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What are the benefits of the banaba leaf?

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Quick Answer

Preliminary studies indicate that the banaba leaf is effective in controlling Type II diabetes and weight problems. In addition, banaba possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties.

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Full Answer

Banaba leaves have a high concentration of corosolic acid. Corosolic acid has been shown to mimic the function of insulin, assisting the body in metabolizing glucose. It is also believed to inhibit weight gain linked to high blood sugar levels.

Banaba leaves have long been used as an herbal remedy for blood sugar problems in Indian cultures. Banaba leaf extract is sold in the form of capsules and tea in many natural food stores and online. Banaba leaf tea is made by placing the leaves in boiling water for 15 to 30 minutes. The resulting brew has a bitter taste, but is touted to promote good health if drank four times a day. The plant is a type of crepe myrtle that is native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

The long-term effects of using banaba are unknown. Use of the supplement should be avoided by pregnant and breast-feeding mothers. If taken to control diabetes, blood glucose levels should be closely monitored. Taking too much banaba can lead to hypoglycemia. A physician should be consulted before treating diabetes with banaba.

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