Banana Stems – Nutrition Facts, Benefits, & Side Effects

Mehak Shah

May 26, 2023

We have always heard about bananas providing an abundance of health benefits and a delicious fruit enjoyed by all. It is full of micronutrients and macronutrients. Interestingly, every part of the banana tree can be consumed or used one way or the other. We have witnessed banana leaves used to serve food or even wrapping, the fruit is called a superfood, its stem is consumed and also used in ayurveda for centuries. The tree is often associated with the bounty of life. 

Banana belongs to the Musaceae family in the genus Musa. 

An Overview of Banana

Bananas are mainly cultivated in the tropical regions, with India being the largest producer followed by Ecuador, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, China, and Costarica. People also use the fruit, leaves, stem (also known as ‘false stem’), flowers, and banana tree roots as medicine. 

Banana Stem – Here’s What You Should Know

The banana stem is not like other plant stems because the flower stalk of the banana plant is known as the banana stem. The banana stem has a crunchy surface and possesses a mild flavour when consumed as a food product. But, on the other hand, it is sweet and gives a bitter aftertaste. Therefore, it is fair to say that the stalk is the stem of the banana plant. 

The banana stalk harvests one colossal flower cluster and then dies. The stalk is generally cut off from the plant when the bananas are plump and subjected to the ripening process. Therefore, people consume this stalk as the banana stem.

Nutritional Contents in Banana Stem

  • Potassium (K)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium (Mg)
  • Copper (CU)
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fibres
  • Other minerals & micronutrients

9 Health Benefits of Banana Stem

The banana stem is loaded with an ample amount of fibre and is thus known to benefit in preventing constipation and ulcers in the long run.

The banana stem also contains a substantial amount of vitamins B6 and potassium. Hence, patients suffering from anaemia and diabetes are advised to include this food product in their diet regularly. Some of the other benefits of the banana stem are:

1. Prevents Diabetes

Banana stems contain a considerable amount of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is a cofactor involved in many reactions responsible for modulating various functionalities. Therefore, deficiency of it often leads to several implications like Parkinson’s, diabetes, autism, cancer, and many more. 

Some Studies in Drosophila have indicated that vitamin B6 deficiency may lead to diabetes. Hence, banana stems are believed to produce effective results in combating diabetes. Furthermore, vitamin B6 in the stem supports the production of haemoglobin and insulin. 

People also use the stem for the treatment of hyperglycaemia. Lectin present in the banana stem stimulates insulin-like enzymes, which regulate the growth of fatty cells. Moreover, banana stems are highly suitable for consumption among diabetes patients, owing to their low glycemic index.

2. Detoxification 

The juice of the banana stem flushes out toxins from the body. Therefore, it is also consumed as a drink by many. It has diuretic properties and positively affects the digestive system. It also has a lot of good fibre, which plays a vital role in maintaining optimum gut health.

Banana stem juice regulates the acidic levels in the human body and balances them. As a result, it helps to reduce heartburn and discomfort in the digestive system.

3. Reduce Weight

Banana stem juice is very beneficial in the weight loss process. The high content of fibre curbs hunger pangs and cravings, thereby reducing food intake and contributing to weight loss. The fibre also facilitates the release of sugar and fats into the body’s cells. If consumed as salad, the raw stem pieces help reduce obesity by cutting down on fat.

4. Prevents Kidney Issues

Currently, doctors often recommend including banana stems in the diet for patients who suffer from gallbladder stones. You can include banana stems in the diet as a beverage or part of a meal.

The stem juice is a decent diuretic drink and helps oust small kidney stones. If mixed with cardamom, this juice soothes the bladder and provides relief against cystitis. Cystitis is a form of urinary tract infection (UTI) that disturbs the bladder. It is more common among women. Cystitis generally heals by itself. However, in extreme cases, you would require antibiotics for its treatment.

5. Prevents Anaemia

According to WHO, in 2019, the global prevalence of anaemia stood at an overwhelming 29.9% among women in the reproductive age category or aged 15-49 years. Whereas anaemia’s prevalence among children aged between 6-and 59 months stood at 39.8%.

