Thursday, September 1, 2011

Banaba Leaf

Benefits of Banaba Leaf
You might have heard about banaba extract, which is nowadays used as a dietary supplement as well as herbal remedy. This extract is prepared from banaba leaf, produced by the banaba bush (Lagerstroemia speciosa). It is a plant native to certain parts of southeast Asia, especially, countries, like, Philippines and India. Grown for ornamental purposes, this plant is now found in many regions across the globe. The leaves of this plant are said to have medicinal properties and in Philippines, it is also used as a herbal medicine. Nowadays, banaba leaf extract is available in almost all parts of the world and is used as a dietary supplement as well as a herbal medicine.

Banaba leaf extract
Banaba Leaf Facts
The name banaba may not be familiar for you, but, you might have seen queen crepe myrtle, which is also known as giant crepe myrtle. Banaba is the local name for this crepe myrtle, in Philippines. This bushy plant may grow to medium-sized trees with a height of up to twenty meters. Banaba tree has mottled flaky bark and its leaves are oval in shape with a waxy finish. The flowers are usually produced during the summer and the fall. Banaba flowers have a wrinkled texture and are formed in clusters. The colors may range between red, white, lavender, purple, etc The green fruits of this plant turn brownish in color, as they ripe. As mentioned above, it is widely grown as an ornamental tree, but, banaba leaf is used for medicinal purposes too. Let us take a look at the various aspects of banaba leaf benefits.

Benefits of Banaba Leaf
Banaba leaf is said to have various active ingredients that are beneficial for remedying certain health problems. The most important among them is corosolic acid, which is claimed to have blood sugar lowering properties. Apart from that, banaba leaf contains phytochemicals, like, reginin A, flosin B and stroenin. These compounds are also said to play an active role in the blood sugar lowering property of banaba leaf. Even though, there is no conclusive evidence to prove the effectiveness of banaba leaf in lowering blood glucose levels, various studies and trials conducted on animals as well as humans, support this claim. The most important health benefit of banaba leaf is its so called use in treating hyperglycemia, diabetes, etc.

Banaba leaf
While, the traditional use of banaba leaf is in the form of banaba leaf tea, nowadays, it is available in the form of banaba leaf extract. This extract, prepared from the leaves of this tree is said to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels too. Even this claim is supported by animal trials, wherein, overweight mice were administered with banaba extract for a certain period of time, after which the mice were found to lost body weight as well as body fats to some extent. So, banaba leaf extract is also promoted as a weight loss supplement.

In short, banaba leaf is one of those herbal remedies that is nowadays used as a dietary supplement as well as herbal medicine. As there is no scientific proof for the same, you must always seek the opinion of your doctor, before using this product. Even though, it is claimed to be a safe, some of the users may develop banaba leaf extract side effects, like, hypoglycemia. It should not be used by pregnant and nursing women, those who are taking medications for diabetes and hyperglycemia and those with heavy menstrual bleeding. Even those people with hypoglycemia must avoid use of banaba leaf. The above said information is only a brief overview about banaba leaf and if you intend to use it for medicinal purposes, it should done under the strict supervision of a qualified herbal practitioner only.

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