The health benefits of Banaba tea are well-known in India and the Far East as being effective for diabetes and cholesterol control. The banaba leaves are also known to possess diuretic and purgative properties.
Banaba is a medium-sized flowering plant that naturally grows in tropical areas of Asia, particularly Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as in the Indian subcontinent. The tree, scientifically known as lagerstroemia speciosa, grows up to a height of about 20 meters, possesses a smooth, flaky bark and has elliptically-shaped leaves. The banaba plant produces purple flowers that are about 30 centimeters long and has about six petals each. It also has nut-like fruits that are clumped together.
One of the major constituents of the banaba herb is corosolic acid, a triterpenoid compound. Researches done on corosolic acid have shown that it may help improve levels of blood sugar in individuals with type II diabetes. It apparently acts as a glucose transport activator which is essentially similar to how insulin help control diabetes.
In addition to corosolic acid, banaba leaves are abundant in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc. It is also quite rich in dietary fibers.
Banaba tea can be made by placing some a handful of the dried leaves in a cup of newly-boiled water. Let the mix steep for about 7 minutes. Strain the leaves and drink. Banaba tea as an anti-diabetes supplement can be taken 2 to 3 times per day. Aside from this infusion, the health benefits of banaba can also be obtained by taking it in the form of capsules or tablets.
Even though studies have shown that drinking banaba tea does not contain any harmful ingredients, it is recommended that consultation with a health professional be done before taking any herbal tea supplement.
The following are the health benefits attributed to this brew:
- May help in fighting diabetes by helping control blood sugar levels.
- May help control blood cholesterol levels.
- May help lower blood pressure.
- May urinary system related ailments.
- May help in the treatment of diarrhea.
- May help in the treatment of constipation.
- May aid in weight loss efforts by helping reduce the absorption of carbohydrates.
- Its tea components may help in the treatment of gout.
- Its components may help in lowering uric acid levels.