Banana leaves provide several uses indoors and outdoors.
I always mention my maternal grandmother — an heroine in her own right — whenever I prepare an article dealing with indigenous plants in the Philippines.
In the past, they said my grandmother had always been the commander-in-chief in the house, which amused my grandfather a lot. Everyone in the house got orders and instructions from her. These, of course, were domestic in nature and never intended to govern. She was indeed kind at heart.
Our grandparents’ house was quite big — accommodating all the brood of 8 siblings, some of whom already had children. This is a fact that Filipinos really have strong family ties and values. Grandma cleaned the house daily by scrubbing soaped rug on the wooden floor (concrete floors were not yet then common). After which she would call on us kids to gather fresh banana leaves for the purpose of waxing and to smoothen the wooden floor.
Here are the beneficial uses of banana leaves:
1. As floor polisher — The front part of the banana leaf has whitist coating. When the banana leaf is brushed on the wooden floor, it becomes polished that as if it has been waxed.
2. As rice flavoring – A portion of the banana leaf is placed in the bottom of the metal pot before putting in rice. While rice is being cooked, the aromatic smell of banana leaf flies temptingly all over the kitchen inviting hungry stomach to eat.
3. As food wrap — The use of banana leaf is a lot better than plastic, which is toxic, in wrapping food like rice. Just heat the banana leaf a little to wither and it will become flexible enough to be folded without getting torn. The food wrapped with it will taste better due to the leaf’s aroma and flavor.
4. During picnics or outings the banana leaf could be spread on flat surface like long plate in which to place food or lavish meal on and that people eat at the same time on it.
5. In places where bananas are grown, large banana leaves are sometimes used as umbrellas.
Published in: Gardening