By Daisy Luther.
This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper.com
If you’re always looking to save a dime and reduce waste, here’s something that most people throw away which has an abundance of uses.
The humble banana peel.
The classic cartoon prank of putting it on the floor for folks to slip on is nowhere in sight. We’re much more practical here.
If you’re consuming the peels in any way, I recommend that you choose organic bananas. You’ll want to avoid any pesticides or chemicals that get sprayed on conventional fruit, and bananas are absolutely doused in them.
I think re-using items that most people throw away is like getting free stuff. You can really stretch your budget by learning new ways to re-use the things that everyone else considers “trash.” (There are more good ideas here.)
We searched high and low on the internet and found 20 practical uses for banana peels:
- Natural anti-depressant: Banana peel is rich in serotonin, a chemical known to be much lower in the brains of depressed people. Researchers in Taiwan have found that juicing banana peels and drinking it can raise serotonin levels. Here’s how you do it: Wipe the skins before you peel the banana – it’s way easier than trying to wipe it off afterward. Boil the skins for ten minutes to soften them and extract the juice. Fish out the peel and put aside and either drink the juice directly or add it to a smoothie to provide a natural serotonin boost.
- Compost: Take those peels and add them to the compost heap. Banana skins break down quickly, but if you’re in a rush, boiling them speeds the process even more.
- Compost tea: Alternatively you could make a banana tea that deters aphids. Soak the skins, adding a clove of crushed garlic (aphids hate garlic as well) and spray onto tender plants that aphids like, such as cauliflower. Some people prefer to bury the skins near plants that aphids love. Use one part banana and garlic tea to 5 parts fresh water and spray away the bugs.
- Homemade rose feed: Here are a few great recipes to feed your roses with natural products made from banana skins.
- Tomato fertilizer: Wrap the peels gently around the young tomato plants, and they will soak up the nutrients from the skins.
- Instant soil boost: Put chunks of chopped up peel at the bottom of planting holes, cover them lightly, so the tender plant roots don’t scorch, and let your seedlings flourish.
- House plant polish: Use the inside of a banana skin to shine the leaves of waxy-leaved house plants. Wipe over and very gently buff off with a lint-free cloth to leave them glowing with health.
- Clean your shoes: Remove obvious dirt and mud and then use the inside of the peel and gently wipe it over your shoes. Polish off with a clean lint-free cloth.
- Animal feed: Chickens, rabbits, and pigs will all benefit from ground dried banana peel added to their feed. Dry them in the bottom of the oven, in a dehydrator, or in the sun. Crush the dried peel before adding to the feed.
- Teeth whitening: Banana peel contains manganese, magnesium, and potassium, all said to aid in teeth whitening. Rub the inside of the skin over your teeth a couple of times a week for natural whitening.
- Bug bite soother: Rub the inside of the skin over the bite to take some of the itch out of it.
- Remove a wart: Cut a small piece of skin and places the inside against the wart and secure in place with a bandage. Replace daily until the wart is gone, often within a week or two.
- Bruise reduction: Rub the inside of a banana peel on a bruise as soon as it starts to appear to minimize discolouration.
- Acne treatment: Rub banana peel over the affected and watch what happens. You can read about using banana skins to treat acne here.
- Treat hemorrhoids: Nope, I’m not kidding. Scrape the whitish fibers from the inside of a banana peel, mix with a small amount of coconut oil, and apply. You can read more here.
- Treat psoriasis and dry skin conditions: Rub a couple of times a day with the inside of a banana skin and see the dry scale patches fade away.
- Skin pick me up: Rub the inside of a ripe banana skin over your face every couple of days. Leave for a few minutes and rinse off with warm water. The vitamins and nutrients in the peel are an excellent skin tonic.
- Tenderise meat: Placing a banana skin in the bottom of the meat roasting pan keeps the meat succulent and tender without altering the flavor.
- Polish your silver: Just like you did with your shoes and house plants, wipe the surfaces with the inside of a banana skin and leave for a couple of minutes. Buff off with a lint-free cloth.
- Make a bedtime tea: Boil a clean, organic banana peel like you did in #1. Add a tiny dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, and then sweeten with honey. Drink this before bedtime – the peels are loaded with tryptophan, the same stuff that makes you fall asleep after eating a big turkey dinner.
Well there you go, 20 uses for something that would usually get tossed into the trash.
Do you know of any uses for banana peels that I’ve missed?
Please share in the comments below. Here are a few more quick reads you may find useful: