The banana imbé, scientific name Philodendron bipinatifidum , is a plant belonging to the araceae family, being also known as vine-imbé and tracuá. Originally from Brazil, it is a vegetable that, although toxic, provides health benefits.

Characteristics of the imbé banana tree

The imbé banana tree has giant, green, shiny and deeply cut leaves, which make it different and, for this reason, it is widely used as an ornamental plant in gardens and backyards. Flowers do not have much ornamental importance, but can be used in vases for interior decoration.

Tolerant to low temperatures, the imbé banana tree must be cultivated in soil rich in organic matter and with regular watering.

In times past, the plant was used in fishing by natives and remnants of the Brazilian countryside.

Properties and benefits

Thanks to its medicinal properties, the leaves and dry bark of the imbé banana tree can be used to treat a range of health conditions, such as erysipelas, orchitis, ulcers, inflammation and dropsy.

However, you must be very careful with this plant, as its leaves can be toxic. The active ingredient of banana imbé is calcium oxalate.

The vegetable’s roots are normally used to make baskets, strings and other items.

How to prepare imbé banana tea?

How to prepare the infusion of this plant depends on the health problem to be treated. See below:


To treat dropsy, just cook 10 grams of imbé banana bark and fresh leaves in 1 liter of water. The recommendation for consumption of this tea is several cups a day, until the condition improves.


In the case of treating ulcers, apply fresh crushed leaves. In other cases, a bath based on cooking the fresh leaves and the bark of the vegetable stem is recommended.


No contraindications and side effects were found in the consulted literature, but remember that any treatment should only be started under medical advice. Only a specialist will be able to analyze your case carefully and indicate the best treatment.