BANABA TABLETS: Standardized herbal supplement with blood sugar lowering health benefits

Technology Generators

Herbanext Laboratories, Inc. and
University of the Philippines Diliman

The Problem

High sugar levels in the blood increases the risk for acquiring diabetes. This condition affects millions of adult Filipinos around the ages of 20-79. Proper diet and regular exercise coupled with daily intake of herbal supplements with blood sugar lowering benefits may help in maintaining normal sugar level in the blood.

At present, there are many herbal supplements available in the market that claim to have such properties. However, these herbal supplements are oftentimes not standardized and have not undergone extensive scientific research. This may raise concerns in terms of safety and efficacy.

The Solution

Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers., commonly known as queen’s crape-myrtle or banaba, is a flowering tree that commonly grows in Southeast Asia. Banaba leaf decoction is traditionally used among Asian countries as a remedy for diabetes, fever and kidney problems. Aside from its antidiabetic properties, banaba is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-hyperuricemia, anti-fibrotic, antinociceptive, anti-obesity, and antioxidant activities.

A research team from Herbanext Laboratories, Inc. and the University of the Philippines Diliman collaborated on a research project funded under the TUKLAS LUNAS™ Program of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) to formulate a standardized herbal supplement from banaba’s ethanolic and aqueous extracts. The formulation was standardized against corosolic acid and ellagic acid. These are ethanol- and water-soluble bioactive compounds, respectively, that are mainly responsible for banaba’s blood sugar lowering properties.

The standardized banaba formulation was shown safe and non-toxic through the results of acute oral toxicity studies and in vitro cytotoxicity studies done on liver cancer and normal kidney cell lines; and results of glucose uptake assays showed an enhancement in the cellular uptake of glucose.

Product Development Stage

The banaba tablets are at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 8. The product is packaged in tablet form and is ready for commercial use. An IP application is already filed at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). The technology owners, led by Herbanext, are actively searching for potential licensees that will market and distribute the product.

Contact Person

Paul Felipe S. Cruz
CEO, Herbanext Laboratories, Inc.
Tel. nos.: +63 (34) 732-8106

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