Banana Flower: A miracle vegetable

We all eat banana (scientifically called musa) and many of us are aware about its health benefits. According to the data available in https://www.statista.com/ the most popular fresh fruit worldwide based on production quantities was banana in 2018, followed by apples and grapes. But many people do not know that every part of the banana plant is useful including the leaves, stems, roots and flowers as well. So, today we are going to explore the miraculous benefits of consuming banana flower, which in tern may trigger the idea of utilizing it in the food industry with value addition.

Interior of banana flower

Do you know which country is the largest producer of banana in the world? It’s India which produces the largest quantity of banana in the world with a volume of approximately 29,124,000 tonnes per year followed by china.

Scientific Classification of Banana

Kingdom : Plantae

Division : Angiosperms

Order : Zingiberales

Family : Musaceae

Genus : Musa

Why is it a miracle vegetable?

Many studies ( Both In vitro and in vivo) reveals that banana flower is antihyperglycemic, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, and anti-hypertensive agent along with the pseudostem. It is rich in dietary fiber content (~70%), antioxidant compounds and several other macro- and micro-nutrients. It is rich in macro and micro minerals in the following order K > Ca > Mg > P > Na and K > Mg > Na > Ca > P

Potential cure for Diabetes

In traditional Indian system of medicine banana flower has been widely used for the treatment of diabetes. Scientifically also it has been found that banana flower has very low glycemic index and have a high content of dietary fiber and rich in antioxidants. Many researchers found that diabetic symptoms such as hyperglycemia, polyuria, urine sugar, polydipsia, polyphagia, and body weight were improved in banana flower treated rats.

Also the antihyperglycemic activity of banana was proved when oral administration of the chloroform extract of the Musa sapientum flowers of 0.15, 0.20 and 0.25 g/kg body weight for a duration of thirty days resulted in significant reduction in blood glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin and an increase in total haemoglobin

Potential cure for Cancer

Nadumane et al., (2014) evaluated the anticancer potential of banana flower with the ethanol extract of it on the cervical cancer cell line HeLa. Their study revealed that banana flower is an excellent natural source consumption of which can help in developing anti-cancer lead molecule with minimum side effects.

Nutritional composition of banana banana flower(FB) and pseudostem(PB)

Different parts of banana flower

References

Kumar, K. S., Bhowmik, D., Duraivel, S., & Umadevi, M. (2012). Traditional and medicinal uses of banana. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry1(3), 51-63.

Nadumane, V. K., & Timsina, B. (2014). Anti-cancer potential of banana flower extract: An in vitro study. ||| Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology|||9(4), 628-35.

Ramu, R., Shirahatti, P. S., Anilakumar, K. R., Nayakavadi, S., Zameer, F., Dhananjaya, B. L., & Prasad, M. N. (2017). Assessment of nutritional quality and global antioxidant response of banana (Musa sp. CV. Nanjangud Rasa Bale) pseudostem and flower. Pharmacognosy research9(Suppl 1), S74.

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