Go Bananas! Banana Tree, Trunk, Fruit, Leaves and its usages
Srivaishnavam Parambaryam, Traditions & The Culture that stands Class apart from othersEssence of Srivaishnavam Practices – Banana Tree and its Usages to Humankind
Banana, The Tree, It’s usage & value to the society & Human
by TRS Iyengar
Banana Tree – the plant is most Eco balancing one, which should be grown more everywhere !
No, I am not telling you to go to any Republics. Just telling you about the nature’s Gift named “Banana”. Here I am giving you the facts and benefits one gets by using the Banana. Apart from using Banana fruits as food item, the plant’s other parts such as trunk, leaves, flower and Raw banana are also giving innumerable values to the society. To start with, the leaves are more broader and it grows up to 9 feet in length and two feet wide. Because of this there is large area coverage in each leaf, it intakes more carbon from the surrounding and exhales purified oxygen in the surroundings. Thus the entire surrounding where the plantain is grown becomes very a healthy area to reside in.
People in India, (specially from South India and Tamilnadu – almost all Brahmins, and MUST FOR Srivaishnava’s all functions and mainly for Srardham known as Pithru Pooja) used to serve food on plantain leaves. The main and interesting causes for this are really worthy. Yes, because of single use and throw away, there is no chance for contamination of diseases, as is in the case of dish plates which are used again and again by different persons at any given function. Apart from the above, the mother earth too gets her value back as manure, as it is an easily bio-degradable one. Wherein the polythene and plastic materials which takes any where up to 300 years for bio degradation. This in itself is a most acceptable reason that the Srivaishnavitesand Brahmins in India, who use Banana leaves for serving food at any gatherings and functions.
To increase the fiber essence in our body, I strongly recommend to take the trunk portion of the banana tree. This white portion contains more fiber essence and also increases hemoglobin level in our blood. For any age of person, if suffering from stomach ache, then take one full glass of banana trunk juice with a pint of salt. Just within half an hour, you get the relief & remedy. (This suggestion specifically for women, to stop stomach ache during their inconvenient menses course periods). It is Non poisonous, no side effects and it is a common food item without any man made chemical combinations!
Each and every tree on the earth, when grown old, makes its trunk portion very stronger and the more it is old, the more its trunks get stronger & darker; the trunk portion color too becomes dark brown. But the Banana Tree trunk portion gets whiter, the more it grows; Also, the inner portion gets more softer and smoother than the outer side of the tree. Also its inner portion is pure white, wherein other trees are of brown or black. This signifies to the human, that the more you grow, one should get cleaner and soft in his/her life, like a Banana Tree.
The Banana Flower too is used as a food item in most part of India and especially for Srivaishnavites, it is a must to use on all the Dwadasi days, to include in the food! As cooking this Banana Flower takes a laborious job to peel off the skins and then to remove some hard portion from each particle, now a days many persons in the urban areas don’t use much for want of time. According to Padartha Guna Chinthamani, (a book on all Vegetable and its medicinal values), banana flower is considered as a blood purifying item and also increases hemoglobin cell levels in the blood. Thus, one gets nutritious plus medicinal value out of every part of the Banana Tree.
Now let’s see how Banana help maintain our health system:
Healthy filling and conveniently wrapped bananas are one of nature’s ideal snacks. The banana is perhaps the cheapest and the most extensively eaten fruit. There is no doubt that the banana is one of the fruit food plants cultivated by pre historic man. Ancient Chinese and Vedic writing ascribe marvelous healing properties to the vegetable as well as the fruit. Its energy content makes it very advantageous and filling staple through poorer in proteins as compared to cereals and pulses.
There are many varieties of bananas, each with a distinctive flavor, color and sizes. Color ranges from different shades of green, light to deep yellow, reds. The green banana is put to mature; unripe fruit are made into curries and vegetable dishes. Sliced raw banana (plantain) fried in oil makes very tasty wafers. Ripe bananas contain carbohydrates in the form of sucrose, fructose and glucose, which are readily digested.
The fruit, Banana requires a special mention. An average banana weighs about 150gms. It supplies more calories than any other fresh fruit.
The Nutrition Value available in 100 grms of Banana fruit:
· 1.2 gms of protein
· 78 mcgs of carotene
· 88mgs of potassium
· 27.2gms of carbohydrate
· 116 k calories
· 0.4gms fiber
The following chart showing the exact details for the nutritive value:
Protein per 100 Grams
Fat (in Grams)
Potassium (in milligrams)
Calcium in milligrams
Minerals in milligrams
Energy in K.calories
# Cholesterol and fat content is minimal in banana. Cooked or ripe bananas are very well digested and the nutrients are absorbed well. The fruit is a fair source of B vitamins and calcium. It contains appreciable amounts of many trace minerals as well as fibre. Apart from this, the fruit has many important acids, enzymes and physiologically important chemical compounds.
