Creating Waves of Awareness
Musa sapientum (Banana Fruit) Provings – Criteria & Experience. Prof Dr Prakash Vakil.
But, now with the fast transport systems, banana fruits can be purchased everywhere, even where they cannot grow.
The macrobiotic Japanese theory suggests that one should eat only those vegetables and fruits which grow in the place where the consumer lives. It is difficult for the author to find out the bad effects of this particular fruit on individuals who consume imported bananas.
In India people believe that consumption of banana causes and aggravates phlegm. Patients suffering from bronchial asthma and U.R.T.I., etc. avoid eating this fruit. In practice, also physicians come across a number of patients who attribute
aggravation and causation of their symptoms from eating banana. The author
thought of studying such effects and after carefully conducting the proving of
the fruit, finally introduced a remedy prepared from the banana into the Homoeopathic Materia medica.
Information from selected botanical literature
There are about hundred and fifty types of banana plants. In the cultivated varieties fertilization is not necessary therefore the banana which is commonly available has no seeds. The wild variety may contain stone like black seeds. The banana fruit is botanically classified as berry of a capsule. It is rich in starch, carbohydrate and vitamin A. It is a good source of potassium.
Information from Ayurvedic books
In India, there is a common belief that banana is the food of celestial beings.
Ayurveda forbids banana in phlegmatic disorders such as bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis. Eating a cardamom after eating banana prevents the bad effects of banana. For chronic bronchitis eating two cloves and five corns of pepper which are left inside a banana overnight; is found to be effective in curing the disease. Taking banana with a glass full of milk at bed-time cures constipation, insomnia, bleeding piles, sprue, coeliac diseases, etc. and makes one to live healthy, strong and long. Application of the pulp is also recommended in many skin conditions like acne, wrinkling of skin, blackheads etc. It is known to increase weight, worms, sluggishness and sleep.
A ripe banana every night can cure one of spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation and functional impotency. Further, the red variety is considered to antidote the bad effects of the green variety and vice versa.
Other known medicinal uses of banana
Seeds of banana are considered to be curative as well as prophylactic in small-pox. Banana is a good tonic food for all age group of patients as well as healthy persons. It can be safely given to infants. Pregnant women will find a good source of folic acid and iron in banana, with milk it can help to heal and cure gastritis, hyperchlorhydria, peptic ulcers - even those caused by stress or by some drugs like aspirin. It can be safely given to patients suffering from some acute infections like tonsillitis, hepatitis, typhoid, dysentery, measles etc. Banana is well tolerated by diabetics when taken in moderation. It can be safely taken by an obese person instead of sweets and carbohydrates. As it is free from cholesterol and a medium size banana contains only 0.2g of largely unsaturated fat; American Food and Nutrition Association recommends it as a simple diet in patients who have had recent myocardial infarction and also in patients suffering from hypertension and congestive cardiac failure. It is useful in patients suffering from scanty urine, cystitis, pyelitis etc. but is contra-indicated in patients suffering from renal failure because of its high potassium content. Modern researches confirm that some persons can be allergic to banana so they must avoid banana.
Kent's Repertory of Homoeopathic Materia Medica:
Aversion to Banana: Elaps.
Desire for Banana: Ther.
Other books: Aversion to banana-Bar c., Elaps.
Aversion to plums and banana: Bar-c., Elaps.
The study was carried out in three phases, viz.
1) Proving of banana
2) Study of patients getting aggravated from banana and giving banana to patients suffering from respiratory and other problems and observing them.
3) Prescribing the remedy on the indications collected from the above.
While studying the patients in this way their clinical desire/aversion/aggravation/amelioration for/from banana were also found.
1) Proving of banana:
Banana is a very common item of daily food like salt so the proving was carried out by giving more number of bananas to provers. It was not possible to keep the provers only on banana. The provers comprised of both the sexes. The youngest prover was five years old and the oldest was twenty-six years old. 16 provers were made to eat 6 bananas per day for a minimum of seven days. All the norms which are laid down for conducting a proving like selecting healthy provers, instructing them to avoid any food-item having medicinal value etc. were observed. Besides some common investigations like routine blood, urine and stool examinations were
also carried out in most of the cases before commencing the proving and when
provers developed some symptoms. Use of some modern technologies like taking
photographs of some visual conditions, audio and video-recording of sound and
conditions were also carried out.
Some provers produced symptoms in just 2 or 3 days whereas some produced mild symptoms after 5 to 6 days and symptoms of greater intensity after 10 to 15 days. In some provers bananas were continued till the symptoms were unbearable. It was not possible to carry out proving with double-blind method when giving banana-fruit.
Later on proving was also carried out in 6D and 30D potencies. Here; it was possible to carry out the proving by double-blind method. Symptomatology obtained is recorded under observations. Provers who were given placebo first were given potentised remedy later on to observe the difference in the symptomatology.
