Banaba or Lagerstroemia from the family, Lythraceae is a medium sized tree with dark green oval leaves and flaky bark. Each flower has beautiful five or six purple petal flowers that bloom yearly in the summer season. Banaba tree, found in tropical and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia, Philippines, China, Bangladesh, Australia, Japan and India, has profound weight management and sugar controlling properties which is the same as body’s natural insulin.
Traditionally, it was used to make tea in the Philippines and was known for it its beautiful pink-mauve flowers. Abundantly grown in India and known as a queen’s flower or pride of India, old banaba leaves are used for medicinal purpose and the young leaves are consumed as a vegetable in other countries.
Banaba is a well-known component of some natural supplements, added to treat a wide range of ailments. Richly loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components such as corosolic acid, it has great value in controlling blood sugar level as well as for managing weight.
Natural Constituents of Banaba:
Banaba contains complex bio-chemical components, as given below:
- Banaba contains ellagitanin, ellagic acid, anthrocyanins and its derivatives, triterpinoids (corosolic acid), valoneaic acid, ethyl gallate, flavonoids, ursolic acid, arjunolic acid, caffeic acid, betulinic acid, and bioflavonoid (quercetin, isoquercetin and kaempferol). Apart from these Banaba also carries a high amount of dietary fiber, magnesium, zinc, lipids and some significant amount of amino acids.
Benefits of Banaba
- Complex mixture of natural ingredients provides diuretic, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, purgative and antibacterial properties to the herb that may be helpful in treating metabolic disorders, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart related ailments, kidney and urinary infections.
- Flosin B, Reginin A and Lagerstroemin are mainly responsible for regulating blood glucose levels. Other active ingredients include corosolic acid and tannins which exhibit an insulin like effect, transport glucose in the body and also prevent any kind of damage from free radicals. Banaba for Diabetes and Weight Loss: Banaba is one of the best detoxifiers available and aids in weight loss. It is being used in India and Philippines to treat diabetes and high cholesterol levels. Its blood sugar regulating activity is due to the presence of an active ingredient corosolic acid and ellagitanin present in the leaves that help to stimulate glucose uptake and quickly lower down blood glucose level.
- Banaba has been used in many scientific studies and has shown to regulate unnecessary food cravings in overweight or diabetic people. Banaba positively affects our body and hormones which reduces elevated levels of sugar, lessens total calorie intake, controls blood glucose fluctuations and regulates insulin level. It is a valuable remedy for Type-2 Diabetes as well as encourages weight loss which is why it is the most desirable and important component of any metabolic and weight loss formulation.
Banaba Leaves and safety: Though Banaba is safe if taken for a short time in high quantity, it is hypoglycemic in nature so it may lower down the blood glucose level dangerously. If consumed in excess it could possibly lower blood pressure as well.