Banana stems are highly recommended in the treatment of anaemia by healthcare professionals. They are rich in vitamin B6 and iron, both known to promote haemoglobin levels in the blood.

6. Relieves Constipation

Subsequently, the plantain stem is full of fibre, which can effectively provide relief in constipation. Therefore, consumption in the form of juice for treating constipation is exceptionally beneficial. However, not straining the juice is recommended by experts to maintain optimal levels of fibre in the drink.

7. Reduces Bad Cholesterol

According to reports published by WHO, one-third of ischaemic heart disease cases globally are due to high cholesterol levels. The banana stem can also help efficiently manage cholesterol levels, among many benefits. It is a rich source of vitamin iron & B6, which play an essential role in increasing haemoglobin count and reducing low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol levels.

8. Regulates Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is when the blood pressure against the arteries’ walls is abnormally high. If left unadministered, hypertension increases the chances of stroke. Banana stems are rich in potassium, a mineral best known for combating fluctuations in blood pressure. Hence, regular consumption of banana stems can help manage high blood pressure effectively and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disorders.

9. Prevents Urinary Tract Infection

Studies have found that Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common infections that affect women worldwide. UTI often leads to vaginal infections, and it majorly results from pathogens that originate in the digestive tract.

Banana stem juice possesses diuretic properties. Thus, it aids the body in flushing away toxins and purifying the urinary tract. Therefore, it is best to consume banana stem juice at least three times a week to evade the chances of urinary tract infections.

Banana Stem and Ayurveda

As per Ayurveda, all components of the banana tree have great medicinal benefits against a wide range of conditions. People refer to it by synonyms like Kadali, Vaarnaa, Mocha, Ambusara, and Anshumatiphala. Few of the many uses of bananas in Ayurveda include:

  • The juice of the banana stem improves Vata disorders and thirst. Vata establishes energy and regulates all movement processes at a microcellular and macroscopic level – from the blinking of our eyelids to the movements of our muscles. It is also responsible for improving circulation, respiration, and the nervous system functions.
  • The juice of the banana stem helps flush out kidney stones.
  • The Sherbet (syrup) made out of banana stem gives relief from cough.
  • You can consume the inner tender stem as a vegetable.


Banana stem can be called a superfood. It is rich in fibre that aids weight loss, relieves constipation and improves gut health. It is also rich in iron and vitamin B6 that is beneficial for managing hyperglycemia, improves the production of haemoglobin in the body, thus indirectly also contributing to reducing bad cholesterol. Banana stem have high potassium levels and its consumption can reduce blood pressure. Other than these, regular consumption of banana stem can help in detoxification of the blood, prevent UTI and can also reduce the risk of kindney stones. 

Potential Side Effects of Banana Stem

Although banana stem does not have significant side effects, some possible side effects are allergy, stomach ache, vomiting, or harm to the liver & kidneys. However, it depends on the person’s medical history and the amount of banana stem consumed. You should exercise moderation while eating or drinking in any form. A skin allergy can also be a potential side effect.

In such situations, it is of utmost importance that the person consults a doctor, a medical expert, a nutritionist, or a dietician. Ignoring the symptoms mentioned above can lead to far-reaching health problems.

Banana Stem – Best Ways to Consume

Many people avoid incorporating banana stems as it takes time to clean and cut the banana stem. But given that it is helpful in many ways, there are easy methods to avoid time wastage. Once cleaned and cut, they can be soaked in buttermilk and stored in the fridge for days. Then, as per the requirement, you can use it to make juice for consumption. However, with time, you should change buttermilk.

In Southern Thailand, people usually add a finely chopped banana stem to a sweet and sour vegetable soup or a curry. Therefore, you can use banana stems as an ingredient in cooking meals. 

  • The first step is to clean it properly and then peel the outer layers. 
  • In the next step, cut the inner layer of the banana stem into small slices. 
  • After that, you can fry it or cook it raw according to the person’s palette. 
  • You can eat fibrous edibles such as kebabs, tikkas, and cutlets.

In West Bengal, people fry the banana stem and incorporate it into meals. Being a tropical region, people in South India use banana stems to curate numerous recipes. A popular recipe is Vazhaithandu Pachadi, a form of raita made with banana stems. It is simple to make and is highly beneficial for health, especially during summers.

