Banana is a fruit that grows near tropical rainforests. All parts of the plant, including the fruit, leaves, "false stem," stem, flowers, and roots, can be used as medicine. In North America, most of the available bananas are from one specific variety. However, there are many varieties available around the world. Bananas have been grown as crops for thousands of years.

Parts of the banana are used for low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia), constipation, and diarrhea. They are also used for diabetes, high cholesterol, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
When taken by mouth: Bananas are LIKELY SAFE in the amounts typically eaten as food. Side effects to banana are rare but may include bloating, gas, cramping, softer stools, nausea, and vomiting. In very high doses, bananas might cause high blood levels of potassium. Some people are allergic to banana. There isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use banana as a medicine or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: The leaves of banana are POSSIBLY SAFE when applied appropriately, short-term. Some people are allergic to banana. 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: There isn't enough reliable information to know if banana is safe to use in medicinal amounts when pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid amounts greater than those typically eaten as food.

Latex allergy: People who are sensitive to latex 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. In young children, cooked green bananas reduce symptoms and speed up time to recovery from diarrhea due to various causes. In adults fed with a tube, adding banana flakes to liquid feeds reduces symptoms of diarrhea.
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


  • For diarrhea: 1-3 tablespoons of banana flakes (Kanana Banana, Corpak Co) every 8 hours in a feeding tube for 7 days.

  • For diarrhea: 50-300 grams of cooked green bananas every day for up to 14 days in children aged 6-60 months. These children also received standard care and antibiotics as needed.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if Banana interacts with any medicines. Before taking Banana, talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.


Banana contains chemicals and sugars. Some of these sugars act like fiber, which can help to regulate the gastrointestinal system. The chemicals might act like antioxidants and decrease swelling. Bananas also contain potassium and other vitamins and minerals.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 23/10/2022 19:59:15 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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