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Are Banana Leaves Edible ? Here’s Why They’re Used

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Banana leaves are definitely something you’ve seen in many exotic restaurants, or in Asia if you’ve been there in vacation.

Locals use banana leaves as quick and easy plates, or to wrap food, or to flavor something. Whatever the use, it’s clear banana leaves are important for a large part of the global population.

Which makes you wonder: are banana leaves edible ?

This is what we’re going to discuss toady, since you find these leaves mentioned so often and used in so many places. Let’s find out.

banana leaves

Can you eat banana leaves?

No, you cannot eat raw or cooked banana leaves. Their fiber content is too high and can’t be digested.

Still, some people use them in the kitchen. For example, banana leaves are a common, traditional ingredient in some cuisines. Especially in many Asian countries.

These leaves act as seasonings. Also, they may show up in your dish, usually steaming. But you are not supposed to eat them. Because of their fiber content, they are mostly hard to chew and digest for the average person.

Can you drink banana leaf tea?

Most likely, yes, you can drink a banana leaf tea. Some indie producers started selling them in recent years. Then, people reported steeping dried banana leaves in hot water. Next, most of them add garlic for flavoring.

In reality, most of the banana leaf teas contain banana peels. In short, it seems more like a commercial use of banana leaves for profit than a legit health trend.

Read Also:Are Guava Seeds Edible ?

Can banana leaves poison you?

No, banana leaves can’t poison you. For what we know, the banana plant is safe in every aspect. From ancient times, people used large banana leaves to wrap their food up and carry it with them.

Today, banana leaves are at the center of new business projects, such as sustainable packaging. As a 100% natural alternative, they are useful to eliminate plastic from fruit and vegetable packaging.

Among the reasons for this use, we find their robustness and flexibility. Besides, they are waterproof.

So, raw banana leaves are ideal for even the most humid fruit and vegetables. And they have never lead to any case of recorded poisoning to this day.

banana leaf

Can banana leaves poison your pet?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says no. In detail, they exclude any poisoning effect for cats, dogs, and horses.

Basically, they refer to the whole plant and fruit. As can be seen in online forums of pet owners, dogs are commonly drawn to succulent leaves.

In fact, dogs seem to enjoy the chewing that comes from big and crunchy banana leaves. Most owners report happy endings. But common sense is always recommendable.

Fibers of any kind, including leaves, should only be a tiny part of the diet of any pet. Otherwise, your pet may develop digestive problems and painful gas.

Con you add banana leaves to your compost?

Definitely, yes. Surely, banana leaves contain great micro and macro-elements. For best results, freeze and thaw the banana leaves three or four times. Basically, until they melt into goo.

The big secret is to cut them into tiny pieces to help them decompose faster. Then, add the mushy pulp to your compost and expect them to decompose within one or two years.

Beware of their potential stains. Sadly, dealing with these leaves can ruin your clothes at any point. So, remember to use a good, thick apron to avoid saying goodbye to your lucky shirt.

Can you use banana leaves to maintain healthy skin?

According to the latest spa trends, yes. Of course, it is called the Banana Leaf Body Wrap. This is how they do it in a spa.

First, you lie on a massage table. Then, the skin care therapists apply a body mask infused with turmeric. After that, they wrap your body with big, long banana leaves. They cover you with a steam capsule.

Basically, they steam you like a happy ravioli for fifteen minutes. Many customers say that it is a relaxing, safe treatment. However, if you are planning to do it yourself, you may encounter some difficulty along the way.

Read Also:Is Rosehip Edible ?

What else can you do with banana leaves?

Besides using them as seasonings or eco-friendly packaging, banana leaves are useful in the clothing industry. For example, it is possible to design and create clothes made with dried banana leaves. Because of their fibrous nature, banana stems make great fiber for making clothes.

Historically, indigenous peoples of the Philippines made clothes from banana fibers since 1521. In other words, since Magellan found out their islands.

Today, fiber extraction can be made either by hand or mechanically. In the latter case, you boil them and take them out in a similar fashion to cellulose extraction to make paper.

Banana leaves are incredibly useful and come in handy for many tasks. While you can’t eat them, they’re great for packaging, transporting, and just storing food or anything else.

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