Agaro, Mitla, Bugarom, Nabulong, Pamalauagon, Duguam, Pamarauagon, Kauilan, Parasabukung, Makablos, Tabangau, Tauagnau
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.
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.
Banaba has a long history of medical usage and has a long list of folkloric health benefits for the following conditions.
Antioxidant effect of Lagerstroemia speciosa Pers (banaba) leaf extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.
Aqueous leaf extract of L. speciosa (banaba) effectively decreased the blood glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice after 15th day of banaba exposure. Further, banaba leaf extract have the potential to inhibit lipid peroxidation and effectively intercept/neutralize reactive oxygen species such as super oxide, H2O2 and NO based free radicals. The aqueous banaba leaf extract (150 mg/kg bodyweight) duly reduced STZ generated reactive intermediates and radical species helping to regulate normal levels of antioxidative markers like superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione-S-transferase and reduced glutathione. Source: Indian J Exp Biol. 2011 Feb;49(2):125-31.
Antiobesity activity of extracts from Lagerstroemia speciosa L. leaves on female KK-Ay mice
In the present study, five-week-old female KK-Ay mice were fed a control diet or test diet containing 5% of a hot-water extract from banaba leaves instead of cellulose for 12 wk. Neither group showed any changes in diet intake during the experimental period. Body weight gain and parametrial adipose tissue weight were lowered significantly in the banaba diet group. Blood glucose levels were not suppressed in the banaba diet group, but hemoglobin A1C was found to be suppressed at the end of the experiment. No effects on the serum lipids were observed, but the mice fed banaba extract showed a significant decrease, to 65% of the control level in total hepatic lipid contents. This decrease was due to a reduction in the accumulation of triglyceride. These results suggest that banaba had a beneficial effect on obese female KK-Ay mice. Source: J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1999 Dec;45(6):791-5.Triterpene acids isolated from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves as alpha-glucosidase inhibitors.
The potential antidiabetic activity of ethyl acetate extract of the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa (LSL) was investigated by alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase inhibition assay. Six pentacyclic triterpenes (oleanolic acid, arjunolic acid, asiatic acid, maslinic acid, corosolic acid and 23-hydroxyursolic acid) were isolated from LSL. Their structures were determined by spectroscopic analysis and their alpha-glycosidase and alpha-amylase inhibitory activities were investigated. They exhibited no or weak inhibitory activity against alpha-amylase and middle alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Corosolic acid, which shows best bioactivity against alpha-glucosidase (IC(50) = 3.53 microg/mL), contributes most to the alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity of EtOAc extract. The kinetics of inhibition of corosolic acid was also discussed. Results from this study might provide the scientific evidence for LSL for the treatment of diabetes in traditional medicine. Source: Phytother Res. 2009 May;23(5):614-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2661.Ellagic acid & gallic acid from Lagerstroemia speciosa L. inhibit HIV-1 infection through inhibition of HIV-1 protease & reverse transcriptase activity.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-HIV property of the extracts prepared from the leaves and stems of banaba. Aqueous and 50 per cent ethanolic extracts were prepared from leaves and stems of banaba and were evaluated for cytotoxicity and anti-HIV activity using in vitro reporter gene based assays. All the extracts showed a dose dependent inhibition of HIV-1-infection in TZM-bl and CEM-GFP cell lines with a maximum from the 50 per cent ethanolic extract from leaves (IC 50 = 1 to 25 μg/ml). The present study shows a novel anti-HIV activity of banaba. The active components responsible for anti-HIV activity were gallic acid and ellagic acid, through inhibition of reverse transcriptase and HIV protease, respectively and hence could be regarded as promising candidates for the development of topical anti-HIV-1 agents.
Source: Indian J Med Res. 2013 Mar;137(3):540-8.
Anti-inflammatory activity of the ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts were examined using the carrageenan-induced acute inflammation and formalin-induced (chronic) paw edema models. In acute and chronic inflammation models, the ethyl acetate extract reduced the paw edema significantly in a dose-dependent manner. Whereas, ethanol extract did not show dose-dependent activity. This results suggests that the anti-inflammatory activity is possibly attributed to its free radical scavenging activity. It was found that ethyl acetate extract reduced the inflammation more significantly than the ethanol extract. Source: Inflammopharmacology. 2008 Aug;16(4):182-7. doi: 10.1007/s10787-008-7002-6.
Banaba plant is widely cultivated and can be sourced through local horticulturist. Banaba leaves, flowers and seeds can be harvested from fields.
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 extract
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
Banaba is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth on a short-term basis. The long-term safety is unknown. Just like any herbal medicine, moderation in use is recommended.
Diabetes. Banaba can affect blood sugar control, when taking Banaba herbal medicine, monitor blood sugar level and it is recommended to consult with your doctor.
Blood pressure. Banaba herbal medicine can lower the blood pressure level. It is best to monitor the blood pressure while taking Banaba herbal medicine for people with low blood pressure condition.
Pregnancy and Breast feeding. There is no sufficient studies done to investigate the adverse or side effects of Banaba herbal medicine during pregnancy and breast feeding. It is recommended to aovoid its use.