Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa) Overview
Banaba is famous in herbal and alternative medicine because of its chemical properties that can treat the symptoms of diabetes. Banaba is a plant which grows in countries with warm weather like India, Philippines, and others. The leaves and the flower of the plant are used in alternative medicine because it contains corrosolic acid which has an insulin-like effect in the body by lowering blood sugar levels. Several studies were then conducted to know more about banaba and how it treats diabetes.
- Contains corrosolic acid which acts similar to insulin by regulating blood sugar levels.
- Alters carbohydrate absorption and initiates weight loss.
- Regulates blood pressure by controlling cholesterol level in the bloodstream.
- Reduces the risk of cataract formation
Banaba extracts and its role in the management of diabetes
Corrosolic acid produces a lot of health benefits, one of which is its ability to reduce lipid and cholesterol in the body. The chemical is also an antioxidant and has the ability to enhance the immune system. Banaba is a natural ingredient that is why it is safe for diabetes treatment and is also safe for the kidneys. Banaba became a good candidate for the treatment of diabetes because of its health benefits.
Regulation of blood sugar levels
Studies revealed that banaba contains ellagitannins and corrosolic acid which are mainly responsible for its hypoglycemic effect. Corrosolic acid is a natural glycoside that increases the cellular uptake of glucose upon absorption. Banaba is naturally grown and is safe for diabetes management. It does not produce erratic changes in the blood sugar level that is caused by other diabetic medications. The risk of cataract formation will also be reduced because of the hypoglycemic effect of the herb.
A literature review was done in the medical center of Creighton University to determine the effectiveness of corrosolic acid contained in banaba leaves. According to the study, pure concentrate of corrosolic acid can effectively reduce the level of blood sugar within 60 minutes. On further investigation, the study revealed that banaba is a safe treatment for diabetes and that no adverse effects were noted in the controlled clinical trial. 1
Weight management and regulation of blood pressure
After conducting several researches about banaba extracts, researchers noticed that people who participated in the study also lost weight and had good blood pressure regulation. Weight loss is attained with banaba intake because the corrosolic acid reduces and delays the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. Aside from the regulation of glucose metabolism, banaba can also affect lipid metabolism in the body. Blood pressure is regulated because of the indirect effect of altered lipid metabolism
A study was conducted involving diabetic and non-diabetic participants. All of the participants were given corrosolic acid from banaba extract. After introduction of treatment, all of the participants had a significant amount of weight loss. However, participants who are non-diabetic did not have any change in blood sugar level. It means that the herb can effectively and carefully regulate blood sugar levels without producing adverse effects.2
- Stohs, S., Miller, H., Kaats, G. Phytotherapy Research. Mar 2012. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.3664
- Corosolic acid formulation and its application for weight-loss management and blood sugar balance. US Patent. Aug 20014.