Jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa)

Botanical Name : Lagerstroemia speciosa
Family: Lythraceae
Genus: Lagerstroemia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales
Species: L. speciosa
Synonym: Lagestroemia reginae.

Common Names:Giant Crape-myrtle, Queen’s Crape-myrtle,Queen’s flower, pride of India, queen’s crape myrtle,
Banabá Plant for Philippines and Jarul for India  Bengladesh.

Habitat : Native to tropical southern Asia.

Description:
It is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 20 m tall, with smooth, flaky bark. The leaves are deciduous, oval to elliptic, 8-15 cm long and 3-7 cm broad, with an acute apex. The flowers are produced in erect panicles 20-40 cm long, each flower with six white to purple petals 2-3.5 cm long.It has smooth rounded leaves.

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The red-orange leaves have higher levels of corosolic acid.The beautiful flowers are racemes and are pink, purple or purplish – pink.The fruit is oval, about one inch long and splits in six pieces when mature; the seeds are small and have winged flaps.


Cultivation:

It is grown in South East Asia, India and the Philippines.It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas.This tree should be planted under full sun; can be planted on most soils but it has low salt tolerance. Plant in a frost free location or protect from frost.

Propagation :Seeds.
You may click to see :In Vitro Propagation of Lagerstroemia spp. from Nodal Explants and Gaseous Composition in the Culture Headspace.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional medicinal applications :
The roots are used for stomach problems.
Tea of the leaves is used against diabetes mellitus and for weight loss.
Banaba leaves are able to lower blood sugar due to, among other phytochemicals; acid (triterpenoid glycoside). This is not the only active phyto-chemical, though.

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The phytochemicals in the leaves of Banaba works at the molecular level by fine-tuning the damaged insulin receptor, which is the cause of insulin resistance.

Banaba also contains concentrations of dietary fiber and minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
It helps the body handling glucose and is as such also effective in weight loss and against obesity.
The hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) effect is similar to that of insulin (which induces glucose transport from the blood into body cells).

The tea is therapeutic against ailments such as diabetes, kidney- and urinary problems. The taste is pleasant and smooth; in Japan it is known as “slimming tea.”

Banaba can also be applied against gout (metabolic arthritis); the leaves contain Valoneic Acid Dilactone (VAD). This acts as as an inhibitor of xanthine oxidase to lower uric acid levels.

The effect of VAD is stronger than Allopurinol (brand names: Aloprim®, Zyloprim®) and is without the side effects commonly associated with this drug.

Click to learn more :banabaherb.com :
Antidiabetes and Anti-obesity Activity of Lagerstroemia speciosa :

Other Uses :
The reddish brown wood of Banaba is used for home building, furniture, boats, etc.The Queen’s flower will stand out in every garden and is a beautiful landscape tree.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.tropilab.com/queen-flow.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagerstroemia_speciosa

http://www.tropical-biology.org/research/dip/species/Lagerstroemia%20speciosa.htm

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