Symptom which were found in 5 or more than 5 provers have been written in bold letters. Symptoms found in 3 or more than 3 and less than 5 provers have been underlined.
2) Banana and patients :
A number of patients with respiratory problems reported aggravation from banana. This may be due to the fact that people in India have been under Ayurvedic treatment for some or the other problem sometimes and Ayurveda forbids consumption of banana for certain conditions. But aggravation was also noted in may patients and many of the observations made in the Ayurvedic-books were confirmed. A few patients also reported relief in the intensity of their symptoms with banana fruit.
It was decided to study the effect of banana-fruit on patients suffering from various problems in a systematic way. 12 such patients were selected. 5 patients had respiratory problems. They were better with Homoeopathic medicines but when bananas were given they were not receiving any medicines. 2 patients were underweight, one patient wanted to lose weight, one had a rheumatic problem, 2 had skin problems and one had a neurological problem. All these patients were made to eat 6 bananas per day when they were not receiving any other Homoeopathic medicines.
Their symptoms were recorded before and after banana. Symptomatology obtained
in this particular way which matched the symptomatology obtained from the provers have been marked*. Symptomatology found only in the patients are marked #.
3) A medicine prepared from banana -fruit was administered to 15 patients on the symptomatology obtained from 1) and 2) and the symptoms which disappeared have
been marked by 2 sidelines - (11). These patients included acute conditions,
sub-acute and chronic conditions.
Symptomatology collected from the provers
This remedy should be useful in complaints that constantly change from one organ to another; one place to another, shifting, fleeting in 3 to 4 days time. Acute subacute and chronic problems. Viral conditions like Mumps with or without metastasis, common cold, influenza, Bacterial conditions like Rheumatic fever and also other conditions like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus etc. Lowered resistance of an individual when he/she is likely to get repeated viral infections like AIDS, Leukemia etc. It should be useful in Allergic Rhinitis, Pharyngitis, Laryngitis, Uvulitis, Parotitis, sinusitis, Bronchitis etc.
Mentals : Weeping mood - cried because teacher scolded her.
Prefers solitude. Restless because of physical ailment.
O/E Involuntary sighing
Feels active and energetic mentally initially later tired and sluggish.
Fears something physical will happen. Anxiety+ > eating. Feeling of insecurity. Feels exhausted physically and mentally.
Irritable. Wants to fight for justice. Cannot
bear injustice. Fear of dark and unknown people. After a practical joke
felt very sad and benumbed, did not know what to do, after that cried for about
half an hour and felt much better after that. Brooded over t and felt like
crying whenever someone mentioned that or if someone looked at her and said
"Cry". Homesick. Normally she would not react like that. Pessimistic thoughts and broods over the
same. Does not want to be disturbed that time. Wants solitude. Does not like
sympathy or help.
Irritability has gone. Does not get irritated as before - tolerance has increased. Irritable on the 4th day. Confused. Absent minded. Feels sad and frustrated about trivial matters or she does not known as to what exactly is
wrong - feels she will go insane and loathes life. Has become tolerant. normal"">Slow and sluggish.
Head : Occipital throbbing headache if sleep disturbed > hard punches on head.* Throbbing headache on vertex as soon as head touches the pillow at night (bearable) which disappears when waking up.
Eyes : Dryness of lateral part. Watering < draft with cold feeling in eyes.
O/E Slight congestion lower eye-lids. Dark rings around eyes reduced; Watering of eyes when
sneezing and coughing – #eyes burn. Redness of left eye like phlyctineural
Nose : Dryness. Sneezing -morning after getting up, afternoon and #evening -two sneezes at a time-morning and evening -10 to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Running of the nose after getting up in the morning. Obstruction of nose < morning. Nasal discharge watery/yellowish/brownish/bland. Thick brownish in the morning changing to
pale yellow in the evening Ears : Blocked feeling in both the ears.
Pricking pain in ears -more in right ear > occupied < sitting idle,
pressure, (11) draft.
: Dryness. Pain at right submandibular region.
Tip of the tongue burning. #Glossitis. Thick coating. Two mucus stripes, normal"">yellow coating posteriorly in a triangular form almost like a stripe
over white coating and red tip.
(11) #Stringy saliva. Right parotid swollen
Throat : Irritation in the morning - has to clear the throat often which >
# Dryness of naso-pharynx # > drinking water.
(11) Phlegm drawn from posterior nares < morning #-discharge light yellow
Expectoration only morning - yellowish-white lumpy.
(11) # Hoarseness < morning after 10 a.m. - can talk louder but voice breaks when she tires to talk softly.
Pain in throat < morning, empty swallowing > tea, warm drinks. *Pain in throat as if something stuck at two places under the submandibular lymph-nodes.
