Banaba A.K.A Crepe Myrtle

.   One of the Holy Grails of preparedness and self-sufficiency in controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes. I have seen many ingenious ideas on how to keep insulin cold without refrigeration. Some ideas are… lowering your supply into a well, or keeping it in a stream of cool water. The best refrigeration idea I have seen is to have a solar panel, a battery, a 12 volt ice maker and a good cooler. Basically you have a solar powered refrigerator. These ideas are great, but what if access to insulin or other medication is beyond what you may have on hand. That inspired me to see if insulin is available in any natural reproducible sources. In that search I stumbled upon the herb known as Banaba. According to the research I did, it is used largely in the Philippines and in Japan to treat diabetes. Of course my first thought was that this is obviously too good to be true. So I hit Web-MD and RxList because if THEY say it lowers blood sugar then… it probably lowers blood sugar. Well, they say it isn’t “confirmed to lower blood sugar” but if you take blood sugar medication they warn you to use caution, because if you consume it… it could lower your blood sugar to dangerous levels. Ya, sort of a screwy way of saying it works without having to be held to any liability. The biggest surprise to me was that the Latin name Lagerstroemia indica is the same as the Crepe Myrtle that blankets the south.

Yes, you heard (read) me right, Crepe Myrtle. The tree in every parking lot, church yard, and median strip in North and South Carolina. I will be honest with you, when we moved on our property, before I even thought of food foresting, or planting an orchard. I planted Crepe Myrtles around the edges of our property line. They are beautiful, but I will admit that over time I found myself saying… “Lord, if this life of being more reliant on you is your will, why did you let me plant these trees all over the place? They are just a waste of space.” (I really had this conversation with Him) I did feel a peace that since they flowered and were so nice to look at, I could console myself with the fact that they attracted pollinators and since I was planting fruit trees this would be a good thing. Then after this discovery, I find myself looking at those trees and thinking, “Wow God, you knew this already, you blessed me without me even knowing, I just had to wait and see.” He loves us, we just need to open our eyes and seek His treasures.

You can read some of the research I did, for yourself:

WebMD – Banaba

RxList – Banaba

Here is how i make my tea:

Gather leaves from the crepe myrtle tree and wash them in cold water. I use a little dish washing soap and rinse it thoroughly.

Then lay it out to dry. This can be done in the sun, between 2 screens from your bedroom window. Or if your wife objects to that, you can use a dehydrator. Watch it closely because it doesn’t take long 1 or 2 hours depending on how wet the leaves are.

Dehydrating Crepe Myrtle Leaves

After that, just crush the leaves in a plastic bag with a rolling-pin. I keep my leaves in a glass jar with some rice grains in it to make sure they stay dry. When its time for tea, just steep. You can use a single cup steeper or do a large batch with a large strainer and a pot. Boil the water, turn off the heat, add the leaves and let sit for about 5 minutes or so.

Steeping Crepe Myrtle:

The tea can be enjoyed by non-diabetics who simply want another source of zinc and magnesium. It can be used around meal time to assist with maintaining lower blood sugar levels. In more drastic situations where there is no access to medical supplies, a decoction might be called for.

A decoction can be made to increase the potency by actually boiling the leaves in water for 8-10 minutes. You can also use the small twigs, berries and roots from the Crepe Myrtle to do this. Then strain it.


Keep in mind that there really isn’t a good way to tell an appropriate dosage. You don’t know exactly how strong your brew is and how it affect your sugar level. Use your own best judgement and take it slow.

A little bit of a warning: I have heard the berries may cause hallucinations and I have also heard they are harmless. Do your own research and use caution… My favourite quote is from our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln… “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet, they could be lying to you.”

Here are a few other web sites that have some additional information on Banaba, or Crepe Myrtle.

9 Responses to Banaba A.K.A Crepe Myrtle

  1. Ulrich Mehrwald says:

    I only can say excellent. As soon as I have planted my first crape mirtle trees I will try it and
    tell you later.
    Thank you and my best wishes for you.

  2. Jamie says:

    Ok so when I looked into this it said that this is a certain species of crepe myrtle that is used for lowering blood glucose. The species Pride of India, Banaba, Queen’s Crape Myrtle,
    Lagerstroemia speciosa. Is that the species you are using? Or does it matter? Can any crepe myrtle be used with similar effects? I am trying to find more information on this subject now. We are surrounded by crepe myrtles but I have no idea what species they are. Thank you, Jamie.

    • geek2d says:

      Hey Jamie,
      From the research I have done, the Lagerstroemia Indica is a smaller version of the Lagerstroemia Speciosa. That doesnt mean they line up 100% medicinaly. Personaly I have drank the tea but have yet to monitor my blood sugar before and after. Perhaps that is the next step in this quest to nail this down with complete certainty.

  3. KrellaKrentoshi says:

    Found this site today. 15 mins later here i am, listening to my dehydrater running behind me full of crepe myrtle leaves. 2 questions. 1) has anyone ever checked the before and after sugar levels…does this tea really work? 2) some of my leaves have black spots on them, will that hurt me or affect the potency of the leaves? I am thinking that the black spots are related to the leaves starting to turn for fall.

    • geek2d says:

      Personally I have drank it quite a bit, bit never tested my sugar, mainly due to the lack of a test kit. One day my curiosity will get me to spend the money just to find out, but not yet.

  4. Pingback: Survival Podcast - Listener Feedback for 9-15-14 | The Survival Podcast

  5. KrellaKrentoshi says:

    I checked my sugar before and after drinking the tea. i tested 5 minutes after i drunk the tea, and its already down 85 points!! I even had to add honey cuz the tea was watery. I will be testing a lot today, i want to see how long the effect lasts. So far so good, but as with all herbs and people, results vary. Be careful, go slow. :-) BTW, i mentioned this site to my husband, who mentioned it to a group on facebook, and now this page has been mentioned on The Survival Podcast. Thanks so much for a WONDERFUL reference!!

    • geek2d says:

      Thanks Krella!!! I am a big fan of the Survival Podcast. In fact I was listening to Jack last night and he started reading an email about Crepe Myrtle. I was sitting on my front porch swing saying “hey.. I know about crepe myrtle.” then he mentions OmegaPrepping and I said.. “that sounds familiar.” Then I ran in the house and played it for my wife. I wish the site was in better shape, I feel like company showed up and I have my laundry all over the living room. :) In all seriousness though, you and your husband did an awesome thing, not only by sharing, but by testing it for me. God Bless you two! I can hardly contain my excitement that it worked so well! If you are every in the Hickory NC area, check out our “meetup”, your welcome to join us any time.

  6. KrellaKrentoshi says:

    Lol, yep he quoted from this site, dont worry about the dirty laundry, its all piled up in the laundry room where no one can tell. I’ve used cinnamon essential oils a lot to lower my sugar, but that can be awfully strong. This is easier on my nose, and the combo promises to be a phenom!! Hey, i dont live far from hickory, maybe we can drop by sometime. Well, the fair calls, i goota go see what my entries won. C ya later!

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