bamboo benefits and uses

Bamboo 101: The Many Uses & Incredible Health Benefits

Bamboo has been a popular plant of interest for centuries. And that’s because it’s versatile, resilient, and has many beneficial uses. Not only can it be used for building materials and textile, but also for food and health.

Some pretty unique bamboo products, such as bamboo silica, bamboo rice, and bamboo leaf tea, have successfully hit the market in recent decades. And they’re all awesome.

So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at each of those bamboo products and explore their benefits.

What Is Bamboo

What Is Bamboo

Bamboo is a woody plant that has gained a lot of attention because of its many benefits and uses. It is often referred to as ‘The Plant With A Thousand Faces’.

Bamboo grows in abundance in South America and Asia. However, it can grow well even in tropical, cold, and mountain climates. It has over 70 varieties, and they all share similar anatomy – culm stems, rhizome stems, shoots, leaves, and roots.

DID YOU KNOW? Bamboo is a fast-growing plant and can grow up to 60 centimeters in one day!

Bamboo Benefits

With first recorded medicinal uses of bamboo dating all the way back to 618-907 AD in Chinese books, bamboo has been known and used for its health benefits for many centuries.

  • Bamboo contains high volumes of fiber, and that means it’s a great way to lower your cholesterol, which is helpful in preventing heart disease. It is also beneficial in improving your gut health.
  • Bamboo is low in fat, and that helps prevent diabetes and heart diseases, as well as lower blood pressure.
  • Bamboo shoots contain large amounts of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which have been proven to obtain antibiotic, anti-cancerous, and infection-fighting properties.

What Is Bamboo Silica

What Is Bamboo Silica

Silica is a naturally occurring mineral found in water, plant, and animal sources. Plant sources have higher amounts of silica than animal sources, and bamboo produces the highest amount of silica than any other plant.

Silica is known to increase joint flexibility and improving bone health, skin elasticity, hair and nail strength.

In Chinese herbal and Indian Ayurvedic medicine, bamboo extracts have been used as an effective remedy to treat skin ailments, relieve congestion, and help heal bones.

FUN FACT: Bamboo contains ten times more silica than the widely used horsetail plant.

Bamboo Silica Benefits

Improves Skin Quality

When it comes to aging, we can often hear the word ‘collagen’ thrown around, but what does it actually mean?

Collagen is an essential protein found in the skin, bones, and joints that is basically responsible for holding our bodies together. Now, where does bamboo silica come in?

Well, studies show that silica is important for optimal synthesis of collagen and activating enzymes that together improve skin strength and elasticity.

Silica also helps carry oxygen around the body, which increases the transport of nutrients to the skin. So bamboo silica could be the next best thing to help you achieve that glow!

Improves Hair Condition

Even though you might condition your hair religiously after every wash, nothing will work quite the same as a generous intake of vitamins and minerals, and that includes bamboo silica.

Studies show that higher silica content in the hair demonstrated less hair loss and increased overall strength and brightness.

Regular intake of bamboo silica supplement may be the answer to your prayers, that will help you repair hair damage and boost its growth!

Joint Flexibility

Bamboo silica may be very useful in improving overall joint health in our bodies.

Studies have shown that silica is important for joint formation and flexibility. And joint flexibility is more important than you might think; without it, our most basic everyday tasks would be much harder to perform.

Our muscles would become tired more quickly, and we would be more likely to get injured.

It goes without saying that you most likely won’t achieve as much as you’d like if you take silica while spending your days on the couch. Staying active and stretching regularly is key, and in combination with bamboo silica, you may make your joints more strong and flexible.

What Is Bamboo Leaf Tea

What Is Bamboo Leaf Tea

One of the simple and healthy ways to reap the benefits of bamboo silica is to make a cup of tea.

Bamboo leaf tea is made from the young leaves of the bamboo plant, which are washed and then dried naturally in the sun.

