You are on page 1of 2

Banaba, the scientific name of which is Lagerstroemia speciosa, is a tropical

flowery tree. This disiducus tree grows from 5 to 20 meter in height. The
bark is smooth, gray to cream-colored, and peels off in irregular flakes. The
leaves are smooth, oblong to elliptical-ovate, and 12 to 25 centimeters long.
The flowers are 6-parted purplish iliac or mauve-pink, rarely pink, 5 to 7.5
centimeters across, and borne in large, terminal panicles up to 40
centimeters in length. The petals are oblong-obovate or obovate, shortly
clawed, and to 3 to 3.5 centimeters long; the margins are undulate and
hardly fimbriate. The fruit is a large capsule, obovoid or ellipsoid, and 2 to
3.5 millimeters long. The seed is pale brown, with a wing 12 to 18
millimeters long.

Banaba is used as herbal medicine and is a flowering plant that grows in

warm climate like the Philippines, India and others.It grows to a height as
high as 20 meters. Its leaves are large, and ranges from the shape of
elliptical-ovate to oblong. These leaves are shed by the plant during the first
months of the year, and are bright orange or red during these times. Banaba
is also known as Queen's Flower, Crepe Myrtle and the Pride of India. In
India, Banaba has also been used to cure diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine for
a long time.

Other studies that were focused on this plant showed other potential
medicinal benefits. These include antibacterial functions of seed
extracts from this plant, and a water extract of the same manifest
anti-oxidative functions. Another is the significant protection that Banaba
seems to exhibit to treat HIV-infected cells. This is brought about by
its ellagic acid constituents.
Aside from the medicinal value of Banaba, as a herbal medicine, it is also
good for the health. Banaba contains high concentrations of dietary fiber and
minerals such as zinc and magnesium. The leaves can be boiled and taken
daily as tea.
Banaba has been a popular medicinal plant in the Philippines for the
treatment of urinary tract infections. Most of our grandparents would
acknowledge that banaba has been used for over 50 years. It is a tree
commonly found in the provinces; its beautiful blue-violet colored flowers
make the banaba tree an ornamental tree used also as shades for parking
lots and roadside landscaping

Banaba is a deciduous evergreen that is native to East Asia, India and

Australia and has become established in the warmest parts of the United
States and other areas throughout the world. Called the Crape Myrtle (or
Crepe Myrtle) in the United States, it is a highly decorative tree and is
becoming widely prevalent in home and municipal landscape designs with its
sinewy, fluted and patchy-looking stems, shrubby leaves and beautiful
flowers of six or seven, crinkly-edged petals on stalks of white, pinkish red,
purple or lavender. The flowers are followed by a capsule-like fruit that
produces seeds, which provide food for many butterfly larvae, and the leaves
are used as a food and, more importantly, in herbal medicines. The
botanical genus, Lagerstroemia, is named after Swedish merchant, Magnus
von Lagerström, who supplied Carolus (Carl) Linnaeus with the plants he
collected for his work in identifying different species. We have Linnaeus to
thank for the binomial system we use today, giving each plant two Latin
words to identify both genus and species. Banaba is the Tagalog name for
Lagerstroemia speciosa in the Philippine language, and it has been used for
many years in that country (and elsewhere) as a folk remedy for controlling
blood sugar. Several of the active constituents included in Banaba Leaf are
corosolic acid and tannins, including lagerstroemin.

Uses of Corosolic Acid

Corosolic acid has numerous biological properties, including antidiabetic,
anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and protein kinase C inhibition activity.
However, there is a lack of clinical evidence to support these uses.
...its application in the treatment of diabetes. 2 Chemistry Banaba leaves
contain ellagic acid derivatives. 3 A later report confirms ellagitannins,
lagerstroemin, flosin B, and reginin A, which are all possible glucose
transport enhancers. 4 Lagertannins, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol,