Monday, June 28, 2010

Banaba (Legerstroemia speciosa)

Banaba is a deciduous growing from 5 meters to 20 meters in height. Its bark is smoothly gray to cream color and peels off in irregular flakes. Leaves are smooth, oblong to elliptic-ovate and 12 to 15 cm long. Flowers are of six parts, purplish lilac or mauve-pink, rarely pink, 5 to 7.5 cm across and borne in large terminal pinnules up to 40 cm in length,

Its medicianl benefits are the following. Old leaves and ripe fruit of banaba contain the greatest amount of an "insulin-like principle" (20 grams of old leave or ripe fruits, dried from 1 to 2 weeks, in the form of 10 cubic centimeter of 20% decoction), were found to have an equivalent to 6 to 7.7 units of insulin in lowerin blood sugar level. The mature and young leaves and flowers have an activity that ranged from 4.4 to 5.4 units of insulin per 100 cubic centimeter of 205 decoction or equivalent to around 70% of the activity of the leaves or fruits. A decoction of the leaves of all ages is used for diabetes mellitus. It is prepared and taken like tea. Some believed that decoction of dried fruit is even better.

If you have diabetes, this is an alternative way to control and lower down your blood sugar levels. Just plant this banaba in your backyard and you have an insulin supply as long as it lives.

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