# Banana is a good source of potassium, which is a vital mineral for muscle and nerve function. Potassium also helps to regulate blood pressure. They also contain a high level of natural sugar in both their fresh and dried form, which they release quickly into the blood stream. This explains why many athletes especially tennis players often eat banana before and in between competition.
# Ripe bananas are so easy to digest and rarely cause allergic reactions. Babies can digest them as early as the third month. Because of all this they are a popular solid food for babies. Mashed banana with milk and sugar can be an excellent supplementary or weaning food for children. Gruel made of banana flour is a commonly used infant food.
# They are also good for treating child hood stomach upsets. BRAT diet comprising of banana, rice, apple, and toast are used for children with diarrhea. Bananas contain no gluten hence their value in celiac disease of children and adults. They are also a useful food for convalescence after any severe illness.
# Ripe bananas have a mild laxative property and hence are very useful in children’s dietaries particularly as a remedy for constipation. At the same time the fruit is helpful to combat diarrhea and dysentery heals intestinal lesions etc. They are also used in the diets of children being treated for severe malnutrition. Experiments have shown that intake of banana helps children to retain many minerals.
# Bananas are common ingredient in many salad dishes, ice creams and milkshakes. Ripe bananas are used to make several confectioneries malted milk drinks and even alcoholic beverages. But the best way to eat it is straight after peeling. When ripe, the fruit cannot be preserved for many days as it spoils easily. Sudden cooling also spoils the fruit and gives off flavour.
# Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of ulcer. The diet should be so arranged to provide adequate nutrition to afford rest to disturbed organs to maintain continuous neutralization of the gastric acid, to inhibit the production of acid and to reduce mechanical and chemical irritation. The plantain or banana has an alkaline ash, therefore it has the ability to correct acidosis caused by acid forming diets. There fore they may be used in the treatment of peptic ulcer. Sufferings from stomach ulcer get relief from Banana as soothing food because of its blandness. The medicinal impact of banana and plantain on stomach ulcers claims that bananas stimulate cell and mucus production in the stomach lining by thicken the stomach.
# The fruits of some varieties of bananas, besides having medicinal properties possess power to increase resistance to diseases. Bananas are rich in phosphorous, hence its combination with milk helps to calm down the nerves. For young children bananas mixed with tulsi or basil leaves activates the brain. Banana may be prescribed for gout, a type of arthritis, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, eczema, hypertension, and even insomnia.
Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.
But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke
Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
Hangovers: The best & quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief. Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Srivaishnavites used to take the banana trunk portion as food items once in a fortnight, on the 12th day from new & full moon days (Dwaadasi – read Ekadasi Fasting).
And now, let us see Tree facts. Anyone taken note of the Carbon Emission cuts? This is the natural way we can surely reduce the Global warming and compensate the Carbon Emissions by planting more trees around us.
Here are some more facts to prove why Banana Trees should be grown more. By planting more banana trees, not only the surrounding becomes greenery and gain more oxygen, but also more cheaper and healthier food item is produced! This is in addition to the eco-balancing act and rain flow.
#Trees are the largest and longest living organisms on earth. Comparing to any other long living Tree family, Banana Tree has more less life; however, it makes from its roots to grow more fresh trees before it fades. Thus, a chain of growth in automatic way that grows in its surroundings.
#To make up for the loss of trees in the past decade, we would need to plant 130 million hectares (or 1.3 million km2), an area as large as Peru.
#Rainforests cover only 7 per cent of the land on earth but they contain nearly half of all the trees on earth. They generate about 40 per cent of the world’s oxygen requirements.
#In one year, an average tree inhales 10 to12 kilograms of CO2 and exhales enough oxygen for a family of four for a whole year.
#One hectare of trees can absorb 5 – 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
# Green trees & forests cover 30 per cent of the planet earth’s total land area. The total forested area in 2005 was just under 4 billion hectares, at least one third less than before the dawn of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago. (100 hectares = 1 square kilometer).
# The ten most green & forest-rich countries, given in size-wise, which account for two-thirds of the total forested area, are the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States, China, Australia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Peru and India.
NOTE: Neither I am a Doctor nor a physician. The suggestive methods that are practiced in India and for generations, these methods are carried to the younger ones by our grandmas’. Some of these tips are availed from other sources and many of these I got by hearsay. A few, practically I used to gain experience! – WebmasterTRS Iyengar.
Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.