Banaba leaf tea- not banana leaf! – has started gaining a following, thanks in a large part to a segment on Dr. Oz’s medical show where it is marketed as a major weight-loss drink.
You can find it warm climates such as India, Southeast Asia and the Phillipines where it seems to thrive. The official name is Lagerstroemia Speciosa — not that most people need to know that!
What is so amazing about Banaba leaf?
- Blood Sugar Control
The primary active ingredient is corosolic acid, which can greatly help the body uptake glucose. The exact mechanisms of this are still being researched, but it seems to help the function of insulin by helping to transport glucose from the bloodsteam into the cells. This creates an anti-diabetic effect as the body needs less insulin.
Many Type-II diabetics have reported positive results from taking banaba leaf.
- Helps Control Hunger Urges
Because Banaba leaf regulates the blood sugar so well, it helps the body avoid those peaks where “crashes” lead us to hungrily crave fattening sugars and unneeded carbohydrates. This is one reason is is so often included in health supplements for weight loss.
For controlling the hunger urges, it is recommended to drink your banaba leaf tea with your meal, either directly before or immediately after.
Drinking banaba leaf tea by itself can induce hypoglycemia, so be time your tea drinking around a mealtime.
- Dissolves Kidney Stones!
There is not as much research on this, but more than one forum poster has mentioned their experience using banaba leaf tea to help dissolve their kidney stones. Typically, after several days of drinking banaba, they can strain their pee and find a bunch of shiny minerals. Subsequent scans at the doctors turn up negative.
It is very likely that there are more active ingredients in banaba than just corosolic acid that lend it this added ability to help the kidneys.
Don’t Take Too Much Banaba!
Unlike many herbs which have no side effects, drinking more than a couple of glasses of banaba leaf tea can actually lead to hypo-glycemic crashes including shaking, headaches and dizziness.