Health Benefits of Bush Banana

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Bush Banana Quick Facts
Name: Bush Banana
Scientific Name: Uvaria chamae
Origin Tropical West and Central Africa
Bush banana is a climbing large shrub or small tree belonging to Annonacaea and inherent to tropical rainforest of West and Central Africa where it grows in wet and coastal shrub lands. It is branched with sweet, aromatic and alternate leaves used for curing diseases such as piles, menorrhagia, epistaxis and heals injuries. It is used for febrile conditions in children. The name refers to the fruit that forms in small bunch. Uvaria chamae is a medicinal plant used for treating fevers and possess antibiotic properties.  It is introduced to other parts of Africa and elsewhere in tropics for its finger like ornamental fruits.

Bush banana grows to the height of 4 meters and is used locally for its edible fruit, medicinal as well as other uses. Sometimes the root bark is sold in local markets for medicinal purposes. The tree bears creamy flowers and green leaves. As it becomes mature, it releases various seeds having light feathery plumes attached. The seeds are scattered in wind. Every part of this plant is used as a source for food. Flowers have slightly sweet taste and are edible. Young green fruits are consumed raw and has pleasant flavor resembling Lucerne.

Traditional uses

  • Extracts of roots, leaves and barks are used for treating gastroenteritis, diarrhea, vomiting, wounds, dysentery, inflamed gums, sore throats and various ailments.
  • Apply the juice of roots, stems or leaves to wounds and sores for rapid healing.
  • Use the leaf infusion as eyewash and leaf decoction as a febrifuge.
  • In Ghana, plant is used for making pomade.
  • In Senegal, roots and leaves are permeated for internal use as a cough mixture.
  • In Nigeria, root bark is helpful for respiratory catarrh. Root extract is used for treating menorrhagia, piles, haematuria, epistaxis and haemalysis.
  • Apply the sap from root and stem to wounds.
  • Prepare the drink from root and use it as a wash for oedematous conditions.
  • Roots are used in Ghana for dysentery.
  • In Sierra Leone, roots are used to heal sores and concoction is used to cure infantile rickets.
  • Boil the root or root bark with spices and drink the decoction for fevers.
  • Roots are used in Ivory Coast for treating jaundice.
  • Root decoction is used in Togo for pain of childbirth.
  • Boil it with spices and drink the decoction for treating fevers.
  • Roots are used for treating amenorrhoea and prevent miscarriage.
  • Use the roots externally to heal sores.
  • Use the leaf infusion as eyewash.
  • It is used for treating gonorrhea, diabetes and respiratory infections.
  • It is used for several abdominal pain and dysentery in Ghana.
  • Use for treating jaundice, yellow fever and cough.
  • Apply the decoction of roots and leaves for treating intestinal and stomach complaints, wounds, fever and skin diseases.

Culinary uses

  • It is used to make soups.
  • Ripe fruits are eaten raw.
  • Flowers are used as a garnish or added to salads.
  • Add the young leaves in salads.
  • Fruit is finely sliced and pickled in jars.
  • The fruit is available finely sliced and pickled in jars.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uvaria_chamae

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Uvaria+chamae

https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tjpr/article/viewFile/172372/161782

https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/bush-banana/

https://www.sanativefoods.org.au/bush-banana

http://www.nintione.com.au/resource/DKCRC_Bush%20Food_IS-3_Bush%20Banana_July09.pdf

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