This is a long posting, and a multitude of links appear about half-way through so you can find out for yourself more about this wonderful tea.
A few weeks ago I experienced a kidney crisis and asked CZ members for advice. Ghstfalcon suggested Banaba tea, and mentioned that it was available in Japan, where I live. She was right. I tried it immediately, and felt the beginnings of pain relief from the first cup.
What brought this crisis on? Although I'd been using kidney cleansing herbs continuously while flushing, I had never done a strong or thorough kidney cleanse. Between the 15th and 16th flushes, I ran out of my usual kidney cleansing product, and the mild kidney pain I'd suffered for years (which had gotten worse with the flushes but not unbearably so) suddenly flared into lower-back agony. Even when I finally obtained my usual supplements, I did not experience relief. The morning after the 16th liver flush, I awoke to discover the tissues around my eyes so swollen that one eye was half-closed, and I looked like I'd been in a fight. I suspect that the kidneys had gradually filled with toxins which had been dumped during Liver Flushes , and as soon as they were not supported by the mild kidney herb complex, they suffered a sudden decline. The pain was unbearable, and I seriously thought about going into emergency at the hospital, which I believe defeats the purpose of what I'd trying to do, that is, heal my body naturally and wholistically.
Method: Bring 400 ml (1.5 cups or 12 oz) water to a strong boil. Reduce heat to low and drop in a tea bag. Keep at or below simmer for 15 minutes. With evaporation, you will have about 250 ml (1 cup or 8 oz) of tea. It tastes like mild green tea. It tastes best while warm, and the tea bags can be reused. Recommended doses are 4 - 6 cups a day for the first 4 days, then 4 cups a day until all traces of pain and other symptoms are gone. Then maintenance at 1 - 2 cups a day.
Twenty minutes after drinking the first cup of Banaba tea, I felt the previously constant pain recede to bearable, barely noticable levels, for about 2 hours. The pain came back, so I prepared another cup of tea immediately and the pattern repeated itself. I continued to do this for 2 days (consuming 13 cups of tea in about 36 hours, I was desperate), with the pain-free period lasting longer after every successive cup. Around the end of the 2nd day or beginning of the 3rd day, I saw white granules in the toilet after urinating. This continued for about 2 - 3 days. After this, the pain stopped, except for occasional reappearances which were always banished by another cup of this tea.
While I do not think Banaba tea (or supplements) is the key to cleansing the kidneys, I think it's an excellent start. It can banish kidney pain, which can be quite severe, and although the information appears to be only anecdotal, I think it also dissolves kidney stones and helps kill off urinary tract infections.
One strong anecdotal account with medical support: Ghstfalcon said that she was diagnosed with stones and they appeared on a scan at the hospital. After drinking this tea, crystals appeared in her seive (she was supposed to use one to catch stones so they could be analyzed) she returned to her doctor to find out what was happening in her kidneys. The original scan was repeated, with all the original stones found to have vanished; other kinds of scans also failed to discover stones. So, in her case, we do have one case supported by medical testing that Banaba tea dissolves stones.
One of the links below mentions it also helps to cleanse the liver. Moritz says that having stones in the liver is often accompanied by having stones in the kidneys, and vice versa (both are cleansing organs, so that makes sense). So, although this point is only mentioned briefly, and there is no evidence to support it that I could find, I would guess that this is true.
The most important value of Banaba tea is in reducing kidney pain (and the underlying cause, to some extent). I think it is gentle and a good start, a very good way to prepare for a more thorough cleanse using hydrangea and other cleansing herbs, such as in both the Clark and Moritz kidney cleanses. I think if you start cleansing an organ with too strong a cleanser, there will be problems; starting with something gentler first will help to open pathways of elimination so that a stronger cleanse can be more effective (and toxins aren't blocked while coming out, only to be reabsorbed, causing a new crisis).
In case anyone is interested, I've continued using Banaba tea, but last week I reduced the amount to 2 - 4 cups a day, and started Clark's kidney cleanse. I no longer have pain or stiffness in the lower back. What a wonderful relief!
Andreas Moritz recommends that a kidney flush be done every 4 Liver Flushes or so. Whatever method you favour, I think this is good advice.
I wrote a good article and posted it at the kidney forum, but CZ crashed the next day. So, here is LOTS of information for anyone who might like to try this relatively cheap and gentle form of kidney cleansing:
Banaba tea is also known as crepe myrtle. Tea bags come in weight from 1 gram - 5 grams (pure Banaba) or 8 grams (mixed with other herbs). It can be organic or non-organically cultivated. Large teabags can be reused. A recommended range of dosages is 16-48mg per day, although a very high consumption of tea might cause hypoglycemia. If you feel light-headed and your face gets white, don't drink any more that day.
Information on Banaba leaves, tea, and powder. Suggestions include anti-bacterial properties, use in stomach problems, and anti-cancer treatment. A short description of isolation of it’s active chemical properties. http://www.bulkbanaba.com/search.php
A link to abstracts of research using Banaba to study it’s effect on diabetes and diabetes-related symptoms. This link shows the chemical structure of corosolic acid and maslinic acid, 2 of the active ingredients in Banaba tea: http://www.raysahelian.com/banaba.html
An easy-to-read overview of studies focusing on the effects of Banaba on Diabetics (both animal and human studies), with mention made of it’s weight loss potential: http://www.banabaherb.com