Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.

Last updated: 2 March 2017

Scientific Name

Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.


Adambea glabra Lam., Adambea hirsuta Lam., Lagerstroemia augusta Wall. [Invalid], Lagerstroemia flos-reginae Retz., Lagerstroemia hirsuta (Lam.) Willd., Lagerstroemia macrocarpa Wall. [Invalid], Lagerstroemia major Retz., Lagerstroemia munchausia Willd., Lagerstroemia plicifolia Stokes, Lagerstroemia reginae Roxb., Munchausia ovata J.St.-Hil. [Unresolved], Munchausia speciosa L., Murtughas hirsuta (Lam.) Kuntze, Sotularia malabarica Raf. [Unresolved]. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Berangan asu, bongor, bongor raya, bungor bungor melukut, bungor raya, sebugor [2]
English Crepe flower, pride of India, queen crape myrtle, queen’s crepe myrtle, queen flower, rose of India [2]
India Ajakari, ajar, ajhar, arjuna, bondara, challa, chemmaruta, chennangi, dara, holedasal, jarol, kadali, karaca, mancarokani, maruva, mota-bondara, muruta gass, neernbendaka, pantuvisakkari, pittacamani, sotulari, tamana, thlado, waragogu [2]
Indonesia Bungur, bungur tekuyung, ketangi [3]
Thailand Chuang-muu, tabaek dam, inthanin nam [3]
Myanmar Gawkng-uchyamang [3]
Philippines Agaro, banaba, bugarom, duguam, kauilan, makablas, makablos, mitla, nabulong, pamalauagan, pamalauagon, parasabukong, parasabukung, tabañgau [2]
Vietnam B[awf]ng l[aw]ng n[uw][ows]c [3].

Geographical Distributions

Lagerstroemia speciosa is found in Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines and Sulawesi; also cultivated within this region and in many other tropical countries. [3]

Botanical Description

L. speciosa is a member of the family Lythraceae. It is a deciduous or semi-deciduous shrub or small to medium-sized or rarely large tree, which can reach up to 40(-45) m tall. [3]

The bole is fairly straight to crooked, branchless for up to 18 m, measuring up to 100(-150) cm in diametre, often fluted and sometimes with small buttresses. The surface of the bark is smooth or with small papery flakes, grey to light fawn-brown mottled, with fibrous inner bark, grey-fawn to yellow and turns dirty mauve or purple upon exposure. The crown is usually bushy and spreading. [3]

The leaves are arranged opposite, distichous, simple and entire. The stipules are minute or absent. The flowers are in a large, axillary or terminal panicle and often showy. The sepal is funnel- or bell-shaped and 6(-9)-lobed. There are usually 6 petals which are inserted near the mouth of the sepal tube. They are white to pink or purple, clawed and wrinkled. The stamens are many and in several rows. The ovary is superior, 3-6-locular with many ovules in each cell and with 1 style. [3]

The fruit is a large and woody capsule that is seated on the persistent sepal. [3]

The seed is with an apical wing. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The emergent cotyledons are leafy and 2-lobed. The hypocotyl is elongated where the first few leaves are arranged alternately, which becomes subopposite and eventually opposite. [3]


Most Lagerstroemia species are found at low to medium altitudes in comparatively open habitats, in disturbed or secondary forests, grasslands, and are especially common along rivers. Most species are scattered but may become locally dominant. The habitat may vary from well-drained to occasionally flooded, but not peaty. [3]

Chemical Constituent

Chloroform extract from an air-dried leaves of L. speciosa were reported to contain 31-norlargerenol acetate, 24-methylenecycloartanol acetate, largerenol acetate, diterpenes tinotufolins C and D, lutein, phytol, sitosterol and sitosterol acetate. Other compounds reported includes sitosterol, ellagic acid, campesterol, stigmasterol, langerstannins A, B, and C, colosolic acid, maslinic acid, lageracetal, lasubine I, lasubine II, flosin A, reginins C and D, pterocarinin, 3,3’, 4-tri-O-methylellagic acid and 3-O-methylellagic acid. [4]

