Hundreds of people gather together at public places like schools, colleges and offices every day. We would have noticed that whenever a season of contagious disease starts, all the people will not be affected by the same. Usually, only ten to fifteen people get affected out of a hundred. 

When a contagious disease is spreading, why isn’t everyone affected by it? 

The reason for this is that the immunity of those who stay healthy is comparatively better than that of those who get infected. So when the immunity is less, generally the chance to get infected becomes more. In general, regardless of virus or bacteria, if our immunity is very good, we have higher chances to stay protected, perhaps even from viral attacks.


Without us knowing about it, some simple things that we may be doing day-to-day may have a role in boosting our immunity.  One such basic thing is using banana leaves as plates for dining. When hot food is served on the banana leaf, the leaf becomes a little brownish or blackish. When this happens, many antioxidants from banana leaf go into the food. Studies show that banana leaf is rich in a class of  antioxidants called polyphenols, specifically Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It is a very potent antioxidant that has proven antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial activities. It is very effective against encapsulated RNA or DNA viruses. Take special note that Corona virus is also a type of RNA virus. Now, there needs to be more studies substantiating the efficacy of having food on banana leaf to combat COVID 19 but this observation certainly an eye opener. 

Traditionally in India, using plantain leaf for dining has been a common practice. Even today, this is widely followed. The ancient textbook called Bhojanakutūhalam has detailed descriptions on the dining etiquette, protocol and recipes. This text elaborates on the various leaves or natural substances that were used as dining plates. In this textbook, plantain leaf is considered to be having aphrodisiac, strengthening, taste improving, carminative and anti-toxic properties. All these are directly pointing towards the modern finding of immunity boosting capacities of plantain leaf. 

This leaves one wondering whether increased cases of food poisoning and recurrent infectious diseases have something to do with us slowly stopping this age old tradition of having food from a plantain leaf. 

 So, why wait for modern science to catch up with our traditions and Ayurveda? Why not simply trust it and follow it?

About author

Dr. Thanseeha Narghese V. A.


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