Monday, June 08, 2009

Banaba Health Benefits and Side Effects

Banaba herb has been known as an herbal medicine in the Philippines. It is also known as Queen’s flower and Crepe Myrtle in India. Banaba has been used to cure diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time in India. In the Philippines, it is widely used as an herbal medicine to control blood sugar level and treatment for diabetes.

Recent studies, medical research, and laboratory tests showed that the active ingredient of this herbal plant is the corosolic acid which is a potent compound that has insulin like effect that lowers glucose in the body. Corosolic acid also showed some improvements on controlling the blood sugar of type 2 diabetics. Aside from this benefit, banaba contains high concentrations of dietary fiber and minerals such as zinc and magnesium, fights obesity, helps regulate blood pressure, aids digestive system, ease urination and it is also good for the kidneys.

At this point it is difficult to predict the blood sugar response to a banaba supplement and it is difficult to know what dosage works best and how often to take a banaba supplement or how it interacts with other supplements used for blood sugar control. There have been no findings of any negative effects when taking banaba extract, however, caution is advised against taking banaba with any diabetic drug or any other drug. It is also not known how a banaba supplement would interact with oral medicines used in diabetes and how it would interact with insulin. If you are a type II diabetic, discuss with your doctor regarding the use of a banaba supplement to see if this herbal supplement is appropriate for your particular condition.

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