Banana trees, Plantain - Musa spp. (Musaceae)

Medicinal Use of Banana, Plantain – Musa spp. (Musaceae)


Evergreen, palm-like perennials growing to 30 ft (9 m). Have large, shiny green leaves, hanging flowering stems, and bunches of elongated green fruit that turn yellow on ripening.

Habitat & Cultivation

Musa species are native to India and Southeast Asia, and are extensively cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. The fruit is generally picked when immature and then allowed to ripen. The leaves are gathered as required.

Parts Used

Fruit, leaves, root.


The fruit contains flavonoids and is rich in vitamins B, C, and E, potassium, serotonin, and noradrenaline.

History & Folklore

The delicious and highly nutritious banana fruit is the yield of careful horticulture, which had its origins with wild plants in prehistoric times.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Ripe banana fruit is gently laxative, while the unripe fruit is astringent and used to treat diarrhea. The fruit stimulates hemoglobin production and can therefore prove useful in preventing or treating anemia.

Banana makes a simple addition to diets aimed at lowering high blood pressure. Given the fruit’s serotonin content, some practitioners recommend taking three bananas a day to help treat migraines and depression. A syrup made from plantain is taken for coughs and chest conditions such as bronchitis.