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Wonderful Banana Tree

The plant with a thousand uses

A symbol of generosity, abundance and freedom, the banana tree is a reflection of our commitment.

Shirley Billot - CEO Kadalys

cellules de bananier

The banana tree, central plant of the Creole garden, is a generous and caring herb.Its large leaves provide shade to neighboring species and encourage their growth. All parts of the banana tree have a phytotherapeutic function and utility.

Did you know?

The banana tree is not a tree, but a giant grass that can reach up to 15 meters high! By wrapping around each other, the leaves give rise to the “pseudo-trunk” which resembles the trunk of trees, but does not contain 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. It is considered the reincarnation of the goddesses Parvati, symbol of the loving wife, and Lakshmi, goddess of beauty. It is also one of the propitiatory species, ritual plants helping to establish communication with the supernatural and invisible world. Banana is an offering plant, symbolizing both abundance and fertility. In India, women wishing to have a male child worship it during the month of Kārtika.

A singular history in Martinique

The banana plant dates back to the Tertiary period. It originated in South Asia and has accompanied human existence for thousands of years. In the course of these journeys and through human intervention, it gradually lost its seeds.

The first archaeological evidence of banana cultivation was found in Malaysia 3,000 BC. In 1502, the Portuguese brought the first banana trees from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean.

This plant has been with us for over 300 years in Martinique, where the royal decree of September 7, 1736 required slave-holders to plant 25 banana trees for each slave held. Martinique's slaves were authorized to grow bananas on a plot of land, and were now free to cultivate up to 50 plants.

At the beginning of the 20th century, banana cultivation came into its own in Guadeloupe and Martinique. After a cyclone had devastated the coffee and cocoa crops, bananas seemed much faster to produce and offered an opportunity for the islands' farmers. After the sugarcane crisis of the 1960s, which led to the closure of many distilleries, bananas quickly became the islands' leading agricultural asset.

A sustainable crop

The banana tree dates back to the Tertiary period and originated in South Asia. It is a sustainable crop, as it has no seasonality and can be grown all year round.
While the soil is left to rest, healthy plants from in vitro cultivation are grown in greenhouses and then planted in open fields. It takes approximately 9 to 12 months from planting to harvesting, when the average banana plant weighs average weight is 30 to 50 kg. From the 6th to 7th month, the flowers appear.

main de bananes vertes

Nicknamed “plant of a thousand uses”, this giant and benevolent herb holds a unique place in the traditional medicine of the French West Indies.

  • Leaves: Directly applied to wounds, they have an antibiotic and healing action. In decoction with sugar, it is used to treat: colds, flu, coughs, hypertension and liver attacks. Heated, they are applied against rheumatism.
  • Sap (latex): Extracted by pressure from either the leaf seeds or the male bud, the sap (or latex) is used locally on superficial wounds. It stops 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 form, it is an excellent source of probiotic. It promotes the reconstitution of the stomach lining. Ripe banana: In paste, it is applied locally against acne, bruises and oily skin. As a decoction, it is recommended against bronchitis, coughs and tracheitis.
  • Roots:As a dewormer in the form of herbal tea they have strong antifungal activity; folded they are applied locally against abscesses and adenitis; as a cough decoction.

The banana tree around the world

The banana tree grows in warm and humid regions. It is essentially made up of water (80%). There are around a thousand species of bananas, and only two types of bananas: sweet bananas (or dessert bananas) and cooking bananas.

Different types of banana plants can produce very different fruits like pink colored bananas or even hairy bananas. Bananas grow in India, Bangladesh, Japan, southeast Asia, northern Australia, Africa, Central and South America and the West Indies (Martinique, Guadeloupe, etc.).

In China, there is a very rare banana tree "the Lotus banana tree" which produces a large and unique golden yellow flower whose flowering can last up to 9 months of the year. The 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.

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