(11) O/E #Uvula inflamed, elongated, red spots on uvula. Inflamed uvula shrunk so much when proving potentised remedy that it almost disappeared.
(11) Painless pharyngitis (Sore throat - Bapt.). Pain only when empty swallowing. After 3 weeks of banana another attack of pharyngitis but this time it is painful and associated with cough - <lying
down on back, > turning to left. Tickling in pharynx. Expectoration yellow
O/E Submandibular lymph nodes tender; (11) more on right side. (11) #Pharynx congested. -more on left side
Stomach: Appetite #Increased. normal"">Can eat regular meals inspite of having 6 bananas per day. Eats more than before. Thirst #Increased # -little quantity often / large quantity often -violent thirst
between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. -while having
food needs 3 to 4 glasses of water. Decreased-
aversion to cold water-feels chilly. Desires : Rice, tea. Desire for sour
Abdomen: Pain in epigastric region after eating - started at 7 p.m. after chicken -pain coming suddenly and going suddenly -O/E Tenderness in Epigastric
region, RHC, LHC, RIF. Right side
tympanitic. #Lower abdomen tympanitic. Bilious vomiting every other day in
the morning; alternating with loose stools with mucus. -OE Tenderness RHC - ?
Amoebic hepatitis. Used to get eructations-stopped. Pain at one spot between
epigastric region and left hypochondrium. Does not feel weak inspite of
vomiting and diarrhoea. Eggs used to aggravate in her childhood - it started
again - pain in abdomen and vomiting. Eructations stopped.
Rectum: Offensive stools -semisolid twice a day -burning in anal region when passing stools. Burning in anal region before
passing stool in the morning; > passing flatus. normal"">Loose stools every alternate day with mucus. -alternating with
bilious vomiting in the morning. Passing flatus increased. normal"">Flatulence lower abdomen. > passing flatus. -feels she will pass
tool when passing flatus.
Male: Frequent erections. Female: Menses got delayed by six days. Menses early by 4 to 5 days. Or 10
days. Flow scanty -used to be for 4
to 5 days - now it has almost stopped on the 3rd day. Used to get pain in both
the legs -now only left leg; hip to knee portion only. Leucorrhoea in the evening,
profuse for a few seconds. Respiratory
system: Constant cough
suffocative cough, dry cough 1 to 2 bouts at a time > open air < night 9;30 to 11 p.m. > drinking water. Sugar, sleep *3 to 4
paroxysms- < 7 to 8 p.m., expectoration white frothy-pain in head or abdomen
when coughing expectoration. #Yellow
expectoration. Brownish easy salty expectoration (11) normal"">Drawing from posterior nares. Burning pain at one spot on the left
side of the chest. 5th intercostal space.
O/E A few rhonchi at left base
Back: Pain at coccyx - cannot sit. Pain burning at one spot right scapula.
Neck: Tenderness right side.
Extremities: Tenderness of cal muscles relieved. Pain in calf muscles on exertion - one month after stopping bananas. Pain in sheen of tibia; as if the legs would get
separated > elevating the legs.
Sleep : #Increased -drowsy all day - 12 to 13 hrs/day -cannot
concentrate in the class. #Feels
fresh when he/she gets up. Previously sleep used to get disturbed at
slightest noise; now it is undisturbed. Sleeps under a fan and covers her whole
body. Wakes up as if someone called him
very loudly; starts looking for that person but cannot find him and yet cannot
believe that it happened in a dreamy state. Sleep disturbed -wakes up every
half hour but can go back to sleep very easily. Dreams : Snake around her leg.
Many snakes sitting in front of her, Monkey in the house three to four cobras
sitting by her pillow - wakes up frightened *Previous business. Of cars - he is
driving a red car. Of daily events. Frightful dreams.
Skin : Peels off. *Hyper-pigmented, dark spots which were left after Lichen planus faded. *Pellagra started clearing up. Skin outer of the heel became thick and rough like corns. Increased sweat #-on soles, *-on palms, #-back with
feeling of heat, forehead. Perspiration decreased on palms and soles which he
used to get before.
Fever : 99*F Feverish feeling. Fever starts in the morning with sore throat.
Generalities : Was chilly before; now wants slow fan. (11) Does not want fan. (11) > Open air. # weight increased
by 1 Kg. in 10 days.
#Complexion changed-fair. Great weakness < slightest exertion > eating. Symptoms which some and go rapidly, followed by new symptoms - of trivial nature but
irritating. Frequent viral infections. Lowered resistance. Had a fall 20 days
back but is getting pain now.
Modalities: (11) < Morning. (11) > Open air.
Antidote : Carb-v., Coc-c. Ferr.
Follows well: Ars.
Duration of action: About a month -reqd. anti-doting. #15 days.
