Banana Peel and Leaf Help Heal Burns and Wounds

banana leaf and peel proven to heal burns and wounds

Research finds the leaves and peels from bananas help heal wounds and burns.

When we think of bananas we think of that sweet tasty fruit. But for thousands of years, indigenous people utilized banana leaves and banana peels to speed healing of burns and wounds. This traditional medicinal use of banana leaves and peels is now being confirmed in modern medical research.

This information can be extremely useful in case of a burn or wound that occurs in the wilderness. Between 2 and 8 percent of all injuries in the wilderness are in fact burns.

Just imagine hiking through a jungle and getting cut or burned, or getting sunburned. There is no pharmacy nearby but there are plenty of banana trees. What do you do?

If there are no bananas on the trees, the leaves will do just fine. But if there are green bananas or even ripe bananas, the insides of the peels will also help soothe and heal the wound or burn.

These properties have been found among wild and cultivated bananas (Musa acuminata or Musa balbisiana), Pacific tropical bananas (Musa sapientum) as well as cooking bananas, also called plantains (Musa paradisiacal).

Banana leaves heal burns

Researchers from Harvard Medical School, working with the Wilderness Medical Society, investigated the evidence related to the use of banana leaves for wounds and burns in 2016. They found good evidence that bananas can reduce pain and cool a burn. They recommended the use of banana leaf fur burns in wilderness areas, in addition to papaya, honey, aloe vera, honey and sugar paste.

In a 2017 study from India’s Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, scientists investigated the traditional use for bananas in modern research. They confirmed the proof for the peel and leaf of banana trees have ability to heal burns.

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Clinical research from India’s LTMG Hospital and LTM Medical College utilized banana leaf dressings with 30 burn patients with significant burns. Their research began in 1994. By 1996 the doctors had optimized the banana peel dressings. The research found that banana leaf dressings reduced burn pain and helped protect the burns from infections and aided healing. They also found banana leaves to not stick to burns. They are waxy and cool, and they found the dressings could easily be put on by untrained people.

Banana leaves and peels make good wound dressings

As found by the Indian researchers mentioned above, banana leaves make excellent wound dressings.

This was also confirmed in a 2006 study from Taiwan. Medical researchers from Taiwan’s Chang Gung University also found that banana leaves are helpful in burn cases. But they also found in their clinical practice at the School of Nursing that banana leaves make for excellent wound dressings. They found banana leaves helps relieve pain.
The research has found that banana peels and leaves help the skin regenerate and re-mineralize. They also provide anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to reduce pain. Banana peel skin healing occurs from a DNA level, as thymidine is incorporated into cellular DNA. This increases cell growth.

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Animal research has also found that banana peels aid healing of wounds. Animal research also found banana peels provided ulcer relief as well.

We’ve also discussed evidence that banana peels help heal diseased arteries.

Banana peels and leaves are antibiotic

Another good reason to use banana leaves and peels for burns and wounds is that they are antimicrobial. Yes, they inhibit the growth of bacteria. Bacteria or fungal infections can seriously interfere with the healing of a burn or wound. These types of infections can turn a healing wound into a fatal infection.

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Researchers from India’s Halgekar Institute of Dental Science’s and Research Center studied banana peels for their ability to inhibit bacteria. In this 2015 study, they tested banana peel against two bacteria involved in oral infections: Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans.

In laboratory testing, the researchers found that banana peel extract significantly inhibited the growth of both forms of bacteria.

Banana leaf and peel properties

Banana peels and leaves contain a number of compounds that provide their healing effects. One of the most prominent is leucocyanidin. They also contain phenolic compounds, biogenic amines, carotenoids, thymidine and L-dopa. Banana peels are also rich in zinc, copper, potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus as well as a number of other antioxidants.

Also, it seems that both ripe and unripe banana peels provide similar effects. It is the inside of the banana peel that provides significant wound healing benefits. But powders and extracts of the entire peel – as well as the leaves, trunk and even roots – also contain healing compounds.


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Gore MA, Akolekar D. Evaluation of banana leaf dressing for partial thickness burn wounds. Burns. 2003 Aug;29(5):487-92


  • Case Adams, Naturopath

    California Naturopath, Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences, Doctorate in Integrative Health Sciences, Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. Diplomas in Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, certificates in Pain Management and Case Management/Contact Tracing. Has authored more than 30 books and hundreds of periodical articles on natural medicine. Recreational activities include surfing, sailing, running, biking, swimming, SUPing, hiking. Contact: case(at)caseadams(dot)com.

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