The HealthifyMe Suggestion

Banana stem as curry can be enjoyed by both north and south Indian people. Banana stems contain fiber, which is excellent for those trying to reduce weight. We can consume 25g to 40g of banana stem each day to help weight loss, according to the guideline.

You can use it if you have its juice if you have nephrolithiasis. Potassium and magnesium in it can help you prevent stones in your body.


The banana stem is a herbaceous and non-woody part of the banana tree. People know it by many names across different parts of India and the world. It is a well-established fact that the banana stem is full of flavour and nutrition. People, especially in India, devour this part of the plant.

While in other parts of the world, people use it in varied ways in a meal. Being a rich source of nutrients, it finds a place in every household for its affordability, medicinal benefits, and convenience. Capacity & tolerance towards food varies widely from individual to individual. Hence it is strictly recommended to consult a professional in case of potential side effects post-consumption.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How do you store banana stems long term?

A. Once cleaned and cut, you can soak them in buttermilk and store them in the fridge for days. Then, you can use it as per your requirement. For example, you can use it to make juice for consumption. Changing the buttermilk as per its sourness should be kept in mind.

Q. How do you remove fibre from banana stems?

A. Banana stems constitute two natural layers—the hard inner layer is edible, and you must discard a porous outer layer. The process of banana fibre extraction is simple. First, you should peel off the outer covers of the banana stem. Next, flatten the inner layers, and strip off the fibres manually or through machines for commercial purposes.

Q. Why are banana stems wrapped in plastic?

A. Wrapping the banana stems is a great way to keep them fresh. You should do it to stop the release of ethylene gas from the stems.

Q. What makes bananas turn brown so fast?

A. When bananas come in contact with ethylene gas, their acids break down. Soon it becomes softer, and the green chlorophyll pigments in the fruit break down. It turns into a yellow hue colour, similar to brown.

Q. Which part of the banana stem is edible?

A. The inside part of the fibrous stalk in a banana stem is the edible portion. However, you will have to remove the rough outer layers to reveal the white or yellowish-green stem.

Q. What part of the banana plant develops into a fruit?

A. The banana fruit essentially develops from the banana flower; this process is flower development. The development of the flower occurs deep within the plant’s stem, which hides under the leaves’ bases. You cannot see the first few stages of flower development until you cut the banana plant. Hence, the stem only appears above the leaves once the flower completes its growing phase.

Q. Is banana stem good for diabetes?

A. Vitamin B6 in the stem supports the production of haemoglobin and insulin. Therefore, the stem helps combat hyperglycaemia. Moreover, lectin present in the banana stem stimulates insulin-like enzymes, which regulate the growth of fatty cells. Thus, the consumption of banana stem is considered effective in protecting against diabetes.

Q. Can banana stems be eaten raw?

A. You can use the fresh stems raw. However, it is not so tender when the stem is a day older. Hence you will have to cook or fry it to consume it.

Q. How beneficial is banana stem juice for kidney stones?

A. Currently, doctors often recommend including banana stems in the diet for patients who suffer from gallbladder stones. Including banana stem in the diet at least once weekly as a beverage or meal is highly beneficial. The stem juice acts as a decent diuretic drink and helps out small kidney stones.

Q.   When to drink banana stem juice?

A. Drinking a glass of banana stem juice in the morning at least three times a week contributes massively to your health and offers numerous health benefits. However, this depends on individual needs, issues, and medical history. Hence, it is best to consult a doctor to avoid potential side effects.

Reference Sources

  1. Vitamin B6 and Diabetes
  2. Anaemia in women and children
  3. Raised cholesterol
  4. Urinary tract infection in women
  5. Health Benefits of Banana Stem

By: Mehak Shah, Masters in Food and Nutrition 

About the Author

Mehak holds masters in foods and nutrition from Amity university, Noida. She has a keen interest in public health and nutrition and has been in charge of various projects with milestone NGO. She has worked with people over the globe to bring out the changes in their lives and has always been working towards lifestyle modifications via good dietary practices. According to her a healthy lifestyle is not about the destination but all about the journey.

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