Crepe Myrtle (Banaba ) and Prickly Pear Cactus (Nopal)in my yard

by Dawne
(Burleson, TX, U.S.A.)

QUESTION: I have Crepe Myrtles( white, pink, red, deep purple, light purple growing in my yard and my neighbors yard.

Is there one specific Crepe Myrtle called- Banaba(Lagerstroemia speciosa)? Or do they all fall under the same category? I live in Burleson which is the Crepe Myrtle capital of Texas.

My plan is to use Fresh leaves

• Wash the leaves in running water. Cut into smaller pieces.

• Simmer/steep Banaba leaves -start with 1/8 cup of leaves to 2 cups water for 30 minutes.

Drink like tea.

I will watch glucose CLOSELY!!!!!! AND yes- work with my doctor!

Any suggestions?

I even have a huge Prickly Pear cactus plant in my yard...they grow like weeds here. Again any suggestions?

ANSWER: Hi Dawne,

It's good that you are living surrounded by all these Crepe Myrtles. Amongst them, try to find the ones that have leathery leaves, which tends to turn red just before falling down in autumn.

Regarding the flowers, try to distinguish those which are pink to purple in color with wrinkled petals. Their fruits tend to grow oval in shape and brown in color, with small and winged flaps seeds.

If these plants are growing in your yard, you are lucky to have fresh BANABA next to you. And, I want to congrats for your plan, it sounds "smart natural". I wish lots of luck.

With regards to Prickly Pear cactus, as long as I know, it contains fiber and pectin. Both of them slow down or inhibit the absorption of glucose in the bowls, therefore, your blood sugar will not increase.

This action helps to lose weight and lower high cholesterol, as it limits the number of calories intake (as little sugar is absorbed) and sugar is not transformed in fats in the body.

You can use its stems, but before you should broil them. It has been suggested that only broiled stems can lower blood sugar up to 47% compared to raw stems that has not shown the same effects.

Other uses of Prickly Pear cactus include enlarged prostate as it can alleviate its symptoms related to urinary tract.

Hope it helped. All the best.

Dr. Alba

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