Bamboo Leaf Tea Benefits

While silica is undeniably an important ingredient, bamboo leaf tea benefits don’t stop there. Bamboo leaves contain many other active components that are pretty impressive!

Prevents Disease

Bamboo leaf extract may be exactly what you need to protect yourself from illnesses with the help of its antioxidant contents. Research shows that bamboo leaf extract has antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.

Antioxidants are important for your body because they protect your cells, improve immune responses, and in general, prevent many diseases.

Protects The Heart

To keep your heart working in top form, you need to incorporate valuable activities and nutrients into your daily life. And that can come in a nice cup of hot tea.

Some antioxidants present in bamboo leaves show potential for heart-protective effects – reducing inflammation, oxidative stress, and improving heart function.

Helps Fight Cancer

Some bamboo species have shown that certain extracts from the bamboo leaves contain active compounds that can potentially slow down cancer development.

Bonus: How To Make Bamboo Leaf Tea (4 Easy Steps)

  • Bring 12 oz (350 ml) of filtered water to boil.
  • Pour hot water over 1 tsp of dried bamboo leaves.
  • Cover with a cloth and steep for at least 5 minutes.
  • Add optional sweeter. My personal favorites are honey and agave.
  • Your tea is ready!

Pro Tip: Drink at least 1 cup every day for 4 weeks to see the difference in your hair, nails, and skin!

What Is Bamboo Rice

What Is Bamboo Rice

I know what you’re thinking right now: “What exactly is bamboo rice? And what is it made of?”

Well, you’re in luck, because I have the answers!

Bamboo rice is the seed of a bamboo shoot that’s produced at the end of the shoot’s life span. It is prepared like any other variety of rice, but the difference is that its texture is chewier and flavor sweet.

INTERESTING FACT: Bamboo rice is not widely available because it can only be extracted when the plant has flowered, which happens every 50-60 years and only once in the plant’s lifetime.

Bamboo Rice Health Benefits

  • Lowers cholesterol.
  • Joint and rheumatic pain relief (calcium and phosphorus content).
  • High in protein (higher than rice and wheat).
  • Enhances fertility.
  • Contains high amounts of phosphorus, which is important for the formation of bones.

What Is Bamboo Salt

What Is Bamboo Salt

Bamboo salt is a unique form of salt that was developed almost 1,000 years ago in Korea.

Before we get into what it is exactly, let’s say right away that it does not come from bamboo. Well, not directly anyway.

It is prepared by placing sea salt into a thick bamboo stem, sealing it with red or yellow clay, and using pine firewood to bake it nine times at high temperatures.

‘Sounds interesting, but what exactly does it change?’ you might ask.

To put it simply, the baking process removes the impurities but increases its important contents, such as potassium, calcium, iron, copper, and zinc.

Bamboo Salt Benefits

Probably the main noteworthy health benefit of bamboo salt is that it’s an excellent source of minerals.

Studies have shown that bamboo salt is rich in potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. Additionally, Researchers have also confirmed that bamboo salt has anti-cancer effects.

  • Potassium is vital for all cells to function normally. It ensures the function of our nerves and muscles, regulating the heartbeat and blood pressure.
  • Phosphorus, on the other hand, is responsible for forming strong teeth, managing the body’s energy storage, and repairing tissues and cells.  
  • Zinc is essential for your immune system, metabolism, and your sense of taste and smell.
  • Manganese affects the nervous system functions, bone health, and reproduction system.

INTERESTING FACT: Thousands of years ago, humans used to gather fruits and hunt, and because of that our potassium intake was 16 times higher than sodium. This is partly why humans were thought to have been stronger back then.

Conclusion

Bamboo is a unique evergreen plant that has been valued in Asian countries for centuries, and rightfully so. Bamboo is so full of benefits that all of its parts can be used to improve our health.

And the best part is, it’s so easy to start – just throw some shoots in your stir fry, use the leaves to brew some tea or take it as a supplement.

If you’re looking for another interesting health-wonder of nature, check out our article about avocado leaves.

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