The banana is a delicious, versatile, and super good-for-you fruit, with about a hundred different ways to eat and enjoy. Can you slice one up and put it over a bowl of cereal? Sure can. How about putting one in your next protein shake to make a yummy and powerful post-workout smoothie? Oh yeah. It’s really true: from baking to DIY-skin care, the banana really does go a long way. You might have also read our awesome list of banana facts and now, know more about bananas. But have you ever thought about what to do with the leftover peel? Read on to learn some surprising benefits and uses of the oft-neglected banana peel that go way beyond the trash or compost bin.
1. Smooth Out Wrinkles
Moisturized, healthy skin is less likely to have fine lines and wrinkles. Of course, loving and accepting the skin you’re in–crow’s feet and all!–is an important step in self-care. But there’s nothing wrong with trying to improve your look and confidence, either. For a mini at-home face lift, gently rub your face with the inside of a banana peel, again letting the oil dry on your skin before washing it off with warm water (or even leave it on overnight). With repeated use, your skin will start looking firmer, smoother, and healthier. You can even use banana peels the way you would use cold tea bags or cucumber slices to soothe puffy eyes!
2. Heal Those Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are another one of those somewhat embarrassing yet totally common health conditions that affects a lot of people. They’re actually caused by inflamed, swollen, and irritated veins near the anus and in the rectum that can be painful and may even bleed on occasion. For a safe remedy to try on your own in the privacy of your own home, whir up a paste in your blender using a banana peel and about 1 tablespoon of witch hazel. Then, soak a clean gauze strip in the mixture and apply to the affected area for about 30 minutes. Repeat twice a day during an outbreak. The natural astringent components of the peel and witch hazel help clean the area, reduce swelling, and relieve pain.
3. Clean Up An Ink Stain On Your Skin
Lefties know the pain of ink stains! If a pen bursts or you simply get ink all over your fingers, rub the inside of a banana peel against the area. The oils from the banana peel will bind with the pigments within the ink, making it easier to remove and wash off.
4. Remove Splinters
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell what’s worse: getting a splinter, or trying to get the splinter out! For an easy, pain-free trick, tape a small piece of banana peel (white side in) directly over the area where the splinter is lodged. By leaving it there for about 30 minutes or so, the enzymes and other oils from the banana will absorb into the skin and help “push” the splinter to the surface, making it easier to pluck out.
5. Improve Your Mood And Your Eyesight
A group of researchers in Taiwan have discovered that drinking a concoction made with boiled banana peels may actually help stabilize and improve your mood. This is thought to be due to the dopamine and serotonin found in banana peels which are known to have a mood-boosting effect on the brain. Drinking banana-peel extract (from boiling a peel in water) may also protect your vision, too, since banana peels contain an antioxidant known as luetin which improves the health of retinal tissue.
6. Restore A Scratched CD or DVD
For those of us still using CD players and DVD drives, there’s nothing more annoying than a scratched and skipping album, video game, or movie. Try this odd but effective technique: using a gentle circular motion, rub the underside of a disc with the white part of the banana peel for about a minute. Remove the residue with a clean and soft cloth, then clean and buff the CD with a glass cleaner. The natural waxiness of the peel helps fill in any scratches that were causing the unpleasant skips and pauses.
7. Create A Work Of Art
Being creative early in the morning is good for your brain and a great way to start your day. So before or after peeling your banana at breakfast tomorrow, go ahead and stimulate your imagination by drawing on the peel with a ball-point pen or even carving out a design with a knife or needle (the oxidation process will transform your design into a dark brown color, so it’s clearly visible against the yellow peel). It’s a fun, easy, and engaging way to flex your creative muscles! Looking for inspiration? Simply Google “banana peel art.”
Hopefully, this list will make you think twice before tossing that banana peel.