Bananas are fruiting plants that grow near tropical rainforests. There are many banana species, but Musa acuminata varieties are most common in the US.

Bananas contain fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and carbohydrates. Ripe bananas contain more soluble fiber, while unripe bananas contain more insoluble fiber. All parts of the banana plant, including the fruit, leaves, stem, flowers, and roots, have been used as medicine.

People use bananas for diarrhea. They are also used for athletic performance, constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
When taken by mouth: Bananas are commonly eaten as food. They're generally well-tolerated, but some people might experience bloating, gas, or cramping. There isn't enough reliable information to know if other parts of the banana plant are safe or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: Banana leaves are possibly safe when used short-term. Some people are allergic to banana and might develop a rash or hives. There isn't enough reliable information to know if other parts of the banana plant are safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Bananas are commonly eaten as food. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if banana is safe to use in larger amounts as medicine while pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Allergies: People who are sensitive to latex, avocado, kiwi, cassava, and chestnut are more likely to have an allergic reaction to banana.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Diarrhea. Eating cooked green bananas might help reduce diarrhea symptoms in young children.
There is interest in using banana for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Bananas are commonly eaten as food. In North America, sweet bananas are hybrids of Musa acuminata, and plantains are hybrids of Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. As medicine, there isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of banana might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals


Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Banana might decrease the effects of levodopa.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 18/09/2023 10:00:00 and last updated on 13/12/2021 07:58:59. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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