I first heard about it from Mang Kardo, our old caretaker, when I was in my first year in high school. He had lived near in the Manila North Cemetery where many folk herbal plants grew and where various local trees abounded. He was fond of talking about how he had used herbal leaves, like Banaba leaves (Lagerstroemia Speciosa L), found there for all sorts of ailments.
Banaba leaves, he said, were big and oblong dark green leaves they boiled for various herbal purposes. Generally, they drank the Banaba brew for internal body cleansing. He said it took care especially that the liver is clean of toxics, as well as the kidneys and urinary tract. How he and his folks knew about this I didn't know. Did they research or read about it in books?
According to him, his old folks just knew. Back then, Banaba was unknown to other people, especially to the rich and educated. It was mocked by smart guys when they insisted its healing uses. To the educated world, it was only for quacks and folks who didn't know scientific facts.
Today, Banaba is among herbal plants recommended by the government for curing purposes. It can detoxify the body of ailment causing clogs. Accordingly, Banaba tea taken daily can lower blood sugar levels (so consult your doctor first if you have diabetes because it reportedly acts like insulin) as well as LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Thus, it helps a lot in weight loss.
You may opt to prepare the tea from Banaba leaves manually yourself or buy Banaba tea bags from grocery or drug stores. Of course, nothing beats fresh and all-natural.
Another Use for Banaba
Banaba trees stand tall and graceful so they're among favorite trees that add to an edifice's architectural beauty. The bluish flower is also a consideration.