Bamboo Herb

Other Names: Bambusa vulgaris, Phyllostachys edulis, Bans (Hindi), zhú sǔn jiān (Chinese), take no ko (Japanese)

Useful Parts of the Plant: Bamboo shoots and essential oils

Bamboo is found in Asia and is used extensively in Asian cooking, especially Chinese food. The most edible part of the plant is the shoots, and they are found in the market in various forms—fresh, canned, dried, and frozen. Several varieties of bamboo shoots are edible and available for consumption, depending on the region in which it is grown. People in Asia eat it in various forms, like a vegetable, pickled, or fried. Other than its culinary uses, bamboo is also used as a raw material for building furniture and even houses. Facts about bamboo state that it is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and therefore, abundantly available in Asia.

In the nutritional department, bamboo shoots are good source of dietary fiber. Fiber has many benefits some of which help to prevent diabetes and heart disease. It also relieves constipation by providing adequate roughage. It also contains potassium, protein, riboflavin, manganese, copper, zinc, and vitamin B6. Potassium is an important mineral of our body and great for general health and robust muscle function. Copper helps with red blood cell formation, and manganese is important for a healthy bone structure. Vitamin B6 helps in maintaining a healthy brain and nerve function. Bamboo shoots are low in fat and cholesterol, making it a healthy herb.

Bamboo is not only a delicious dish to be savored with its unique flavor, but it also has many health benefits that we should know about and keep in mind. Medicinal uses of bamboo have been known and practiced by Asian healers of old. Let us acquaint ourselves with a few of these uses and benefits.

  • Bamboo leaves have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to keep the balance of free radicals and ward off any excess amount that can cause a large variety of problems like heart disease and even cancer. It is also great for healthy skin.
  • Bamboo is a low calorie product that is high in dietary fiber. Thus, eating bamboo shoots will fill you up because of its high fiber content. This can help battling hunger pangs through the day and help with losing weight healthily.
  • Women suffering from menstrual irregularities or disorders can find benefit through the intake of bamboo shoots that help to regulate the cycle. It can also ease heavy bleeding. Furthermore, bamboo can help to ease labor pain in the last stage of pregnancy.
  • Health benefits of bamboo include treating wounds and ulcers due to its antibacterial properties. Bamboo juice is particularly helpful for ulcers.
  • Bamboo shoots are good for the stomach and can cure mild symptoms like indigestion and diarrhea.
  • Studies have indicated that consuming bamboo shoots can reduce cholesterol and thus, ensure a healthier life.
  • Advantages of bamboo include its ability to control blood pressure due to the abundance of potassium. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure and keep the body healthy.
  • Bamboo is also used in aromatherapy as it known to be a natural exfoliant. A lot of cosmetic products integrate bamboo ingredients for facial and hair care.

In addition, uses of bamboo plants are not only limited to dietary benefits. It is also used to make furniture and is an excellent raw material for construction purposes.

A few words of caution are good to keep in mind when it comes to bamboo shoots. If you are consuming fresh shoots, take care to boil them thoroughly for about half an hour in salt water. This helps to remove the raw taste and also kill germs, bacteria, and toxins. Certain varieties of bamboo shoots are not good for pregnant women as they are said to have abortive properties. Please consult your doctor for further advice. In addition, some people can be allergic to bamboo, especially as a facial cream. In this case as well, it is wise to consult the physician if you break out into any kind of rash.