum sap and its mechanism of action. Results suggest the hemostatic effect results partly from vasoconstriction and also from the formation of a protein network that serves as a focal point for cell aggregation that works together in stopping bleeding. (26)
• Anti-Ulcer / Peel: Study investigated the anti-ulcer and ulcer healing potentials of the methanol extract of M. sapientum peel in laboratory rats. Results showed an anti-ulcer effect of the methanol extract attributed to its anti-secretory and cytoprotective activity. The ulcer base healing could be related to basic fibroblast growth factors responsible for epithelial regeneration. (27)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Peel: Study investigated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of banana peel extracts using nitric oxide and DPPH scavenging assays. The water extract of fresh ripe peel exhibited the most potent NO inhibitory activity with no antioxidant activity. A decoction extract of fresh unripe peel exhibited strong antioxidant activity as well as highest total phenolic compound. (28)
• Anti-Diabetic / Sucker: Study investigated the effect of a methanolic extract of Musa sapientum sucker on alloxan induced hyperglycemic rats. Results showed significant lowering of fasting blood glucose with significant recovery of pancreatic histology suggesting rejuvenation of damaged pancreas. Results compared favorably with reference drug glibenclamide. (29)
• Hepatoprotective / Stem / CCl4-Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study investigated the hepatoprotective activity of aqueous extract of central stem of M. sapientum against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Results showed hepatoprotective activity which was attributed to its antioxidant property. The activity was comparable to standard drug silymarin. (30)
• Antidiabetic / Antihyperlipidemic / Stem: Study evaluated the antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic effects of the stem of M. sapientum in STZ induced diabetic rats. Treatment with lyophilized stem juice resulted in significant decrease in FPG and PPG, with increased serum insulin, decreased HbA1C, with restoration of lipid profile, muscle and liver glycogen and enzymatic parameters to near normal levels. (31)
• Effect on Male Reproductive Functions / Fruit: Study evaluated the effect of mature green fruits of Musa paradisica on semen quality of adult male Wistar rats. Results showed significant increment in semen parameters on lower dose (500 mg/kg/day) of plantain flour. However, those on high doses (1000 mg/kg/day) showed marked and significant reduction in sperm cell concentration and percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa. Results suggest moderate consumption may provide beneficial effects of enhancing male reproductive functions. (33)
• Antimicrobial / Peel: Study of banana peel extract showed antimicrobial activity against Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. (34)
• Hyperglycemic Effect / Stem Juice: Study evaluated the effect of M. paradisiaca stem juice on blood glucose of normal and diabetic rats. A dose of 500 mg/kbw produced significant rise of 28.3% in blood sugar level after 6h of oral administration in normal rats. (35)
• Hypoglycemic / Banana Leaves: Study evaluated the acute effect of crude extract, n-butanol and aqueous residual fractions of Musa x paradisiaca leaves on glycemia, serum insulin secretion and glycogen content in an in vivo approach. Results showed beneficial effects on the regulation of glucose homeostasis as evidenced by reduced glycemia, increased liver glycogen, in hyperglycemic rats, inhibited maltase activity and the formation of advanced glycation end products in vitro. There was also significant increase in insulin secretion and muscle glycogen content in hyperglycemic rats with the n-butanol fraction. Phytoanalysis demonstrated flavonoids and rutin as the major compound. (37)
• Antiovulatory / Anti-Estrogenic / Antifertility / Stems: Study evaluated the effect of various extracts of stem on the estrous cycle of female albino rats. Results showed significant antifertility activity, possibly due to its antiestrogenic effect, either by blocking the estrogen receptors or by diminished estrogen synthesis. Ethanol extracts of leaves has potential use to induce abortion and can be further investigated as contraceptive. (38)