Investigations: Lymphocytes increased from 36 to 63 %
Eosinophils increased from 8 to 20 %
WBC same. WBC increased from 5500 to 12500. Hb increased by about 3 gms. in 3 weeks. ESR reduced. ESR normal"">increased. Sickle cells found
CLINICAL DESIRE/AVERSION/AGGRAVATION/AMELIORATION :
3 Sep. And 1 Phos. Patients were found to be having desire for banana.
1 Gels. patient had aversion to banana.
5 Nux-v. patients had aggravation from banana; in 3 it disappeared after Nux-v.
3 Thuja patients had aggravation from banana.
Introduction of this new remedy adds one more remedy to our armamentarium to treat respiratory and other viral conditions effectively. In crude form it helps one to put on weight
so in potentised form it should be a useful remedy for obesity. The
introduction of this remedy also helps us in understanding aggravation of certain
symptoms when a patient is consuming banana.
Hahnemann has laid down certain criteria for proving and some others have also added to that. While proving several remedies the author experienced the normal"">need for modifying the proving methodology. This is summarised
1 )It is said that prover should be a healthy person. When one examines and writes down the history of the provers he finds that almost all the provers have some or the
other minor problems e.g. Tendency to
catch cold in winter, presence of warts, dandruff etc. Careful recording of the
history of the provers and examination are important. Aggravation or
amelioration in the pre-existing condition should be carefully noted.
2) The modern techniques of laboratory investigations must be employed when carrying out proving of a drug. This would help the conductor in finding out as to what
extent a prover is affected by the proving and the affinities of the drug under
3) Physical examination would also reveal many things.
4) Modern advancement in the audio-visual sphere should be utilized when introducing a new remedy. We have different types of coughs and tongues described in the Homoeopathic books
but we do not have recorded sounds or pictures.
5) It is said that provers should be free from anxiety. It was observed during the proving of Mangifera that two of the provers had loss in business and they got aggravated.
Thus an important symptom was obtained. Similarly; two provers who were proving
Musa said that they became tolerant. It is important to study the prover's
change in the reaction to different stimuli when they are under the influence
of a drug. One wonders as to how the masters must have found 'Disappointment in
love', 'ailments from anger' etc. Are they only clinical symptoms?
6) 'Mangifera Indica', 'Musa sapientum', 'Citrullus lanata' are all food items. Ideally speaking the prover should nothing else but only the particular item of food
which is required to be proved. But this is not possible so one has to be
satisfied by giving this particular food-item in excess and for a prolonged
7) 'Double-blind' method is not possible when conducting crude proving of the fruit like banana. When proving the potency it is possible to adopt this method. It is said that
those provers who have received placebo should be given the drug and vice
versa. Giving placebo to those who have received the drug becomes a problem
especially when the duration of action of the drug is not known. When proving
'Tamarindus Indicus' it was noted that symptoms appear for sometime then there
is a lucid interval and then the symptoms reappear. It is possible that this
reappearance of symptoms may be attributed to placebo.
8) Symptomatology of some poisonous substances can be collected from suicidal, homicidal and accidental cases. The author found the lastly source as an important source
when collecting symptomatology from the victims of Bhopal and Chembur.
9) Symptomatology collected from patients of leprosy also proved to be a good and reliable source to prescribe "Leprominium".
10) It is recommended that in the same prover different potencies of the same drug should be proved. The idea is not very clear and one would encounter similar problems which are
described under point no. 7 in connection with 'Tamarindus Indicus'.
11) In this later years Hahnemann has also proved some remedies on some patients. Why did he do it? Probably, he must have thought that it was no use to stick dogmatically to
the criterion of 'healthy-prover'. Careful observation is more important.
Further, some pathological conditions can get aggravated from some food items
and although a drug as capable of affecting a particular organ deep enough it
may not show in healthy provers.
12) It is recommended by some that the chronological order of development of symptoms is very important and this should also match in a patient. While proving 'Musa
Sapientum' it was observed that in some provers the right parotid got affected
first followed by pharynx and then the sleep and lastly the abdomen. In
majority of provers the throat-pharynx was affected first but in more than half
the no. of provers it was the left submandibular lymph node got affected
whereas in the rest it was the right one that was affected. Thus it was
shifting nature of the disease which was more important rather than
13) Clinical verification of symptoms is very important. Sometimes provers may get some symptoms but they may not be found in patients. e. g. When proving 'Citrullus
lanata' one of the provers repeatedly got dreams of a long haired white woman
hanging from the ceiling but this was not found in patients. A few medical
students who were proving 'Musa' were anxious about a mid-term test and some
anxious symptoms were found in them but they were not found in other provers
and patients who were prescribed 'Musa'. Constantine Herring gives importance
to clinically verified symptoms and puts two sidelines with such symptoms. When
introducing a new remedy it would be a good idea to cover such an aspect.
Ref – Proceedings of 45th Congress of the LMHI.