Does placing banana peels on forehead relieve headache?

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A claim that placing banana peels on human’s forehead relieves headache has surfaced online.

The claim, posted by an X user, @Nig_Farmer, stated that humans can get relief from headache within an hour by placing the inside of banana peels on a person’s forehead.

The claim, posted on March 7, 2024, alongside an image of banana peels, read:

After a stressful day – some of us get headaches, even out of the blue we get headaches.

If you’re the type that doesn’t like aspirin etc 

We have a way to relieve headaches in the farming community, especially after a hard working day at the farm

Simple step

Get a ripe banana, peel it, eat the banana inside, and then spread the banana peel on your forehead

The inner side of the banana peel touching your forehead and lay on your back.

You can eat a whole hand of Banana and spread the peels on your forehead.

It will relieve your headache and you should be fine within the hour.

Thank you.

The post has garnered over 300,000 views, more than 2,400 likes, over 900 reposts, and bookmarked more than 1,700 times as of March 15, 2024.

 

CLAIM

Placing banana peels on human’s forehead can relieve headache.

 

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE

A headache is a painful and disabling feature of primary headache disorders, namely migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache. 

In an article medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson and published by Healthline, it states that “The antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties in banana peels lead some proponents of folk medicine to suggest: reducing headache pain by placing one frozen banana peel on your forehead and one frozen banana peel on the back of your neck”.

She further said that “these suggested uses aren’t supported by clinical research”. 

Similarly, another study medically reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman and published by WebMD indicates that “contrary to what many people believe, banana peels are not only safe to eat, they also offer several health benefits”.

The article lists the different ways banana peel can be prepared to make it even more “delicious” but it did not indicate that placing banana peels on the forehead can relieve headaches

Moreover, an article reviewed by George R. Nissan and published on the National Headache Foundation’s (NHF) website notes that banana peels have significant amounts of tyramine and could trigger a migraine for migraine patients who are sensitive to tyramine (also found in aged cheese and some processed meats). However, this article did not indicate if it’s raw or cooked banana peels.

Our fact-checker further reviewed a World Health Organization‘s fact-sheets on “headache; types, causes, prevalence, and treatment.” The treatments listed for headaches include analgesics, anti-emetics, specific anti-migraine medications, and prophylactic medications. Placing a banana peel on the head was not indicated or recommended in the list.

 

What doctors say…

In an interview with The FactCheckHub, Genevive Onyinye Mbanefor, a medical officer with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said: “I feel it’s one of the unorthodox, non-conventional medicines”.

When probed further on whether there is any research to support the claim, Ms Mbanefor said, “to the best of my knowledge and also in line with the available resources I’ve been exposed to as a medical officer, I haven’t come across any research that supports this claim”.

Chinaza Okeke, who is a medical officer at Mango Specialist Children Hospital, Onitsha in Anambra state, noted that the claim is unheard of. “There is no scientific evidence, most likely a myth,” she said.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that placing banana peels on human’s forehead can relieve headache is FALSE; no medical or scientific research affirms the claim.

FactCheckHub | Website | + posts

Amala is a tactical Fact-Checker, who is passionate about using Fact-checking to curb the spread of Misinformation and Disinformation which has become prevalent in the media space. She can be reached on X at muonweblessing and LinkedIn on Amala Blessing Muonwe

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