A sacred plant
For thousands of years, the Banana tree, kadali in Sanskrit, accompanies the life of men and women nourishing their imagination.
In the Hindu culture, it is a symbol of beauty, femininity and prosperity. It is considered as the reincarnation of the goddesses Parvati, symbol of the loving wife, and Lakshmi, goddess of beauty. It is also part of the propitiatory species, the ritual plants favoring the establishment of communication with the supernatural and invisible world. The Banana tree is an offering plant because it symbolizes both abundance and fertility. In India, women wanting a male child worship it during the month of Kārtika.
An Indian legend reports that bananas are the fruit of lost paradise. In fact, the leaves of the plantain banana variety, called Musa paradisiaca, which means the Paradise Banana, served Eve and Adam to dress when they were driven out of Paradise.
The Banana tree is also very present in the Amerindian and Bantu cultures because they would feed and appease the deceased.
Buddha made the banana tree the symbol of the vanity of goods, the fragility and the instability of things, because his aerial part dies after bearing fruit.
The Banana tree around the world
There are about a thousand species of banana trees. These trees produce a variety of fruits such as pink bananas or even hairy bananas.
Banana trees grow in India, Bangladesh, Japan, southeast Asia, northern Australia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean (Martinique, Guadeloupe …).
In China, there is a very rare banana tree called the “Lotus banana” which produces a voluminous and unique golden-yellow flower whose flowering can last up to 9 months of the year. The Buddhists chose it as a sacred flower which they called the Lotus of Gold for its amazing resemblance to the lotus flower and its golden color.
The plant with a thousand uses
Nicknamed “plant with a thousand uses”, this giant and benevolent herb holds a singular place in the traditional medicinal practices of the French West Indies.
- Leaves : Directly applied to wounds, has an antibiotic and healing action. When mixed with sugar, it is used to treat: cold, flu, cough, hypertension and liver crisis. Heated, it is applied to help treat rheumatism.
- Sap (latex) : Extracted by pressure either of the leaf seeds or of the male bud, the sap (or latex) is used in local application on superficial wounds. It stops bleeding and promotes healing.
- Flower : In decoction, it improves lactation and regulates the menstrual cycle of women. It also helps fight anemia by increasing blood hemoglobin levels.
- Green Banana : In powder form, it is an excellent source of probiotic. It promotes the reconstruction of the mucosa of the stomach.
- Very ripe banana : In paste form, it is applied locally against acne, bruises, oily skin. In decoction, it is advised against bronchitis, cough, tracheitis.
- Roots : Used as a herbal tea it has a strong antifungal activity. Bent, they are applied locally against abscesses and adenitis. They are used as a decoction against cough.