Better wound healing: banana peels instead of plasters?
Bananas are not only delicious, they are also very healthy. The fruits are rich in minerals and vitamins and provide a quick boost of energy. In some poorer countries, the banana is also used to heal wounds. Researchers in Germany have now looked more closely at the healing power of the fruit.
Home remedies for treating simple wounds
After minor injuries, you are often advised to try salt, because salt water accelerates wound healing. Others rather recommend treating wounds with fresh garlic. With superficial, slightly oozing and little bleeding wounds, zinc can contribute to better healing. And in many developing countries, open wounds are covered with banana leaves or peels instead of a plaster, so even larger wounds can be treated successfully.
70 different ingredients identified
A team of scientists at the private Jacobs University Bremen around the chemistry professor Dr. Nikolai Kuhnert has now taken a closer look at the healing power of bananas.
As the university reported in a communication published by the "Informationsdienst Wissenschaft" (idw), the researchers have identified 70 different ingredients that could be responsible for wound healing.
The results of the study were recently published in the "Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization".
The research project was initiated by a visiting professorship funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the pharmacist Prof. Dr. from Nigeria. Mubo Sonnibare at Jacobs University.
Bananas are traditional remedies in western Africa and much of Asia.
However, this is not the common Cavendish banana in German supermarkets, which is not believed to have healing properties, but Musa acuminata, another type of plant.
Antibacterial and disinfectant
The fruit - like coffee or tea - is characterized by many polyphenolic, i.e. aromatic, compounds. Some of them are antibacterial and disinfectant, which helps protect a wound from bacterial infections.
Others, in turn, have an astringent effect - that is, an effect that can be felt on the tongue, for example. When these compounds meet the skin, they change their proteins and form a kind of protective layer over the wound, the message says.
In order to determine exactly the healing power of the individual compounds, further, time-consuming tests would have to be carried out, because a whole series of factors play a role in wound healing.
"Through research, we have gained a deeper understanding of a traditional drug," said Kuhnert. (ad)