In my recent meet up with our fellow Hilot Advocates in the Philippines, there was a topic that been brought up that the use of banana leaf will be disregarded or will be omitted in the practice of Hilot Massage as it was claimed to be non scientific. But on my stand, i use banana leaf not only to detect the cold part of the body which is a sign of Pilay but use it as a treatment in absorbing toxins in the body. Applying banana leaf over the body surface acts like a Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation or CPR . Since Banana Leaf is rich in chlorophyll, it releases oxygen as it absorbs carbon dioxide on the surface of the skin.
In our research, banana leaves contains large amount of Polyphenols such as Epigallocatechin Gallate or EGCG which has very strong anti oxidant property that is also found in Green Tea. ” EGCG is supposed to be the active compound that is responsible for antioxidant properties of green tea and possibly fat burning properties. In Chinese medicine, EGCG is used to manage hormone levels with treatment for benign prostate hyperplasia to acne. EGCG may prove to be beneficial for many conditions for men and women.”- https://www.livestrong.com/article/282106-the-benefits-of-epigallocatechin-gallate/
“There are many claims about the health benefits of EGCG, mostly due to the potent antioxidant activity. It is believed this protects our cells from oxidative damage from free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the stressors that our modern life puts on our bodies. A number of chronic diseases have been associated with free radical damage, including cancer, arteriosclerosis, heart diseases, and accelerated aging. EGCG can protect the DNA in the human cells from ultraviolet and visible radiation-induced damage and is effective in promoting fat oxidation and lowering body weight. So the banana leaf being packed with EGCG is a very beneficial ingredient in a skin rejuvenation treatment.
So what can the leaves be used for? Banana leaves can treat minor skin wounds and other skin disorders such as dandruff, eczema, and sunburn. Use juice of fresh banana leaf as it will gradually heal from the root disturbance. You can also soak the leaves with cold water and apply on skin sunburn. Banana leaves also have medicinal properties that can relieve poisonous insect bites, bee stings, spider bites, rashes, skin irritation. The leaves are popularly known as a natural eraser.”- http://aromasparetreat.com/healing-qualities-of-banana-leaf/
Here are some of the benefits of banana leaves for the skin:
- Natural herbs can treat minor skin wounds and other skin disorders such as dandruff, eczema, and sunburn. Use juice of fresh banana leaf juice will gradually heal from the root disturbance. You can also soak the leaves with cold water and apply on skin sunburn.
- Banana leaves have medicinal properties that can relieve poisonous insect bites, bee stings, spider bites, rashes, skin irritation. The leaves are popularly known as a natural eraser.
- Cosmetic creams and lotions contain active ingredients are expensive so-called Allantoin found in plant leaves. Allantoin helps faster healing, kills germs and stimulates new skin cell growth.- https://amazetify.com/facts/health-benefits-of-banana-leaves/
Aside from the leaves, the fruits, the flowers and stems has its medicinal benefits for us.
► The high content of iron in bananas increases the production of hemoglobin in the blood -therefore they are very good for anemia.
► When you suffer from a hangover – a banana milkshake with honey can give you immense relief. Cold milk soothes the stomach lining and bananas with honey build up depleted blood sugar levels.
► Bananas are exceedingly good for students as the rich source of potassium can make a person very alert; the fruit is often called a brain tonic
► Bananas work well as a snack for people who have high blood pressure as they are wholesome with low salt levels.
► For those suffering from depression, bananas are good as they contain a protein called serotonin – which is also called the ‘happy hormone’ as it makes one feel happy and relaxed.
► Bananas can be eaten frequently to treat ulcers as they neutralize acidity in the stomach. This soft and smooth fruit cannot irritate the stomach walls.
► For pregnant women suffering from morning sickness, eating bananas in between meals helps immensely in settling the queasiness in the stomach.
► Eating bananas helps people give up smoking as this fruit is rich in vitamin C, A, B6 and B12. Bananas contain potassium and magnesium as well, which help the body recover from nicotine withdrawal.
► Bananas have an antacid effect, so people who experience heartburn find relief on eating a banana.
► Potassium is a vital mineral which normalizes heartbeat while regulating the body’s water balance. As banana is a rich source of potassium, it re-balances disturbances of fluids in the body.
► For weight watchers, banana is an excellent snack in place of crisps and chocolates. Research found that food craving during high pressure work could be assuaged safely and in a healthy manner by eating a banana every 2-3 hourly as it is a high carbohydrate food that controls blood sugar levels.
► Topically, the peel of a banana – with the yellow side on top can be taped to a warts. It will shrivel and fall off.
► The peel of a banana fruit can be rubbed on a mosquito bite with good effect, the stinging sensation stops and the swelling also reduces.
► A ripe banana mashed and applied on the face is great at moisturizing and nourishing tired and dry skin.
When a bunch of bananas is harvested, the stem/tree is cut away. The tender inner stem is used as food and has many medicinal properties as well.
Layers of hard outer stem are peeled away and only the tender inner stem is used. It is very fibrous, so the thread fiber has to be cleaned. The stem is chopped into small bits and soaked in buttermilk or diluted yogurt for half hour. In Southern parts of India, it is cooked as a vegetable and eaten along with rice.
The banana flower grows at the end of a bunch of bananas. It is a leafy maroon colored cone with cream colored florets layered inside. These florets need to be cleaned well before they are cooked as a vegetable. The banana flower is rich in vitamins, flavonoids and proteins. The flower has been used in traditional medicine to treat bronchitis, constipation and ulcer problems. It eases menstrual cramps. The extracts of banana flower have antioxidant properties that prevent free radicals and control cell and tissue damage.
Since our country is rich in Banana, let us all enjoy the bountiful blessings of Nature’s healing plants and herbs that surround us. And with this may our own Traditional and NAtural Healing Arts and Science be known in our land so as across the Seas.