Banaba, is a plant that has been used as a folk medicine in India and the Philippines.

 The Banaba is a tropical tree, which is native primarily to India, can be found quite commonly in Australia and the Philippines. The plant was first cataloged by Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish physician and botanist. Banaba has been used for controlling blood glucose levels for years among the people of India and the Philippines. The tree sheds its leaves in January of every year, and blooms from March to June. The flowers are a lavender or pink color, and give way to a nutlike, oval-shaped fruit. The leaves of the banaba plant have become most known for their glucose-lowering effects.
Banaba leaf is a thick, waxy leaf. In the Banaba leaf, the active compound that is extracted is known as corosolic acid. Corsolic acid lowers and maintains blood sugar levels and helps control food cravings. By naturally  decreasing the cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, it has been used to treat and control diabetes as well as used for weight loss. The decocted leaf (extraction by boiling) has also been used for bladder and kidney inflammation and an array of urinary dysfunction. Banaba leaf has a real future in the fight against high blood sugar. It can be consumed in the form of tea, powder, pill, juice or food supplement.
Experts say the natural concentration of corosolic acid, mimics the function of insulin by aiding the metabolism of glucose. Corosolic acid can work like insulin to reduce blood sugar levels by transporting glucose into cells and out of the bloodstream. This can be beneficial to anyone who has trouble with high blood sugar. Especially to those with insulin resistance or diabetes, or someone who just over eats their carbs. Supplementwatch.com says: "An interesting side-effect of tighter control of blood sugar and insulin levels is a significant tendency of banaba to promote weight loss at an average of 2-4 lbs. per month, without significant dietary alterations."
In 1999 a clinical study was conducted on diabetes patients by Dr. William V. Judy at the Southwestern Institute of Biomedical Research, Brandenton, Florida, which found that corosolic acid universally lowered blood sugar levels of all patients. The higher the dosage of corosolic acid, the lower blood sugar levels dropped.
A study published in 2001 by Edison Biotechnology Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Athens, Ohio compared a whole leaf extract of banaba with insulin in cell cultures. They concluded that the whole herb had a glucose lowering effect and could be used to fight diabetes and obesity.

According to a study in the April 2008 issue of "Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice".
Banaba leaves contain corosolic acid, which is the main agents for banaba’s glucose lowering effect. Now, corosolic acid helps to repair the connection among insulin and insulin receptors, easing the problem of insulin resistance. It helps the body to break down sugars and carbohydrates and send them out to the body as energy through a process known as glycolysis.

For cancer treatment, the corosolic acid in banaba leaves was tested with human cervical cancer cells by researchers at Changhai Hospital in Shanghai, China. In the November 1, 2009 issue of Cancer Letters, the results demonstrate that corosolic acid stimulates the release of cancer-cell-killing enzymes, resulting in cancer cell death. By just eating less, diabetes can be controlled somewhat. In this respect, banaba leaf extract can be of benefit, particularly when united with other natural supplements which help to control appetite. To achieve optimal weight loss benefits, many natural medicine experts advise that banaba supplement be consumed with green tea extract. It appears that the mixture of these ingredients serve to suppress carbohydrate appetite and moderately increase metabolism.
Banaba Leaf Tea Benefits:

Banaba leaf tea is one of the most general types of herbal tea. Mature green banaba leaves are used in the ratio 3 leaves to 6 cups of water, boil this for 15 minutes in low heat. You can drink 3-4 cups of this tea daily. Take a look on the various health benefits I've found from drinking banaba leaf tea,
  • Banaba tea can help in weight reduction even without dietary restrictions.
  • Banaba tea can help detoxify the body and protect the liver.
  • Banaba tea produces a positive effect of lowering triglyceride and LDL cholesterol, which aid in weight loss.
  • It helps in the treatment of urinary tract infections.
  • It helps to lower or normalize blood sugar, even if you are prone to have diabetes you can lower the risk by drinking banaba tea on a daily basis. It is effective for this purpose because of its ability to regulate blood sugar and act in a way that is similar to insulin.
No articles in medical journals have been published signifying any known side effects of taking banaba leaf extract. Nevertheless, you should be conscious that taking too much may be overly effectual and result in lowering blood sugar levels too far. This could bring on dizziness, headache and fatigue feeling. Looks like pregnant or nursing women should keep away from products with Corosolic Acid. If you are taking any diabetes medication you should take a pass on this one. Those who have the medical condition hypoglycemia, should not take products containing this ingredient. If you are a diabetic, or taking any kind of prescription medication on a regular basis, discuss with your doctor regarding it's use to see if this herbal remedy is appropriate for your particular condition. Good Luck...

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