Symbol of generosity, abundance and freedom, the banana tree is the reflection of our commitment.
The banana tree, central plant of the Creole garden, is a generous and benevolent. Its large leaves provide shade to the species neighbors and promote their growth. All parts of the banana tree have phytotherapeutic function and utility.
Did you know?
The banana tree is not a tree, but a giant grass that can grow up to 15 meters tall! By wrapping around each other, the leaves give rise to the "pseudostem" which resembles the trunks of trees but contains no wood.
A sacred plant
For thousands of years, the Banana tree, kadali in Sanskrit, has accompanied human life and nourished the imagination. In Hindu culture, it is a symbol of beauty, femininity and prosperity. He is notably considered to be the reincarnation of the goddesses Parvati, symbol of the loving wife, and Lakshmi, goddess of beauty. It is also one of the propitiatory species, the ritual plants favoring the establishment of communication with the supernatural and invisible world. The Banana tree is an offering plant because it symbolizes both abundance and fertility. In India, women who desire a male child worship him during the month of Kārtika.
An Indian legend reports that the banana is the fruit of the lost paradise. Indeed the leaves of the variety of the plantain, called Musa paradisiaca (which means "the Banana of Paradise"), were used by Eve and Adam to clothe themselves when they were driven out of Paradise.
The Banana tree is also very present in Amerindian and Bantu cultures because it would nourish and appease the deceased. Buddha made it the symbol of the vanity of goods, of the fragility and instability of things, because its aerial part dies after bearing fruit.
The plant with a thousand uses
Nicknamed "a plant with a thousand uses", this giant and benevolent herb holds a unique place in the traditional medicine of the French Antilles.
- Leaves: Directly applied to wounds, they have an antibiotic and healing action. In decoction with sugar, they are used to treat: colds, flu, coughs, hypertension and liver attacks. Heated, they are applied against rheumatism.
- Sap (latex): Extracted by pressure either from the leaf seeds or from the male bud, the sap (or latex) is used in local application on superficial wounds. It stops the bleeding and promotes healing.
- Flower: In decoction, it improves lactation and regulates the menstrual cycle of women. It also helps fight anemia by increasing the hemoglobin level in the blood.
- Green banana: In powder, it is an excellent source of probiotic. It helps rebuild the lining of the stomach. Ripe banana: As a paste, it is applied locally against acne, bruises, oily skin. In decoction, it is recommended against bronchitis, cough, tracheitis.
- Roots: As a dewormer in the form of herbal tea they have a strong antifungal activity; when folded, they are applied locally against abscesses and adenitis; as a cough decoction.
A unique story in Martinique
The banana tree dates from the Tertiary period. It originates from South Asia and has been part of human life for thousands of years. During these trips and through human intervention, it gradually lost its seeds.
The earliest archaeological evidence of banana cultivation can be found in Malaysia 3000 BCE. It was in 1502 that the Portuguese brought the first bananas from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean.
This plant has been with us for more than 300 years in Martinique where the royal ordinance of September 7, 1736 requires slave holders to plant 25 banana trees per detained slave. The banana is authorized for cultivation by the slaves of Martinique on a plot of land who are now free to cultivate it up to 50 feet.
At the beginning of the 20th century, banana cultivation took on its full dimension in Guadeloupe and Martinique, indeed after a cyclone had ravaged coffee and cocoa crops, bananas seemed much faster to produce and offered an opportunity to farmers of our islands. After the sugar cane crisis in the 1960s, which notably caused the closure of many distilleries, bananas quickly became the islands' main agricultural wealth.
The banana is a sustainable crop because it has no seasonality and is grown all year round. While the soil is left to rest, healthy plants from in vitro culture are cultivated in a greenhouse and then planted in the field. It takes about 9 to 12 months between planting a banana tree and harvesting its bunch, which then weighs, on average, 30 to 50 kg. From the 6th to the 7th month, the flower appears.
The banana tree in the world
The banana tree grows in hot and humid regions. It is essentially made up of water (80%). There are about a thousand species of Bananas, and only two types of bananas: sweet bananas (or dessert bananas) and cooking bananas.
Different types of bananas can give very different fruits like pink bananas or even hairy bananas. Banana trees grow in India, Bangladesh, Japan, Southeast Asia, northern Australia, Africa, Central and South America and the West Indies (Martinique, Guadeloupe, etc.). p>
In China, there is a very rare banana "the Lotus Banana" which produces a voluminous and unique flower of golden yellow color that can bloom for up to 9 months of the year. Buddhists chose it as a sacred flower which they named the Golden Lotus for its astonishing resemblance to the lotus flower and its golden color.