Bioassay-directed isolation from the leaves of L. speciosa was reported to contain lagerstroemin, flosin B, stachyurin, casuarinin, casuariin, epipunicacortein A, and 2,3-(S)-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-alpha/beta-D-glucose, ellagic acid sulfate, 3-O-methyl-ellagic acid 4'-sulfate, ellagic acid, and methyl ellagic acid derivatives, 3-O-methylellagic acid, 3,3'-di-O-methylellagic acid, 3,4,3'-tri-O-methylellagic acid, and 3,4,8,9,10-pentahydroxydibenzo[b,d]pyran-6-one. [5]

Plant Part Used

Root, bark, leaves, flowers, fruits and seed. [6][7]

Traditional Use

L. speciosa bark are purgative [6]. Decoction of the bark is used for gastrointestinal tract disturbance, stomachache and haematuria. The bark is included in a compound decoction for treating depression [7].

The leaves are purgative [6]. Poultice of the pounded leaves is a remedy for malaria, headache and cracked heels when applied over the respective lesions [7]. The leaves are also considered a diuretic. Decoction or infusion of the leaves is used for bladder and kidney inflammation, dysuria and other urinary dysfunctions. Decoction of the leaves is given for fever. The Filipinos in particular advocate the use of dried old leaves or dried fruits as the best remedy as opposed to young leaves [8].

The roots of L. speciosa isconsidered as astringent, stimulant and febrifuge [6]. Decoction of the roots is used to treat diarrhoea and aphthous ulcers [8]. Decoction of the root is also used in the treatment of jaundice. The root form part of pot herb for women after delivery [7].

Decoction of the mature leaves and ripe fruit is traditionally used to treat diabetes while decoction of fresh leaves and fruits is given to treat diabetes mellitus [7]. In Southeast Asia L. speciosa has been used to treat diabetes mellitus [8].

Preclinical Data


Antibacterial activity

Certain factions of petroleum ether extracts of L. speciosa seeds showed high antagonistic activity against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. [9]

Anitviral activity

Orobol 7-O-d-glucoside (O7G) isolated from L. speciosa showed antiviral activity when tested in Hela cells using cytopathic effect (CPE) reduction method. The results showed that it possessed a broad spectrum antiviral activity against Human Rhinovirus (HRV) species A (HRV1B, HRV2, HRV15 and HRV40) and specvies B (HRV3, HRV6 and HRV14) as well as pleconaril-resistant virus (HRV5) with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) was 0.58-8.80 μg/mL and the 50% cytotoxicity concentration CC50 of O7G was more than 100 μg/mL. [10]

Osteoblast differentiation activity

Corosolic acid isolated from L. speciosa leaves showed its ability to stimulate the differentiation of osteoblast in mouse. This process was due to its ability to induce NF-kappaB and MAP kinase activity at an early stage of osteoblast differentiation and increase the activity of the transcription factor AP-1 during late-stage osteoblast differentiation. [11]

Antinephrotoxicity activity

Ethyl acetate extract of L. speciosa leaves (50 and 250 mg/kg) administered to cisplatin-induced acute renal injury in Balb/C mice reduced the elevations of urea and creatinine concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. It also prevented the decline in renal antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, gluthathione peroxidase, and reduced gluthathione). [12]

Anti-inflammatory activity

Ethyl acetate and ethanol extract of L. speciosa leaves showed anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan-induced acute inflammation and formalin-induced (chronic) paw edema models. Only ethyl acetate extract has significantly reduced the paw edema in a dose-dependent manner and described as the most active anti-inflammatory activity compared to ethanol extract which could be due to its free radical scavenging activity. [13]

