The Plantain is a crop from the genus Musa. Its fruits are edible, and are generally used for cooking. This is different from the soft and sweet banana(which is often called dessert banana
). Dessert bananas
are more common to import in countries in the European Union or the United States.
Two groups of plantains are thought to have a common origin: the
horn plantain and the
French plantain. Both types grow in India, Africa, Egypt, and tropical America.
Plantain, major group of banana varieties (genus Musa) that are staple foods in many tropical areas. The edible fruit of plantain bananas has more starch than the common dessert banana and is not eaten raw. Because plantains have the most starch before they ripen, they are usually cooked green, either boiled or fried, in savory dishes. The ripe fruits are mildly sweet and are often cooked with coconut juice or sugar as a flavouring. Plantains may also be dried for later use in cooking or ground for use as a meal, which can be further refined to a flour.
The plantain plant is a gigantic herb that springs from an underground stem, or rhizome. Most varieties are 3–10 metres (10–33 feet) tall and have a conical false “trunk” formed by the leaf sheaths of long spirally arranged leaves. The fruit, which is green to brown-yellow, is typically larger than the common banana and is borne in bunches.
The leaves and seeds of plantain are most often used medicinally. The fresh leaves, crushed and applied to wounds, sores, insect bites, bee and wasp stings, eczema , and sunburn are healing to tissue because of the high allantoin content. Plantain is an ancient remedy used widely for relieving coughs, bronchitis, tuberculosis, sore throat, laryngitis , urinary infections , and digestive problems. The infusion has been used as a blood purifying tonic, a mild expectorant, and a diuretic. The juice from crushed leaves may also stem the flow of blood from cuts, and soothe the itch of poison ivy or the sting of nettle (Urtica dioica
). The root of the herb has been used to relieve toothache . The juice may relieve earache .
Plantain is used throughout the world. It is an effective treatment for chronic colitis, acute gastritis , enteritis, and enterocolitis according to the Russian Ministry of Health. The German Commission E, an advisory panel on herbal medicines for that country, lists plantain as a safe and effective herb with demulcent, astringent and antibacterial properties.