Plantain is a fruit that comes from the shrub Musa paradisiacal. Plantains look similar to dessert bananas, but they are bigger with thicker skin. Plantains need to be cooked before they can be eaten and are thought to have many health benefits for men.
Plantain helps to improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, increases the volume and quality of sperm and helps with kidney, ulcer and diabetes problems in men, according to an article in the online magazine Trendy Africa published in March 2010. The article goes on to say that eating unripe plantain regularly can help with obesity problems as it contains high amounts of a type of insoluble fibre called pectin.
Alexander the Great first came into contact with plantain in about 327 B.C. and brought it to Europe, according to the UK website African Foods. The fruit was traded all over the Bantu region of Sub Saharan Africa in 1500 B.C. The fruit was first introduced to the Caribbean Islands in Santo Domingo by a monk in around 1516, according to the website.
Plantain leaves and roots are also thought to have many medical uses, according to the Trendy Africa magazine article. The stem juice is thought to reduce urinary bladder stones and help with diarrhoea. The article goes on to say that the juice from boiled fresh plantain leaves may be useful in the treatment of diabetes, but this preparation should not be used with pregnant women as it is thought to cause miscarriage.