Dear qt’s, this post will be devoted to the banana tree. Which is really not a tree but a herb however as plant categorisation is not my idea of fun we will leave it at that.
I have meet several people that claim the superiorness of the banana plant when it comes to diverse area of uses. It supposedly has a great scope of use AND you can use all the parts of the plant. Being from a country that do not cultivate banans I had mostly encountered the fruit of the plant (a more correct classification is berry but let’s not wander down the path) called banan. I was not familiar with other uses of the plant bit that changed quickly when I arrived in India the first time. Let’s start with the leaf. The leafs for are used as plates in South India so at the moment I encounter them whenever I eat out. They are also used as wrapper if you parcel your food and eat at home. Before your meal is served you of course clean your leaf. If you are lucky your meal looks something like this.
A part form the fruit you can also eat banana flowers. When I first saw them in the market I thought they were some sort of maize. But after at visit downhill where banana plantations are common I realised my mistake. The stem I have never had but I hear it is has a tender core. It is also a frequent guest at the local market and in different dishes.
In Japan the fiber form the tree is used to create textiles. However the most unlikely (to me at least) use of this plant is shown in a study published a few years ago. It investigates banana peels and there ability to bind heavy metals from contaminated water. This could be a cheap way of reducing heavy metals in waters across the world. This is still only a small selection of the uses for the banana plant. Which three do you use the most? /Ida