Banana – Musa paradisiacal

Banana flower with fruit forming above
Banana flower with fruit forming above

One spring day, not long ago,
a good friend gave to me.
A wondrous and amazing plant,
a small banana tree.
With loving care a planting sight,
selected in our yard.
And soon the tree was ten feet tall,
and really growing hard….

By Daniel Parks

 

This lover of rainforests is a native of Malaysia, and is now planted in South America and Africa in their rainforests. It was first introduced to Africa by Indonesian settlers in Madagascarmore than 2,500 years ago. This tree like plant can grow up to 8 meters tall (approx. 24 ft+) are really more like a grass with the leaves unfurling from the center pseudo-stem.

 

The fruits are considered astringent, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, anti-diabetic and anti dysenteric. It has been used in the treatment of depression, PMS, anemia, hypertension, constipation, heartburn, morning sickness, and ulcers. The skin of the banana can be used to remove warts and treat mosquito bites.

 

Bananas rank fourth, behind rice, wheat and corn, as the most consumed food worldwide. It is often eaten out of hand, but people often make (what my husband believes is the world’s best) peanut butter sandwiches and cut them onto bowls of cereal. They can also be used in baked goods with banana bread being very popular. Then there is the Banana alcohol and the Banana ketchup!

 

Banana fiber (taken from the pseudo-stem) is made into cloth, bags, belts, paper, shoes, slippers, picture frames, place mats, greeting cards, fashion accessories, home decor and countless other products. The fruit is sometimes used in skin care.

 

Moisturizing Facial:

1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon wheat germ oil
1 tablespoon finely powdered oats
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 drop rose essential oil

1. Peel and mash banana. Add honey, egg yolk, wheat germ oil, oats, and mash further to form a smooth, creamy paste.

2. Add essential oils last, and stir to mix well.

3. To use: apply to clean face and neck, avoiding eye and mouth areas. Rest for 10 minutes, or longer if your skin is very dry. Rinse with warm water, and follow with toner and moisturizer, if desired. Use mask shortly after making.

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