Banaba leaf tea is made from leaves from the Banaba Bush. Other names for this plant are Crape Myrtle or Crepe Myrtle. The Banaba leaves are turned into an extract that is high in corosolic acid, which is in the plant insulin. Corosolic acid is a component similar to insulin.
What is a Banaba Bush?
Banaba bushes are woody plants that have a mottled looking bark with leaves that reach three to 10 inches in length. The bush can get to more than 400 feet tall and it also has flowers that look somewhat like crepe paper, thus the name of Crepe Myrtle. These flowers can be red, white, purple or lavender colored.
Where does the Banaba Bush Come From?
The Banaba bush we get Banaba tea leaves from is native to India, the Phillippines, East Asia and Australia. They also grow in Italy, France, and in the Zone Six growing area in the U.S. like Texas and California.
Banaba Tea Benefits
Banaba leaf tea is a customary healthy drink that the people in the Philippines have drunk for ages. It has been linked to having benefits that can help treat diabetes, as well as help as a weight loss medication.
Drinking Banaba Leaf Tea has been shown also to lower a person’s blood sugar levels and that helps you to burn fat easier. You can drink it once or twice a day and it can be mixed with other kinds of teas if you don’t like its taste.
Banaba leaf tea is often drunk in both Japan and the Philippines because it has insulin like affect, according to the International Food Information Service “Dictionary of Food Science and Technology.” The tea lowers blood sugar levels and the leaves are used in these two places to treat diabetes. Tests using animals shows that banaba leaf tea extract increases insulin levels, reduces blood glucose, and improves hypoglycemia.
Banaba leaf tea is also said to be good to help as a purgative or diuretic. In addition, it has been used to treat high blood pressure, as well as help to treat people who have problems being able to urinate.
If you suffer from frequent urinary tract infections, it may be beneficial for you to drink Banaba leaf tea because it has anti-bacterial properties. This kind of tea can be boiled for 30 minutes and drunk by people suffering from urinary tract infections for relief from their symptoms.
Banaba leaf tea is also said to be good for controlling parasites that sometimes appear in the gastrointestinal tract, according to Drugs.com. This is due to the fact that it provides pyrogallol tannins, which keep the eggs from hatching and help to improve protein nutrition because it binds plant proteins, and keeps the microbes from degrading. When you improve protein nutrition, it leads to less chance of a parasitic infection.
Banaba leaf tea also has an anti-inflammatory activity, according to Drugs.com. This is due to the fact that banaba leaves fight free radicals, according to test studies done on mice in August 2008 and the results printed in the Journal Inflammopharmacolgy.
In addition, there is some evidence that if you use banaba leaf tea regularly, that it can help give pain relief for kidney stones and assist in preventing gall bladder stones. It is also linked to possibly being good for lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Banaba Leaf Tea Side Effects/Interactions
While Banaba leaf tea has been proven to help treat several problems, there are some people who should not drink it. Pregnant or nursing women or those who bleed heavily during their periods should not drink banaba tea. Also, diabetics who take insulin, glyburide, cholorpropamide or phenformin should also not use it or it could lead to acute hypoglycemia.
Since Banaba Leaf tea has an effect on a person’s blood sugar levels, it can be dangerous if it is in your system when having surgery. Therefore, if possible, stop drinking it about two weeks prior to having any kind of surgery.
How to Make Banaba Leaf Tea
It isn’t hard to make Banaba leaf tea. If you have some Banaba leaves just put them into boiling water for about 15 to 30 minutes, take out the leaves and serve. It is a bit bitter, but it is said to have good health benefits if you drink it about four times a day.
All in all, banaba leaf tea is said to have many beneficial qualities, but even so, if you are considering using it, you should speak with your doctor first.