– improve men’s sex drive and help diabetes.

Many of us from the Caribbean have grown up eating plantains prepared in different ways and not realizing that they contain some natural health benefits.

Plantains - improve men's sex drive and help diabetes
Plantains – improve men’s sex drive and help diabetes

Sometimes plantains are confused with bananas, but there are significant differences in their looks and taste.  Plantains, which are considered a vegetable and not a fruit, are noticeably longer than bananas with thicker skins.
According to an article published in an online magazine, Trendy Africa, plantain helps to improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, increases the volume and quality of sperm and helps with kidney, ulcer and diabetes problems in men.

It also states that eating unripe plantain regularly can help with obesity problems as it contains high amounts of a type of insoluble fiber called pectin.

Plantains have high amounts of vitamin A and potassium, and are low in sodium.

Plantain leaves and roots are also thought to have many medical uses, according to the article in the Trendy Africa magazine.  The stem juice is thought to reduce urinary bladder stones and helps with diarrhoea.

The writer also states that the juice from boiled fresh plantain leaves may be useful in the treatment of diabetes, but this preparation should not be used with pregnant women as it is thought to cause miscarriage.

The plantain can also be used to treat various skin conditions, according to an article on eHow.  An easy way to treat wrinkles is to mash one quarter of a ripe plantain and spread it over your face. Let it sit for 20 minutes; rinse your face with warm water and then splash with cold water.

For skin allergies, eHow states “mash a ripe plantain in milk and drink it between two and three times per day. Turn a plantain peel inside out and tape it to skin warts. Once the peel turns black, remove it and replace with a fresh peel. Over a few weeks, you should notice the warts healing. Plantain peels can also heal poison ivy; rub the plantain peel over the affected areas to experience a soothing, cooling relief. If you have a bruise, leave a plantain peel taped to the bruise overnight to help the bruise fade by morning.”
Alexander the Great first came into contact with plantain in about 327 B.C. and brought it to Europe, according to the UK website African Foods.

Plantains were traded all over the Bantu region of Sub Saharan Africa in 1500 B.C. The fruit was first introduced to the Caribbean Islands in Santo Domingo by a monk in around 1516, according to the website.

Home Remedy
If you’re prone to headaches, try a sweet-smelling solution. Peppermint essential oil is a remedy that’s easy, affordable and natural.
Rub a few dabs into your temples and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes. Peppermint’s anti-inflammatory properties will soothe your nerves.