QUEEN`S MYRTLE/ BANABA, Lagerstroemia speciosa


Latin name: Lagerstroemia speciosa

English name: Banaba, Queen’s flower, Pride of India, Queen’s Crape myrtle

Medicinal parts used: Leaves

Queen’s myrtle is a deciduous tree growing to 40 to 60 feet and is bushy; with smooth oblong leathery leaves, up to 12 inches long (30 cm); the leaves turn red before falling in autumn. Flowers are ornamental racemes pink to purple color and wrinkled petals. Fruits are oval and brown in color about 0.5 inches. The seeds are small with winged flaps. It is found in abundance in India, Philippines, Malaysia, and other South East Asia.

The leaves have been traditionally used over thousands of years in Philippines and as folklore treatment by the native Indians and more recently used by the Japanese, mostly as tea preparation. Banaba leaves and their ability to reduce blood sugar, and its “insulin-like principle” made it popular herb to be used as herbal decoction and with others in many formulations for controlling blood sugar and weight loss.

Therapeutic use:

  • Banaba plays a role in regulating levels of blood sugar and insulin in the blood.
  • By keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in check, banaba may be an effective supplement for promoting weight loss in certain individuals.
  • Roots have been used for a variety of stomach ailments.
  • Leaf decoction for diabetes; also used as a diuretic and purgative.
  • The bark decoction has been used for the treatment of diarrhea.
  • Decoction of fruits or roots gargled for aphthous stomatitis.
  • Decoction of leaves and flowers used for fevers and as diuretic.
  • Leaf decoction or infusion used for bladder and kidney inflammation, dysuria, and other urinary dysfunctions.

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