Banaba is a flowering plant that grows in warm climates like the Philippines and India. Banaba is widely used in the Philippines and other Asian countries in traditional medicine as herbal treatment for diabetes. In India, Banaba is also used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of diabetes.
Banaba is also knows as:
Agaro, Mitla, Bugarom, Nabulong, Pamalauagon, Duguam, Pamarauagon, Kauilan, Parasabukung, Makablos, Tabangau, Tauagnau
The Banaba leaves and flowers contain corrosolic acid, a substance being studied for its insulin like effect of lowering the glucose in the body. Banaba is also being studied as a weight-loss supplement for its ability to delay or reduce the absorption of carbohydraes. Banaba is also rich in vitamins and minerals including zinc and magnesium. Banaba is also rich in dietary fibers.
Banaba is a tropical flowering tree that grow up to 10 meters high. Banaba has large green oblong leaves that is about 3 inches in width and 7 inches in length. The flowers or Banaba are racemes and colored pink to lavender. Banaba bears nut-like fruits that are arranged in large clumps.
Studies have shown that Banaba contains corosolic acid that acts like insulin by lowering the blood sugar in the body. Corosolic acid is a triterpenoid glycoside that improves the cellular uptake of glucose in diabetes condition(Murakami C, et al 1993, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin),
Another study done in Japan isolated the glucose transport enhancer in banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa). Bioassay-guided fractionation of the aqueous acetone extract of the leaves afforded three active ellagitannins, lagerstroemin, flosin B and reginin A, identified by NMR and optical rotation. These compounds increased glucose uptake of rat adipocytes, and could be responsible for lowering the blood glucose level.
Source: Planta Medica; 2002 Feb;68(2):173-5.
The following details the preparation and application of Banaba herbal medicine for diabetes
Although studies have shown that Banaba does not contain any toxic ingredients. It is recommended that before taking any herbal medicine for your diabetes, consult with your doctor.
Banaba herbal tea is also used for sustained weight-loss management. The corosolic acid in Banaba leaves and flowers acts by delaying and reducing the absorption of carbohydrates by the body. Continued drinking of banaba tea causes weight loss without any side effects.
In a group study that has been conducted for Glucosol™-a US patent drug containing corosolic acid. There was a reduction of weight for diabetic subjects. Similar study was done for non-diabetics and it was found that corosolic acid does not alter either the absorption or clearance of blood sugar in non-diabetic subjects, while retaining its weight-loss effect (Corosolic acid formulation and its application for weight-loss management and blood sugar balance. US Patent Issued on August 31, 2004 ).
Preparation and application of Banaba herbal tea for weight loss management
Although according to studies, there were no known toxic or adverse effect from Banaba. However if discomfort occurs, stop using Banaba herbal tea.
Banaba in capsule form is easier to partake avoiding the hassles of preparing the banaba tea. A lot are now being sold in the market, but it is best that you buy from a reputable company that produces high quality Banaba capsules.
A favorably reveiwed product is Paradise Herb Banaba leaf capsule. It has Full Spectrum 12:1 potent concentration naturally extracted without the use of toxic solvents, harsh chemicals or gases. The process ensure all the active and synergistic constituents are present in the balanced ratio as nature intended. This Banaba Capsule is available in Amazon along with other Banaba extracts
Article last reviewed: 09.30.2016