• Acute and Sub-Chronic Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study evaluated the safety profile of M. paradisiaca leaf by acute and sub-chronic toxicity study of various extracts in Swiss albino mice. No toxic effect or death was observed in acute toxicity study up to 2000 mg/kbw. In sub-chronic toxicity study, no mortality or biochemical alterations were detected. Results suggest MP leaf is safe in adult male
albino mice. (39)
• Set-Retarding Admixture in Cement Paste and Mortar / Pseudo-Stem Pith Fluid: Study
showed that the use of M. paradisiaca pseudo-stem pith fluid (up to 0.75%) as set-retarder in cement mortar enhance the structural properties such as compressive strength towards the production of type 'M' mortar fr general application. (40)
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study
evaluated the antibacterial activity of various leaf extracts against four bacterial strains viz, B. subtilis, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and S. aureus. Ethanol extracts of Musa paradisiaca showed broad spectrum antibacterial activity with high inhibitory potency against E. coli and S. aureus. Ciprofloxacin was used as standard drug. (41)
• Adaptogenic / Fruit Peels: Study
evaluated the antistress activity of acetone extracts of M. paradisiaca unripe and unripe fruit peels with special reference to stress induced depression in animal models. Plant sterols and triterpenoids were expected to reduce the cholesterol level and modulate the effect of cholesterol in stress and chronic depression. The potentially high antioxidant levels in peel extracts is hypothesized to produce adaptogenic activity. Results showed significant increase in mean endurance time and significant antidepressant activity in the anoxia stress model. (43)
• Hemostatic Effect / Stem Juice: Haemostatis involves the spontaneous arrest of bleeding from damaged vessels. Study
evaluated the haemostatic effect of stem juice in arresting fresh wound bleeding. Results showed a haemostatic property with blood clotting and bleeding times significantly reduced (p<0.05) when the stem juice was introduced. (45)
• Mineral and Heavy Metal Composition / Peels: Peels account for 40% of the total weight of fresh bananas or plantains and are currently used as fertilizer or discarded in many countries. Study investigated the mineral and heavy metal composition of peels of unripe plantain (UP), ripe plantain (RP), unripe banana (UB) and ripe banana (RB). Calcium content were not significantly different (P>0.05) in RP, UP, and RB peels, but was significantly lower than UB peel. Magnesium content of ripe and unripe banana peels were not significantly different from each other, but were significantly higher than ripe and unripe plantain peels. There were no significant differences in the potassium, phosphorus and sodium content of the peels. Zinc was significantly higher (P<0.05) in unripe plantain peel, while unripe banana peel had the least. There were no significant difference in the copper contents. There were no significant differences (P>0.05 in the lead content RP, RB, and UB, while the lead content was significantly higher (P<0.05) in the ripe banana peel. Study results stresses the nutritional relevance and medicinal potentials of peels of banana and plantains, with the potential of of converting the peels of the plants into more useful products. (46)
• Mineral and Heavy Metal Composition / Peels: Diarrheal diseases causes 1 in 9 child deaths worldwide, making it is second leading cause of death among children under the ag4 of 5. In Nigeria, the prevalence of diarrheal infection is as high as 18.8%. Study evaluated the sap of M. paradisiaca for its secondary metabolities and antidiarrheal activity in rat models of castor oil-induced diarrhea, castor oil-induced enteropooling, and gastrointestinal motility models in rats. In all the models, the sap produced changes that compared well with the reference drugs. The activity was attributed to alkaloids, phenolics, flavonoids, and/or saponins, which may involved enhancing fluid and electrolyte absorption through de novo synthesis of sodium potassium ATPase and/or reduced nitric oxide levels. (47)
• Mineral and Heavy Metal Composition / Peels: Study of corm extract of M. paradisiaca cv. Puttabale on in vivo models showed anticonvulsant (maximum electroshock/MES, PTZ, and locomotor test), CNS depressant (forced swim test, muscle coordination test) and antinociceptive (acetic acid, tail-flick test, and hot plate) properties attributable to the presence of phenolics and flavonoids. (48)
