Origin: South East Asia, majorly India, is supposed to be the home of Banana. It is believed that banana domestication was first spotted at Kuk. From Kuk, the value filled banana stepped into the Philippines and spread across tropics.
The African continent witnessed this fruits plantation in the 5th and 6th century. Buddhist literature belongs to 600 BC speaks of the existence of banana. Legend has it that in 327 BC when Alexander the Great was on his expeditions to India he came across this fruit. Sailors of Southeast Asian origin are believed to have carried it to South America.
Muslim merchants carried bananas with them along the trade route to the Middle East and South Asia. By the 13th century, the Japanese were producing banana variety fibers.
During the Moorish invasions, the banana could have entered Europe. In the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese sailors took this fruit to Brazil.
William Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire, received a shipment of banana. Post receiving this, he immediately instructed his personal gardener cultivate the same in the greenhouse.
Food historian Dan Koeppel’sbook Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, mentions that many scholars have faith in the fact that bananas were actually Eve’s apple in the Garden of Eden.
In Ayurveda, Banana is considered sacred. It is associated with the planet Jupiter or Guru and is worshipped on Thursdays. In South India, Banana leaves are used as plates for eating and for many rituals as well. The entrance of wedding halls has banana trees as it portrays prosperity and wellbeing.
Scientifically: Bananas are the fruit of Musa acuminata. Banana is enriched with pectin and resistant starch that helps in balancing blood sugar level when consumed after a meal. Bananas contain dietary fibers that improve digestion. Low on calories but filling, bananas are your friend on the weight loss journey.
The high potassium and magnesium level in banana can stabilize blood pressure and prevent heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases.
Bananas are loaded with antioxidants that reduce the risk of free radicals formation. These free radicals can cause cancer and other deadly diseases. The potassium present in Banana will also keep your kidney healthy. Unripe bananas contain more resistant starch than a ripped banana. Bananas also provide muscle pain relief and efficient fuel for exercise.
Bananas are pregnant with iron, vitamins A, B, B6 and B12 along with copious antioxidants. Thus it helps in guarding skin against aging. The high percentage of water in bananas ensures it hydrates the skin. It protects the skin against drying and chapping.ss
Even Bananas peel is beneficial as it treats dry itchy skin. A hair mask contacting banana addresses moisture, dry scalp, itchy scalp, and frizz.
If you have oily skin, then bananas are a blessing for you. It regulates pores and does not allow dirt or oil to cause a build-up. It’s vitamin A heals dry skin, works on fading acne, and scars and dark spots. In addition, it also smooths out aging skin.
Zinc and Lectin in banana kill the bacteria that lead to acne formation. Its vitamin B ensures that skin does not look stressed or aged. Vitamin C in banana produces collagen that keeps a check on free radicals and controls oil. UV damage protection is provided by vitamin E in banana whilst slowing the aging process. The amino acid nourishes skin, strengthens tissues and ensures that skin elasticity is maintained.
Usage: Bananas are also used to treat warts, bruises, and cuts. Banana peel can be used for whitening of teeth and treatment of insect bites. The cosmetic industry employs bananas as a natural moisturizer, oil control, anti-aging cream, anti-acne cream, dark spot reduction cream, exfoliator, etc.
Here are some diys with banana for nourished skin and hair:
- Mix ripe Banana with honey and lime juice. Apply it on your face and massage gently. Rinse it off after 15 minutes to get bright skin.
- Mix two ripe bananas with coconut oil, coconut milk (you can also use raw cow milk) and honey. Section your hair and massage gently on the scalp and then put that on entire hair. Let it dry and then wash it off.
- Take one ripe banana, mash and apply it on the face. Leave it on for 20 minutes. This mask provides instant moisture to the face.
- Take half a ripe banana and a teaspoon of honey, mix them well and apply on the face. Rinse after 15 minutes. This helps in reducing pigmentation on the face.
- For glowing skin, take half a ripe banana, 1 teaspoon sandalwood paste and half a teaspoon of honey, mix all these ingredients together. Apply on the face and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse later. This mask helps cleaning the skin and to moisturize it at the same time.
- Mix half a ripe banana with 2 teaspoon lemon juice. Apply this mixture on to the face and rinse after 15 minutes. This mask helps in removing dark spots and blemishes.