Banaba leaves come from the banaba tree (Lagerstroemia speciosa), which is native to the Philippines, India and other countries throughout Southeast Asia. Banaba trees grow very tall, up to 60 feet high. They also produce rather large, wide leaves that grow up to 12 inches long. Banaba leaves are oblong in shape. Young banaba leaves are bright green during the spring and summer. In the fall, banaba leaves turn a bright red color.
In traditional medicine, healers use raw banaba leaves or the liquid extract from the banaba leaf to make natural medicines.1
Banaba Leaves Health Uses and Health Benefits
Banaba leaves have long been used in traditional holistic medicine throughout Southeast Asia. Banaba leaves health benefits come from its natural content of a unique substance called corosolic acid. As a natural antioxidant, corosolic acid can help heal the body from the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants help reduce the risk of developing chronic disease due to cellular damage, meaning banaba leaves may be used as a possible treatment for killing cancer cells.2,3
Corosolic acid in banaba leaves is also linked with reducing inflammation, controlling blood sugar and regulating blood pressure. These properties make for excellent banaba leaves uses against metabolic syndrome. 2,3
Other possible banaba leaves uses include:
- Managing diabetes symptoms
- Aiding in natural weight loss
- Treating blood and urinary tract infections
Banaba leaves are widely available as a natural and dietary supplement.