Plants have been in use in traditional medicine since antiquity, and many active metabolic products with biological significance are obtained from them. Recently, pharmaceutical industries have developed great interest in utilizing these products as an alternative to the chemically synthesized drugs. This is due to the discovery of important new medicines from the plants, because of studies on how people of different background use plants as cure and treatment for many diseases, and side effects of the synthesized drugs. Banana, an eatable fruit produced by some herbaceous flowering plants of the genus Musa, is one of the valuable fruits with proven pharmacological potentials. Bananas are spread almost all over the world. Different chemical constituents like apigenin glycosides, myricetin-3-O-rutinoside, kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside, dopamine, and serotonin have been reported in different parts and varieties of banana. The presence of carbohydrate, proteins as well as flavonoids, makes bananas useful in both nutrition and therapeutics. Pharmacologically, bananas have been shown to possess antiulcer, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities. This chapter discusses the essential information on banana, including its varieties, distribution, pharmacological actions, and its relevance in pharmaceutical industries. This will be beneficial for researchers to further harness the robustness of this fruit in controlling many diseases and modification of drugs.
Part of the book: Banana Nutrition