Common Name : Banaba Extract
Botanical Name : Lagerstroemia Speciosa
Family Name : Lythraceae
Other Name : Queen's flower, Pride of India, Queen's Crape myrtle
Parts Used : Leaves
Habitat : Banaba is found in abundance in India, Philippines, Malaysia, and other South East Asia.
Banaba is a deciduous tree growing to 40 to 60 feet and is bushy; with smooth oblong leathery leaves, up to 12 inches long (30 cm); the leaves turn red before falling in autumn. Flowers are ornamental racemes pink to purple color and wrinkled petals. Fruits are oval and brown in color about 0.5 inches. The seeds are small with winged flaps.
Banaba leaves have been traditionally used over thousands of years in Philippines and as folklore treatment by the native Indians and more recently used by the Japanese, mostly as tea preparation. Banaba leaves and their ability to reduce blood sugar, and its "insulin-like principle" made it popular herb to be used as herbal decoction and with others in many formulations for controlling blood sugar and weight loss. Recent studies shows that banana can be used in the treatment of diabetes and as an ingredient in weight loss products
Banaba leaf extract contains a triterpenoid compound known as Corosolic acid - which has actions in stimulating glucose transport into cells. Banaba has natural mineral such as magnesium and zinc and contains 15 times more fibers than sweet potato.
Diabetes : Its ability to lower blood sugar is attributed to its corosolic acid, a triterpenoid glycoside, belived to facilitate glucose-transport into cells.
Weight loss : A common ingredient in weight-loss supplements / products as a metabolic enhancer.
Others : Used in the treatment of blood pressure, renal and immune system benefits. No toxicity has been identified.
Traditional uses include brewing tea from the leaves as a treatment for diabetes and hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar). The hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) effect of banaba leaf extract is similar to that of insulin which induces glucose transport from the blood into body cells.
In diabetic mice, rats and rabbits, banaba feeding reduces elevated blood sugar and insulin levels to normal. In humans with type II diabetes, banaba extract, for 4-8 weeks, has been shown to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels (5%-30% reduction) and maintaining tighter control of blood sugar fluctuations.
At suggested doses, no adverse side effects are expected from banaba. Higher doses should be avoided, however, to prevent dizziness or fatigue, which can happen with extremely low blood sugar levels.