Banaba leaf, not to be confused with “banana” leaf, has been used for thousands of years in India and the Philippines to naturally treat diabetes and low blood sugar levels. It turns out these cultures were onto something — banaba leaf and blood sugar control go hand in hand.
The leaves also contain the minerals manganese and zinc. Extracts from the seeds have been found to have powerful antioxidant properties and are in fact being researched as a possible HIV treatment.
The corosolic acid in banaba leaves isn’t just good for blood sugar levels either. Researchers at Changhai Hospital in Shanghai, China tested corosolic acid against human cervical cancer cells. They found that corosolic acid stimulates the release of cancer-cell-killing enzymes, resulting in cancer cell death.
Banaba leaf may also be effective in treating metabolic syndrome, a group of pre-diabetic conditions a person may have that increase susceptibility to heart disease and stroke. Researchers at Mukogawa Women’s University in Nishinomiya, Japan found that by the end of 10 weeks of treatment with banaba leaf, blood pressure had been lowered, fat metabolism had normalized, and the body’s inflammation levels had decreased.
To use banaba leaf, in folk medicine, the leaves were often brewed as a tea; however, today it can be easily found in supplement form. If you do suffer from blood sugar issues, keep in mind that taking banaba along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low.
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