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  #1  
Old 12-28-2006, 12:53 PM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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How much alcohol in a ripe banana?

My herbalist friend and next door neighbor told me last night that a typical dose of an herbal elixir had less alcohol than a banana. This got me wondering: how much alcohol is in a banana? Googling brought up several sites saying the same thing as my friend, but nothing on actual bananas.

(FTR, I'm assuming a dose of about 10 gtt, or about 0.8 to 1 mL, which I assume would be almost entirely alcohol. According to Google, one shot is about 44.4 mL, so we aren't talking about a lot, either way. Still seems like a lot for a banana.)
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2006, 01:01 PM
Dr. Lao Dr. Lao is offline
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According to the USDA database of nutrition data, the average banana contains 0.0 g of ethyl alcohol.
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2006, 01:39 PM
Sapo Sapo is offline
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it may be zero in a ripe banana but I think it is more than that in a rotting banana.
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2006, 01:57 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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I can't help with the banana end of the equation, but an herbal extract is nowhere near "almost entirely alcohol". The easy, "folk" method of tincturing is using 100 proof (50%) vodka to fresh plant matter. Not just the chemicals, but the water from the plant is in the resultant product, so the alcohol content is more dilute when you finish. There are more effective and complex formulas that yield a better product and/or more of it from the same amount of plant matter, but very rarely is 100% alcohol used (for one thing, it's damn hard to buy. Everclear comes close, but it's only 98%. We bought a drum of ethyl alcohol once, but it turned out to be more trouble than it's worth. Damn stuff evaporates almost before you're done measuring AND we had to pay all sorts of haz mat handling fees. We went back to Everclear and water.)

Most finished tinctures are between 30 and 50 percent alcohol. A few of the really hard to extract roots might be around 70 percent. So in a 5 ml (half-teaspoon) dose, you're generally talking about less than 1.5ml of alcohol. That is the same as a large glass of orange juice:
Quote:
...according to a report published by Indiana
University, a standard glass of orange juice contains between
.2% and .5% alcohol.

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:...ient=firefox-a
So a 10 ounce glass of orange juice has about 1.5 ml of alcohol
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Old 12-28-2006, 02:15 PM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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Thanks, WhyNot!
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Old 12-28-2006, 02:50 PM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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I don't know about alcohol but I do recall falling for this hoax in the 60s.

"In March 1967 the (Berkeley) Barb, hoping to trick authorities into banning bananas, ran a satirical story which claimed that dried banana skins contained "bananadine", a (fictional) psychoactive substance which, when smoked, induced a psychedelic high similar to opium and psilocybin. (The Barb may have been inspired by Donovan's 1966 song "Mellow Yellow", with its lyric "Electrical banana/Is gonna be a sudden craze"; Donovan, in turn, was inspired by a banana-shaped vibrator.) The hoax was believed and spread through the mainstream press, and was perpetuated after William Powell included it in The Anarchist Cookbook. Runs on bananas at supermarkets occurred, reminiscent of those that had occurred with morning-glory seeds a few years earlier. A New York Times article on illicit drugs by Donald Louria, MD, noted in passing, that "banana scrapings, provide— if anything—a mild psychedelic experience."[1] The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was forced to make a serious investigation, and concluded that banana skins are not psychedelic. Interestingly enough, the skins do contain a measurable amount of toluene, which is also found in airplane glue. It was thought at the time in certain quarters that the so-called bananadine might have been a hoax, but since sniffing airplane glue most definitely did supply the user with a high, smoking the skin of a banana would release enough toluene to give one a high. It usually only took one cigarette of dried and toasted skins to give one a high roughly equivalent to a marijuana cigarette, although the effects did not last as long. This might have simply been a placebo effect or even oxygen deprivation since toasted skins did not burn very well."
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Old 12-28-2006, 02:52 PM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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I meant to add that we certainly got nothing but a headache from the damn peel!
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2006, 02:54 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldiboronti
I meant to add that we certainly got nothing but a headache from the damn peel!
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/020426.html
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