Who doesn’t love bananas? 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.
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”.
Well, I had opportunity recently to test this out, and, to my great surprise, I believe it actually was noticeably beneficial!
You see, we were at our bug out location, 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 our travel trailer 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, and 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!
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.
I love the bananas, but the hens get the peels. NO MORE! Every year I have a plague of fleas no matter what I do. I usually live in OFF. However, the fleas love me. I scratch the bites for months. From now on, I will plaster bananas to the bites by putting a peace of peel on each bite and covering with a bandaid to keep it in place. I don’t have enough hands to keep all bases covered with peel.
Hey, PP! Your hens don’t eat the fleas? Don’t chickens, and, in particular, guina hens, love fleas as much as ticks? Of course, they have to “free range” – have access to them.
I’m sure you can find lots of things addressing fleas and natural control online, but Mother Earth News is sort of like the “Reader’s Digest Condensed Version” for natural stuff, so, here ya’ go:
Hope this helps you in some way!
Servantheart, What a great tip. Thank You for the posting. I think all areas of the country have their own special little pest’s and I hate to spray off all over every time I go out so this is a very timely tip. Thanks
You’re very welcome, Suni! Nice to hear from you! Blessings,
Servant Heart- glad you found something to help. Up here they are called black flies-no see ums. They usually will not bother you if you are out in a boat but on land -especially in wooded areas-watch out. They can cause terrible swelling. We don’t have them here but they are abundant in the Adirondack Mts. People use Woodsmans fly dope (its a spray on product) It smells terrible but it works.
Beekeepers are advised to not eat bananas for 48 hours if you work the bees. -and when bees get really aggravated they exude a pheromone that smells like a banana oil.(that’s when its time to back off -even when well suited up)
I love bananas !!! Thanks for the banana remedy -will try it out sometime when we have bananas. Arlene
Hey, Arlene! Good tip for bees; I must learn this!
On the Gulf Coast and Florida coast, “no seeums” are tiny, tiny little biting critters…they’re called such because they are very small, and “hit and run” to eat you. Is this the same critter you have? The black flies (buffalo gnats) are HUGE in comparison; they are a large fly, much larger than a standard housefly, and eyes are entirely black, thus, the name…quite vicious critters. And they bite right through your clothes!
Servant Heart- whoa -those buffalo bugs sound very big and nasty- no we don’t have them here. You might try a bug veil.(used to cost about $4.99 each)
They work for the black flies-hope they work for you.Arlene
PURELY apocryphal/subjective evidence, but last time I was in NH black-gnat hell, I noticed that my relatives who avoid garlic and savory herbs at all costs got bitten a LOT more severely than the ones who ate the stuff I cooked for them :)
Good morning, Wyz! Hope you have a blessed day!
And, yep! There is something to that. I believe there are a number of insects and critters that are not fond of the scent of garlic coming out of us. Some people assimilate garlic better than others, as is true of all foods; when my DH eats garlic-loaded food, even I don’t want to be around him. It’s like it just goes straight to his pores and out through his skin! Skin is an organ, and will absorb and transmit, just like any other organ (which is why we need to be careful what we put ON our skin, and why alum-laced underarm deodorants, chemically-based cosmetics, and chemical scents will eventually give us psoriasis, eczema, so-called Alzheimers, any number of cancers, etc.
There are many commercial “natural” mosquito and bug repellents that rely on garlic, and treatments for your lawn that are garlic-based, so, it does have a scientific basis, though, darned if I know where to find the proof online.
I’ve also read that garlic will repel SOME mosquitoes but not all, depending on the TYPE of mosquito.
So…yes, garlic works for repelling mosquitoes and various other insects, bugs, and critters, at least to some degree, and for some critters.
I know it keeps me at a distance! :)