Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels
It all started with a rumor that banana peels could be used to polish silver and a bet among friends that it couldn’t. In trying to discover if there is any legitimacy to the silver-polishing properties of banana peels, I found dozens of other unusual applications for them, including splinter removal and wart treatments.
Since banana peels aren’t particularly hot commodities, being able to put them to good use adds value to any household (and saves money on alternative treatments). Without further ado, here are 21 applications for banana peels, plus seven bonus uses for banana flesh.
Please note that any instruction to apply banana peel to anything (such as in many of the health & beauty applications) involves using the inside of the banana peel after ridding it of the stringy bits.
Health and Beauty
Banana peels are chock-a-block with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, so they're a natural cure for many an ailment and an aid for cell regeneration. Here are just a few uses:
Rub a banana peel on bug bites to soothe the skin and reduce itching.
With restorative properties, banana peel can speed up the healing of bruises.
It's said that if you rub banana peel on your teeth for a couple of minutes every day, your teeth could be noticeably whiter in a few weeks. (I'm not sure if you're supposed to brush your teeth before or after this treatment, since common sense would predicate brushing after eating...my guess is that you need to deal with banana-breath for a while for it to take effect.)
Not only do banana peels help eliminate warts, but they prevent their return. Simply tape (or otherwise fasten) a piece of banana peel to the wart overnight for about a week. Alternately, you can just rub the banana peel on the affected area daily (but I suspect the taping method would be more effective). This even works for plantar warts (on the sole of the foot).
Scrapes and Scratches
Rubbing banana peel on boo-boos can help promote healing.
Among the more bizarre applications for banana peels is the removal of splinters. The enzymes actually help dislodge the splinter and start the healing process when you tape a piece of the peel over a splinter.
Banana peel will soothe the inflammation and irritation of acne and reduce outbreaks. Rub the peel over the acne (face or body) every night. Improvements should be apparent within a few days.
Once or twice daily, rub a banana peel on a psoriasis-affected area. Bananas have all the properties to moisturize, reduce itchiness, and heal psoriasis providing noticeable differences in as little as a few days.
Rashes and Itches
Got poison ivy? Banana peel is good for relieving the itch. Rub the peel over the rash twice daily until it is gone.
Next time you’re at a friend’s house, ask for a banana, peel it, discard the banana, and hold the banana peel across your forehead as a headache cure. Watch for their reaction; your friend may have lost faith in your sanity, but you also might not have a headache any more.
Given the overall restorative and healing properties of banana peel, it is said that regularly applying banana peel to your forehead and cheeks can tighten the skin and reduce wrinkles. I wouldn’t hope for a miracle, but I’d expect that the skin will at least look healthier for it (and you won’t have a headache if you had one to begin with).
The theme in household applications for banana peels is polishing. After removing the stringy bits from the peel, rub away and watch the shine. (See also: 10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise)
Rub the banana peel on your (leather) shoes, then buff them up with a soft cloth.
Leather jackets and furniture could benefit from those peels. (Please!) test a small area first before tackling your sofa with a banana peel and buffing it with a soft cloth.
I can attest to using toothpaste to polish silver, but wouldn’t have dreamed of banana peel. The application is the same as above: rub and buff.
If banana leaves are used in Asian countries to wrap and cook foods, maybe the banana peel itself can help in similar ways.
Keep Chicken Moist
Roasting boneless, skinless cuts of meat (especially chicken) is an art in trying to keep the meat moist. By putting a banana peel on top of each chicken breast, you can help keep the meat tender and juicy.
Potassium seems to be the secret ingredient to banana peels making your garden bigger and better.
Dry out banana peels, grind them up (in a food processor, for example), and use as mulch for new plants and seedlings.
Cut up banana peels and chuck them in the soil as plant food. This is especially effective for roses and staghorns.
Put a banana peel into a large jar, cover it with water, and let it soak. Top up your watering can with the banana peel liquid (one part banana-peel water to five parts regular water). Keep topping up the water in your banana-peel jar (one banana peel goes a long way) to keep the fertilizer coming.
Using banana peel to clean your dusty houseplant leaves will remove the dirt and give them an extra shine.
Cut up some banana peels and bury them a few inches deep around the base of an aphid-affected plant and watch the critters head for greener pastures. Be sure to cut up the peel, however, since large pieces are too tempting for creatures who will dig them up.
Although it may seem obvious, don’t forget to simply compost your leftover banana peels! They’re great for adding nutrients, and they break down quickly. (Just remember to remove any stickers from the peels).
7 Bonus Uses for Banana Flesh
Just in case you have more uses for banana peels than you do for bananas at this point, here are a few applications for bananas themselves.
If the peel is good for moisturizing skin and healing acne, it stands to reason that the banana itself will be equally helpful. For a basic face mask, simply mash a ripe banana into a paste and apply to your face and neck. Rinse off with water after 20 minutes.
More complex face mask recipes include ingredients like yogurt, honey, or egg whites, and can easily be found online.
For rehydration and replenishment of nutrients, have a banana milkshake after a big night out.
The tryptophan in bananas can be a relaxing mood enhancer, helping to combat the symptoms of depression. (But don’t go off the meds just yet).
If you have ulcers, bananas are probably on the short list of foods you can eat. This is because they’re easily digested, and they neutralize stomach acid to prevent digestive problems (including more ulcers).
Tenderize a Roast
Adding a ripe (peeled) banana to the roasting pan can tenderize and moisturize your next Sunday roast.
Bird and Butterfly Watching
A ripe (or better yet, overripe) banana left out on a protected or raised surface will attract a host of birds and butterflies to your backyard. Of course, you’ll also attract some larger critters too, as well as wasps and bees, so employ this wildlife-watching technique strategically.
Relieve Constipation (and Diarrhea)
Yup — bananas can do both. Eating a raw banana reduces constipation, and eating a boiled one can help with diarrhea.
Please note that I can’t personally attest to all these applications of banana peel, so if you’re in doubt, do a small test first.
Do you have any creative uses for banana peels?