Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Naturally With Banaba
The banaba tree, scientifically known as Lagerstroemmia speciosa, primarily grows in tropical areas including the Philippines, Southeastern Asia, and India. The banaba tree is particularly large, growing to heights of over 50 feet. The tree is adorned with the presence of oblong dark green leaves with flowers that are typically noted to be pink or purple in color. From this tree, the leaves are gathered and utilized for the production of teas and herbal supplements.
Banaba: A Short History
Banaba was first utilized by populations within the Philippines. In the Philippines, banaba is utilized commonly as a medicinal plant with certain capabilities to control diabetes mellitus. The traditional use of banaba was as a brewed tea produced from banaba leaves for the treatment of elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Banaba is commonly noted to function similarly to the hypoglycemic effect of insulin. Within the Philippine culture, banaba is claimed to have several effects:
- Promotion of weight loss
- Control of food cravings and appetite
- Balance and regulation of blood sugar
- Promotion of healthy levels of insulin
Corosolic Acid: Active Ingredient of Banaba
Corosolic acid is the main active ingredient of the plant banaba. The leaves of the banaba plant have been historically utilized for the preparation of herbal teas. Corosolic acid has been associated with the ability to enhance overall glucose transport into the cells. By increasing this natural transport process, blood sugar levels are reduced and maintained. However, it should be known that scientific evidence to support the effects of both corosolic acid and banaba leaves in general is limited. More research is necessary to determine the exact molecular mechanisms by which corosolic acid functions to lower blood sugar.
Banaba: Precautions and Safety
As with the use of any medication or herbal supplement, it is necessary to ensure the product is taken as directed and at the proper dosage. Certain studies have shown that herbal supplements can interfere or reduce the efficiency of certain medications. It should also be noted that high dosages of banaba can be cause for hypoglycemia, with symptoms including dizziness, headache, and fatigue.
The typical dosage of banaba varies highly based on the individual and their specific needs. Banaba is typically used at doses ranging between 8 and 48 milligrams per day. As banaba is a natural product, there are limited side effects associated with its use. However, limited research has been completed as to the exact dosage of banaba. Preliminary studies suggest that the effects of banaba on blood sugar levels can be noticed within one week of use.
Banaba, Blood Sugar Regulation, and You
Often, the addition of banaba to a healthy diet and lifestyle can serve to aid in the regular maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels. However, as with all supplementation, it is necessary to use banaba as a supplement, and not to correct an inadequate diet and exercise routine. Additionally, be sure to discuss any and all medication use, including herbal supplementation, with your physician.