Banana Tea: The Sleep Aid That’s Hiding in Plain Sight in Your Kitchen

Banana peel tea may be a new trend, but the benefits of bananas have been widely known for ages. Learn everything you need to know to make your own cup of banana tea.

A cup of hot tea and bananas on a wooden background.
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We think of bananas for smoothies, bread, pudding, snacks, and breakfast. But, it turns out, it’s not those sunny yellow fruits, but their peels, which may be helpful when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.

Instead of tossing the peel when you enjoy a banana, you can transform it into a tea that you sip before bedtime to help you drift off.

If you’re wondering what banana peel tea tastes like, banana peel tea, unsurprisingly, tastes like banana. It’s fairly sweet and mild, similar to chamomile.

Why does banana peel tea work?

Traditionally, banana peel — which is antibacterial and rich in antioxidants — has also been used to soothe illnesses, including ulcers, anemia, and inflammation. In parts of Nigeria, for example, dried banana peel combined with yam flour is used to treat ulcers and other stomach ailments.

“While there aren't controlled human trials that prove the health benefits of banana peel tea, using banana peels to help improve sleep is something that's been used for many years in folk and traditional medicine,” says Megan Hilbert, a registered dietician with Top Nutrition Coaching. “Banana peels contain the precursors for melatonin and serotonin, two compounds that help regulate our circadian rhythm and help with sleep onset. Bananas also contain potassium and magnesium, which can lower blood pressure and relax the nervous system.”

Banana peels may also help with overall health, which can indirectly benefit sleep. They contain other nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin B6; the more nutrients we have in our diet, the healthier our microbiome. Research shows good gut health can lead to longer and more efficient sleep.

Does banana peel tea work?

The efficacy of banana peel tea is hard to quantify without formal studies. But sipping a warm, non-caffeinated beverage about an hour before bed can be a good wind-down habit.

In general, having a nighttime routine can be beneficial for sleep. “Using any sleep aid over time is helpful because it can help set a pattern for you,” says integrative physician Dr. Sonya Chawla. “For example, if you use a sleep aid to go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6 a.m., and you do that over and over again, your body gets used to that.”

Banana peel tea can certainly be part of an effective nighttime routine, and that, combined with the nutrients in the tea, may help you relax and drift off.

Are there any dangers to banana peel tea?

Banana peel tea may not be for you if you have to watch your potassium intake due to certain medications or conditions such as kidney disease, Hilbert notes.

“There is also a significant amount of tannins in banana peel, which could have a negative effect on some people, especially those highly sensitive to tannins,” Chawla warns. “So that's a caution for nausea or allergic reaction.”

It’s also advisable to use organic bananas to minimize the consumption of pesticides that the peel might’ve absorbed.

Talk to your doctor or other practitioner before using banana peel tea.

How to make banana peel tea


1 banana, peel only, preferably organic
Sea salt
Cinnamon stick (optional)
Honey or maple syrup (optional)
Milk (optional)


  • To brew a cup of banana peel tea, cut off the ends of a ripe banana and remove the peel (save the fruit for another use).
  • Rinse the peel, chop, and place in a saucepan.
  • Cover with 10-12 ounces of cool water and a small pinch of sea salt, cover and bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  • Allow it to steep for 10 minutes, then strain into a mug and sip immediately.

Here are a few ways to further flavor the tea:

  • Add a cinnamon stick while steeping, or stir a pinch of cinnamon into the tea
  • Sweeten the finished tea with a bit of honey or maple syrup
  • Stir in a splash of your milk of choice

If possible, use organic bananas to avoid synthetic pesticides.

A picture of a white mug steaming with banana tea inside in front of a window.
Beth Lipton