A voice on the phone says you have a job interview in an hour. You hurriedly get dressed and on the way out the door you look down at your shoes. They’re scuffed and not what you want in order to make a good impression at the interview. You stop, buy a banana, eat a quick breakfast and use the peel to shine your shoes.
You drop the peel on the floor of your car and rush up the stairs to the interview. On the way, you get a splinter from the wooden railing. After the interview, and back in your car, you tape a piece of banana peel over the splinter. Enzymes in the peel help dissolve and remove the splinter and add healing power.
To celebrate your successful interview, you pack a whole foods lunch and go down to the river to sit and reflect on where your life may go next. Unfortunately, someone invited the bugs and you get bit and itchy. Fortunately, you brought bananas as part of your lunch and rub the inside of the peel on the bites, which relieves the itch and swelling and the enzymes help the healing process.
We cut our banana peels into small pieces and use them in the garden compost to enrich the soil. Bananas are high in potassium which benefits the soil directly. Plus, plants high in potassium are more resistant to aphids. According to what I’ve read and our personal experiences, this is especially true for tomatoes, roses and bell peppers. Magnesium has the same beneficial effects where aphids are concerned. Magnesium can be added to the soil or applied to the plants as a spray.
You look at where the splinter was and it looks like it might get infected. You remember being in a hurry to get to your interview, rushing out the door and grabbing a small bottle of mouthwash to use on the way. No time was available to shower and you were, literally, sweating the interview so you dabbed a little mouthwash on your underarms. You’d been cutting garlic when the phone rang and the mouthwash worked to relieve the odor on your hands. It’s still in your pocket and can be used on the splinter wound as an antiseptic and to sanitize your hands. We’ve found most mouthwashes make an effective insect repellant
One mouthwash use I read about was for increasing pot life of cut flowers. Before placing cut flowers in the vase, mix two tablespoons in a gallon of water and fill the vase with the mixture. The mixture will kill germs that reduce how long the flowers last.
Worldwide, bananas have many uses. Green banana peels are grated and dried and then applied to cancerous sores, herpes lesions and diabetic leg ulcers in Curacao. In the Bahamas, a decoction of fresh green banana peel is taken for relief of hypertension, if I had that problem I’d try it, has to be better than drugs with multiple side effects. The white inner part of the peel is applied to burns, rashes and boils, applied to the forehead and back of the neck to relieve migraines and, according to Heinermann’s Encyclopedia of Healing Fruits and Vegetables, effective for the removal of plantar warts. The complete process for plantar warts is too extensive for the space I have but the book is available through most libraries.
From spring through fall we have two or three dehydrators going 24-7. Apples, pears, plums and cherries make great snacks on cold winter nights. Free access to these fruits isn’t available to everyone but cheap bananas usually are. During the summer we buy over ripes, slice or break them into one or two inch long pieces, drop them into a baggie and freeze them. The additives in commercial ice cream give me joint aches but ice cream made from frozen bananas, nut milk and a dash of vanilla doesn’t. Over ripe bananas are also good dehydrated and can be added to desserts or made into puddings, ice cream and all sorts of other goodies.
If you have a garden, and you can find garden space even in cities if you look, herbs and vegetables keep well when dehydrated and proper dehydration retains a large percentage of nutrients. The effort to prepare and dehydrate herbs and vegetables will be repaid when added to stews, soups and meat dishes. Especially when time is of the essence and the store is either too far away or it’s too inconvenient to drop what your doing and rush off to buy an addition that makes it more than “just another meal.” Having access to a pinch of dehydrated oregano or other spice can get you raves at the dinner table.
Not all dehydrators are created equal. Unfortunately, the ones we’ve used for thirty years are no longer being made. Probably worked too well and lasted tool long for the bottom-line.