Common names: Queen's flower, pride of India and queen's crape myrtle and Banaba.
Banaba is a deciduous tropical flowering tree that grow up to 10 meters high. It has large green oblong to elliptic-ovate leaves, smooth and spatulate. The flowers or Banaba are racemes, 6-parted and colored mauve-pink to lavender, purplish lilac. Petals are obovate, shortly clawed with margins that are undulate and hardly fimbriate. Banaba or Queen's flower, crape myrtle bears nut-like fruits that are obovoid and arranged in large clumps.
Parts used: Leaves, fruits
Medicinal properties and uses:
Banaba contains corosolic acid/triterpenoid glycoside acid that act like insulin by lowering the blood sugar in the body. Banaba also contains a lot of dietary fiber and minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
The leaves has Valoneic Acid Dilactone (VAD) which acts as an inhibitor of xanthine oxidase to lower uric acid levels and is effective against gout.
It is also rich in tannin, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and saponins.
Banaba is used in folkloric herbal medicine for the treatment of the following:
Blood pressure control
Cholesterol level control
Kidney stones and other kidney disorders
Preparation of Banaba herbal tea:
Dry Banaba leaves and fruits for about two weeks; cut Banaba leaves/fruits into pieces. One cup of water for every cup of Banaba leaves and fruits.
Boil, strain and let it steep for 30 minutes. Take the Banaba herbal tea for 4 to 6 times daily.
It is recommended to consult your doctor before taking any herbal medicine.