Banaba is a medicinal plant that grows in India, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines. It is a folk medicine for patients with diabetes in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The blood sugar-lowering effect of banaba leaf extract is similar to that of insulin, which induces glucose transport from the blood into body cells.
Banaba is used in Asia, Australia, and the East Indies for timber and is commonly used as an ornament.
Currently, some evidence suggests that taking banaba extract by mouth, standardized to 1% corosolic acid, may lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. However, further research is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
2,3-(S)-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-alpha/beta-D-glucose, 3,3'-di-O-methylellagic acid, 3,4,3'-tri-O-methylellagic acid, 3,4,8,9,10-pentahydroxydibenzo[b,d]pyran-6-one, 3-beta,23-dihydroxy-1-oxo-olean-12-en-28-oic acid, 3-O-methylellagic acid, 3-O-methyl-ellagic acid 4'-sulfate, 24-methylenecycloartanol acetate, 31-norlargerenol acetate, banaba extract, banglang (Vietnamese), bang-lang (Cambodian), bungor (Malay, Sabah), Byers Wonderful White crape myrtle, casuarinin, corosolic acid (2alpha-hydroxyursolic acid), crape myrtle, crepe myrtle, ellagic derivatives, ellagitannins (flosin B, reginin A, lagerstroemin), epipunicacortein A, glucosal, Glucosol™, intanin (Thailand), jarul (India), lageracetal, Lagerstroemia, Lagerstroemia flos-reginae Retz., Lagerstroemia indica, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Lagerstroemia speciosa, lagertannin, largerenol acetate, lasubine, lutein, Lythraceae (family), Lythraceae alkaloids, Munchausia speciosa, penta-O-galloyl-glucopyranose, phytol, Pride-of-India, pyinma, Queen's crape myrtle, Queen's flower, sitosterol, sitosterol acetate, stachyurin, tinotufolin C, tinotufolin D, tripernoid.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Preliminary research investigating the effects of banaba on diabetes has reported promising results. However, additional research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.