Uses for Plantain Stems

Written by michaelyn erickson
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Uses for Plantain Stems
A plantain is a type of banana. (plantain image by TA Craft Photography from Fotolia.com)

The stem of a plantain or banana plant contain fibres rich in medicinal qualities. Musa x paradisiaca is the scientific name for this plant. You can use the stem and peel fibre to make tea, though the taste is bitter. They are also prepared in foods such as salads and cooked into recipes. The medicinal value of plantain stems includes antifungal, antibacterial and digestive aiding properties.

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Natural Diuretic

As a natural diuretic, plantain stem fibre helps the urinary tract and the overall digestive system function. This plant will stimulate the kidneys, according to Active Liquid Wellness, and help them to filter toxins from the body. Well functioning kidneys is the key to uric acid filtration, lower cholesterol levels and blood coagulation. The gastrointestinal benefits of plantain stem are numerous as well; Purdue University says that the peel, stem and roots of the Musa plant are used to treat digestion problems such as diarrhoea, stomach lesions and dysentery. Trauma associated with chemotherapy treatment causes stomach problems; plantain stem fibre helps to protect the stomach lining from such trauma and the resulting nausea.

Crohn's Disease

According to Dr. John Z of Wellshere, plantain fibre may help to treat Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease causes chronic intestinal inflammation, bleeding and diarrhoea. The disease also weakens a person's ability to fight off invading bacteria in the intestinal tract. In person's with Crohn's disease, the level of E. coli bacteria in the stomach is higher than normal and can become dangerous. Plantain fibre carries antibacterial and gastrointestinal healing properties, both of which are useful in combating the symptoms of Crohn's disease. According to the Wellsphere article, Campbell University is currently developing a plantain fibre based food that patients can eat to help them with symptoms of this disease. Norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin are also found in plantain fibres; these chemicals smooth stomach muscles, stimulate intestines and inhibit intestinal secretion.

Antibacterial

The peel, stem and pulp of bananas have antifungal and antibiotic powers, according to Purdue University. The ancient Aztecs used plantain stem to treat tuberculosis and asthma attacks. In addition to attacking the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, the plantain fibre eases symptoms such as congestion and mucus production. According to Herbs 2000, plantain fibre is helpful in removing congestion and infection of the middle ear. The antibacterial properties of plantain fibre help combat Crohn's disease by preventing the E. coli in patient's stomachs from being picked up and transported throughout the body, according to Wellshpere.

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