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Banana BANANA  
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Banaba  |  Barberry Root
Botanical:  Musa paradisiaca sapientum
Family:  Musaceae (banana)

Relieve muscle cramping and replace the vitamins, nutrients and potassium lost during strenuous activity with Nature's Largest Herb, the Banana.  For natural energy and good digestion, Banana is the perfect supplement for active people.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

History:
Often called nature's largest herb, growing up to thirty feet high, the Banana is probably native to the Indo Malaysia area, but is now cultivated in tropical United States, Central and South America and other tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world.  The plant is not actually a tree; its apparent trunk is not even a true stem.  It is composed of very porous sheaths that terminate in large leaves bearing a single flowering stem.  The flowers bear fruit in bunches called hands (a full hand consists of fourteen bananas), because the bunched fruits resemble fingers.  After harvesting, the entire plant is cut down, leaving only the rootstock, which is considered to be perennial.  The botanical genus, Musa, is somewhat obscure, as some claim it is derived from the name of Emperor Augustus' physician, Antonio Musa; while others refute this, saying that Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist - and the "Father of Modern Taxonomy" - simply adapted it from the Arabic word for Banana: mauz.   Aside from its exceptional nutritional and therapeutic significance, the Banana has also provided important commercial value, as shoots produce fibers of variable quality, generating yarns and textiles for both coarse and silken-like cloth.  In addition, Banana fiber has been used in the production of Banana paper.  Bananas supply important fiber, protein, amino acids (tryptophan), antioxidant vitamins A, C and E and B-vitamins, plus magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, trace amounts of chromium (which is necessary for enzyme production), folate (important during pregnancy), and it is rich in potassium (needed for muscle function and a healthy heart).

Beneficial Uses:
Support your healthy digestion with Banana.  It helps to relieve the discomforts related to diverticulitis, ulcers, gastritis and colitis; and Bananas are said to coat the stomach and have a natural antacid effect in the body which can be very helpful for soothing heartburn.  It is prescribed in India to treat indigestion, aspirin-induced stomach upset and other digestive tract discomforts.

Banana is a great source of dietary fiber, which may reduce the risk of certain types of intestinal ailments, especially colon-related.  In Central America, Banana is used as a remedy for diarrhea, and research has confirmed that usage of this tannin-rich complex carbohydrate acts as an astringent and will help bind in cases of diarrhea.  Bananas are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps to absorb liquid in the intestines and thus move stool along smoothly.  Banana also contains a good amount of inulin, another soluble fiber, which is a prebiotic - a substance that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in the intestinal system.

Because Banana is rich in the potassium that is needed for muscle function, it will help alleviate muscle cramps due to the lack of this mineral, which frequently occur during the night in the form of leg cramps.

The potassium content can also work to reduce the incidence of hypertension and stroke, as well as promote healthy heart function.  The rich potassium level helps to normalize heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain, and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration allows the Banana industry to claim the fruit's ability to reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke.  According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Banana can cut the risk of death from stokes by as much as forty percent.  The potassium also regulates the body's water balance.

Banana is an excellent source of energy and a perfect supplement for active people.  It replaces the large amounts of potassium and vitamins C and B6 that are most commonly lost during strenuous exercise.  It is a natural energy snack and a perfect "pick-me-up" during the day.

The rich B-vitamin content in Banana is thought to be helpful for calming the nervous system, and according to recent studies, people suffering from depression felt much better after consuming Banana.  Banana contains tryptophan, a type of protein and essential amino acid that the body converts into serotonin, which is said to create a relaxed state, improve mood and generally promote an overall better feeling.  It may also be helpful in cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Bodybuilders and athletes also frequently use Banana to add bulk and acquire more muscle protein and strength when exercising, and many athletes have been known to take a Banana before embarking on any prolonged or strenuous activity.

Banana's rich iron content can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and be helpful in cases of anemia.

In assisting diabetic problems, Banana has sometimes been used to offset insulin shock.

Contraindications:
Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Banana.

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Banaba  |  Barberry Root
 
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