Antioxidant activity

Ethyl acetate, ethanol, methanol and water extract of L. speciosa leaves showed antioxidant activity through superoxide and hydroxyl ion scavenging activity and by measuring its lipid peroxidation. The result showed that ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts had greater antioxidant activity than methanol and water extracts. [13]

Inhibition of NF-kappaB activity

In a screening study of Bangladeshi medicinal plants, low doses of L. speciosa extracts proved to inhibit the interactions between nuclear factors and target DNA elements mimicking sequences recognized by the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB). [14]

Aqueous extracts of L. speciosa leaves was found to completely blocked the activation of NF-kappaB by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in rat cardiomyocyte H9c2 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The NF-kappaB's activation was examined using electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). [15]

Antiobesity and lipid metabolism

Hot-water extract of L. speciosa leaves (5 %) administered orally to genetically diabetic Type II and KK-Ay female mice for duration of 12 weeks reduced the diabetic signssuch as significantly reduced their body weight gain and parametrial adipose tissue weight. The HbA1c level was also suppressed at the end of the experiment while the serum lipid was not affected. The total hepatic lipid content was significantly decreased (up to 65% of control levels) due to a reduction in the triglyceride accumulation. [16]

A pentacyclic triterpene namely corosolic acid isolated from L. speciosa leaves administered orally to hypercholesterolemia KK-Ay mice for duration of 10 weeks significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the mean blood cholesterol level by 32% and the liver cholesterol content by 46% compared to those without corosolic acid intake. The result showed that corosolic acid may have some direct effect on the cholesterol absorption process in the small intestine and may inhibit the activity of cholesterol acyltransferase in the small intestine. [17]

Antidiabetic activity

Hot-water extract of L. speciosa leaves (5%) administered orally to hereditary diabetic mice (Type II, KK-AY/Ta Jcl) for duration of 5 weeks decreased the serum insulin level, amount of urinary excreted glucose, plasma total cholesterol and the blood plasma glucose level that showed increment by control diet. [18]

Hot-water extract of L. speciosa showed to be effective in stimulating glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes with an induction time and inhibiting adipocyte differentiation activity at dose-dependent manner similar to insulin. It significantly (p < 0.01) reduced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma2 (PPARgamma2) mRNA and glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) protein in cells induced from preadipocytes with insulin plus 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and dexamethasone (IS-IBMX-DEX). [19]

Ellagitannins (lagerstroemin, flosin, reginin A) isolated from the aqueous fraction of acetone extract of L. speciosa leaves showed glucose uptake capability by increasing the hexose uptake rate to the level higher than half of that induced by insulin. [20]

Valoneaic acid isolated from the L. speciosa leaves demonstrated   antidiabetic activity by possessing a potent α-amylase inhibition activity dependent on the valoneaic acid contents. [21]

Seven ellagitannins (lagerstroemin, flosin B, stachyurin, casuarinin, casuariin, epipunicacortein A, and 2, 3-(S)-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-alpha/beta-D-glucose) showed strong activities in stimulating insulin-like glucose uptake and inhibiting adipocyte differentiations in 3T3-L1 cells. It was that found the ellagic acid and its derivatives showed an inhibitory effect on glucose transport assay. [22]

Corosolic acid, an active component of L. speciosa leaves administered to diabetic Wistar rats decreased its blood glucose. It was found that corosolic acid has effects on the gluconeogenesis in rat liver in manners of increasing the production of Fructose-2,6-biphosphate by lowering the cAMP level and inhibiting protein kinase activity in hepatocytes. It was found that it also increase the glucokinase activity without affecting glucose-6-phosphatase activity [23]. Another study found that corosolic acid reduced hydrolysis of sucrone in the small intestine of adult male ddY mice thus further added another mechanism of its antidiabetic activity [24]. Corosolic acid isolated from ethyl acetate extract of L. speciosa leaves also showed significant inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase with IC50 was 3.53 μg/mL.[25]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

