Submitted by servantheart, Editor-at-Large:
What do bananas and black flies have in commons? I’m so glad you asked!
Who doesn’t love bananas? While most of us in the U.S.A. can’t grow our own, still, at least for now, you can generally buy bananas, so, let’s just enjoy them while we can. I always try to have some bananas around, as the whole family seems to like them as a snack, enhancement for otherwise boring cereals, etc. And what Southerner doesn’t enjoy an occasional treat of banana pudding? Or a strawberry-banana slushy for breakfast on a hot, humid summer’s morning. Or an angel food cake slice with fresh strawberries, bananas, and freshly-whipped real cream…I’m salivating. Time to move on.
I read somewhere on a natural blog site that banana peels could be used to help heal wounds and “boo-boos”. You use the inside part of a freshly-peeled banana peel and hold it against the wounds or boo-boo for a few minutes – how long is entirely up to you, but I found that just 4-5 minutes was useful. Like a lot of things, when I read it, I thought, “well, that’s nice; though I’m skeptical”. Oh, you do that, too?!
Well, guess what?! I had opportunity recently to test this out, and, to my great surprise, I believe it actually was noticeably beneficial! You see, we were on the BOL, and the black flies (a.k.a., “buffalo gnats”) ate me alive. The DH pretty much escaped this torture; he claims it is because he was willing to spray his “outerwear” with Sawyer insecticidal spray, which I was not. I think it’ because he has vinegar running through his veins, but, hey! I love him, anyway! ; ) Well, for whatever explanation, the black flies feasted on me. Now, it wasn’t enough that they were all over the place OUTSIDE, but the DH decided he needed to leave the door of the BOL travel trailer (TT) hanging wide open, screen door and all. Not once, but several times. Yelling, “close the dang door!” had little effect, other than to be met with, “I’m comin’ in” yelled back, and then the perfunctory, “well, come in faster then…”…you know how it is. A few decades together and you learn how to talk to one another…well, anyway…
I had never heard of black flies before this incident, and did not know they are locally known as “buffalo gnats”. But they are flies, and very nasty ones, at that. We’re just getting to know the differences between critters on the BOL, on top of a mountain in another state, and the critters we are familiar with in our “city location”. Don’t worry – we’ll figure it out – if they don’t totally devour us first, but, then, it won’t matter, will it?!
Well, after I killed all the black flies he let in the TT , having been already half-eaten by the little beasties because I had no clue, I ate a banana and applied the inside of the freshly-peeled banana to several places of bites; it was weird, sitting on banana peels, tucking them into the backs of my knees and holding them there. You know how bananas get brown and black spots if left lying around, uneaten for a few days? Well, when you hold them against your flesh, they do this in a matter of minutes! Or, maybe it was just me…may be I have vinegar in my veins, too? Who knows?!! At any rate, they turned brownish/black in the time it took to hold them against my flesh, just a few minutes, at best.
But, here’s the thing – the itching, swelling, burning from the bites was actually RELIEVED rather quickly as these peels were held against the bites! Now, the relief lasted just a few hours, but, the point is, banana peel actually gave relief, if only temporarily. Did it help heal any more quickly? I have no idea. I’ve never been bitten by black flies before. I still treated them with antibiotic ointments later, alcohol swabs, etc. , so I don’t have a point of reference on healing. I can tell you that two weeks later, the bumps are still quite visible, though the flesh is healed.
Even so, I will commit to this statement: I am now convinced that fresh banana peel held to a wound or boo-boo does, in fact, help relieve pain, discomfort, and may even be beneficial in reducing swelling of an insect bite. At least, it did for me with black fly bites. Who knew, indeed?!!