• Healing Effects in Diabetic Rats with Co-Occurring Gastric Ulcer: Study evaluated the effects of M. sapientum fruit on ulcer index, blood glucose level and gastric mucosal cytokines, TNF-α, IL-1ß, and growth factor, TGF-α in acetic acid induced gastric ulcer in diabetic rat. The MSE showed antidiabetic and better ulcer healing effects compared with omeprazole or insulin and could be more effective in diabetes with concurrent gastric ulcer. (49)
• Effect on Blood Pressure: Study investigated changes in blood pressure after consuming banana. Results showed bananas contain phytochemicals that significantly reduces blood pressure among hypertensive individuals. Effects could be related to diuretic activity due to banana intake which showed increase in urine volume and electrolyte excretion in animal studies. The sustained drop of blood pressure could be due to potassium ions, present in higher quantity in the banana. (50)
• Anthelmintic: Study investigated the anthelmintic activity from corm ethanol extracts of M. paradisiaca cv. Puttabale using Pheretima posthuma as experimental model. At 100 mg/ml, there was significant effect in time of paralysis and death time. (51)
• Androgenic and Anabolic Effects on Testicular Functions: Study investigated the effect of oral administration of aqueous extract of M. pardisiaca root on testicular function parameters of male rat testes. Results showed enhancement of testosterone-dependent normal functioning of the testes and exhibited both androgenic and anabolic properties. (52)
• Wound Healing / Stem Juice: Study evaluated ash values of dried stem powders and wound healing activity of stem juice in an excision would model. Study showed the stem juice of Musa paradisiaca Linn. has considerable wound healing activity when compared to standard drug Nitrofurazone. (53)
• Wound Healing / Stem Juice: Study showed hexane fraction of hydromethanolic extract of M. paradisiaca and C. indica contains active ingredient/s with the capacity to correct diabetes-induced testicular dysfunction from germ cell apoptosis by regeneration of pancreatic ß-cells and/or recovery of oxidative stress injury. (54)
• Galactagogue / Flowers: Study investigated Musa x paradisiaca flower extracts for potential to promote milk production in lactating rats and its effects on growth of suckling pups. Results showed significant galactagogue activity in rats. The flowers may be a potential use not only for hums but also for ruminants in promoting milk production. Some phytoconstituents may increase serum prolactin level, the hormone involved with milk secretion. (see constituents above) (56)
• Antiulcer / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study investigated the antiulcer potential of ethanolic extract of Musa paradisiaca leaves on ethanol induced ulcer models. The leaf extract at dose of 100 mg/kbw by mouth decreased gastric content, total acidity, ulcer index, and increased pH in the gastric pylorus ligation ulcer model. There was also significant reduction of lipid peroxidation and significant increase in glutathione activity. The antioxidant activity may be one of the important factor in its antiulcer effect. (58)
• Antidermatophytic / Leaves: Study investigated the antidermatophytic activity of a methanolic leaf extract of M. sapientum against Microsporum canis, Trichophyton tonsurans and T. rubrum. Time-kill kinetics showed the extract exhibited bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal effects against M. canis and T. tonsurans. It had not inhibitory or fungicidal effect against R. rubrum. (61)
• Antileishmanial / Cytotoxicity / Fruit Peel: Study investigated the in vitro antileishmanial activity of triterpenes and sterols isolated from M. paradisiaca fruit peel traditionally used to treat leishmaniasis. Five compounds were identified: three triperpenes (cycloeucalenone, 31-norcyclolaudenone and 24-methylene-cicloartanol) and a mixture of two sterols (ß-sitosterol and stigmasterol). With the exception of cycloeucalenone, all compounds showed statistically similar activity against promastigote to pentamidine. Against amastigotes, excluding-norcyclolaudenone, other compounds showed activity similar to amphoterecin B. All compounds showed low cytotoxicity to mammalian cells. (62)
• Diuretic / Flower: Study investigated the diuretic activity of M. sapientum flowers in Wistar albino rats using Lipschitz method. Results showed significant diuretic activity with increase total volume of urine and concentration of sodium, potassium, and chloride ions compared to furosemide standard. (63)
- Wild-crafted and commercial
- Tinctures and capsules in the cybermarket.