A randomized clinical trial has been done on the effects of L. speciosa standardized to 1% corosolic acid on the blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. The trial was done over 2 weeks using two types of dosage forms i.e soft gel and dry-powder hard gelatine capsule. They found a significant blood glucose level reduction at a daily dose of 32 mg. and 48 mg and the softgel preparation showed a larger decrease in blood glucose level indicating a higher bioavailability in the softgel preparation. [26]

A study on the effects of corosolic acid on postchallange plasma glucose levels found that corosolic acid has a lowering effect on postchallange plasma glucose levels in vivo in humans. [27]


In the recommended dosages (8-48 mg/day) no side effects had been reported. However, at higer doses there may appear symptoms associated with lowered blood glucose levels such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, could be expected. [28]

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation


No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing




Figure 1: The line drawings of L. speciosa [3]


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  10. Choi HJ, Bae EY, Song JH, Baek SH, Kwon DH. Inhibitory effects of orobol 7-O-D-glucoside from banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.) on human rhinoviruses replication. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2010;51(1):1-5.
  11. Shim KS, Lee SU, Ryu SY, Min YK, Kim SH. Corosolic acid stimulates osteoblast differentiation by activating transcription factors and MAP kinases. Phytother Res. 2009;23(12):1754-1758.
  12. Priya TT, Sabu MC, Jolly CI. Amelioration of cisplatin induced nephrotoxicity in mice by an ethyl acetate extract of Lagerstroemia speciosa (L). J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2007;18(4):289-298.
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  15. Ichikawa H, Yagi H, Tanaka T, Cyong JC, Masaki T. Lagerstroemia speciosa extract inhibit TNF-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappaB in rat cardiomyocyte H9c2 cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010;128(1):254-256.
  16. Suzuki Y, Unno T, Ushitani M, Hayashi K, Kakuda T. Antiobesity activity of extracts from Lagerstroemia speciosa L. leaves on female KK-Ay mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1999;45(6):791-795.
  17. Takagi S, Miura T, Ishihara E, Ishida T, Chinzei Y. Effect of corosolic acid on dietary hypercholesterolemia and hepatic steatosis in KK-Ay diabetic mice. Biomed Res. 2010;31(4):213-218.
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  19. Liu F, Kim J, Li Y, Liu X, Li J, Chen X. An extract of Lagerstroemia speciosa L. has insulin-like glucose uptake-stimulatory and adipocyte differentiation-inhibitory activities in 3T3-L1 cells. J Nutr. 2001;131(9):2242-2247.
  20. Hayashi T, Maruyama H, Kasai R, et al. Ellagitannins from Lagerstroemia speciosa as activators of glucose transport in fat cells. Planta Med. 2002;68(2):173-175.
  21. Hosoyama H, Sugimoto A, Suzuki Y, Sakane I, Kakuda T. Isolation and quantitative analysis of the alpha-amylase inhibitor in Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers. (Banaba). Author's transl: Yakugaku Zasshi: J Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. 2003;123(7):599-605.
  22. Bai N, He K, Roller M, et al. Active compounds from Lagerstroemia speciosa, insulin-like glucose uptake-stimulatory/inhibitory and adipocyte differentiation-inhibitory activities in 3T3-L1 cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56(24):11668-11674.
  23. Yamada K, Hosokawa M, Fujimoto S, et al. Effect of corosolic acid on gluconeogenesis in rat liver. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2008;80(1):48-55.
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  25. Hou W, Li Y, Zhang Q, Wei X, Peng A, Chen L, Wei Y. Triterpene acids isolated from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves as alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. Phytother Res. 2009;23(5):614-618.
  26. Judy WV, Hari SP, Stogsdill WW, Judy NS, Naguib YM, Passwater R. Antidiabetic activity of a standardized extract (glucosol) from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves in Type II diabetics. A dose-dependence study. J. Ethnopharmacol 2003; 87(1):115-117.
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