Bamboo is an evergreen perennial plant which belongs to grass family and Bambusoideae subfamily. It has a tall, straight and strong structure that makes bamboo as one of the most advantageous plant on earth. While people in Asia used to use bamboo as the part of their building or house, bamboo leaves also posses some health benefits which we may not know before. The health benefits of bamboo leaves are very numerous and it comes from the active substance content of the leaves.
The Nutrient Content of Bamboo Leaves
Bamboo leaves contains high fiber, antioxidant and other nutrients which give benefits to health, no wonder if panda can survive by only eating the bamboo shoots and leaves. The main components of which play great role in the health benefits of bamboo leaves are silica and dietary fiber. Silica or known as silicon is a mineral that has many health benefits including promote the bone, hair and nail growth. Even the content of silica in bamboo is ten times higher than in horsetail leaves. Other potential component of bamboo leaves is dietary fiber that aid in our digestive system. A cup of bamboo leaves contain at least 1 gram dietary fiber or 4% fiber in 1 gram of leaves. Some research also reported that bamboo leaves contain high amount of polyphenols which acts as antioxidant in human body.
The Health Benefits of Bamboo Leaves
Dr. S. Dharmananda from the Institute for Traditional Medicine has summarized that most part of bamboo especially the leaves is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine or TCM and has become a part of their daily life. Yang, 2002 also mentioned that there are two kinds of bamboo leaves which being used in TCM, they are called as Khuzuye and Danzhuye. Kuzhuye is dried leaves of Pleioblastus amarus that has pungent sweet and light bitter taste is good for treating respiratory problem while Danzhuye, dried leaves and stem of Lophatherum gracile has a less strong and bitter taste but its good for promote urination and cure digestive problem.
Now, if you want to know more about the health benefits of bamboo leaves, so here we go.
1. Maintain Healthy Skin
Bamboo leaves are just another great skin care that can maintain healthy skin as well as keep it clear and acne-free. Bamboo leaves contain anti-bacterial properties which can prevent and eliminate the bacteria that causing acne. It also prevent skin irritation from any harmful chemical content in cosmetic. To use the health benefits bamboo leaves as part of your skin care, you can directly mashed some bamboo leaves until it become thick paste, mix with some honey or olive oil then put it on your skin or face for at least 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and feel the difference. Do this treatment twice a week to get maximum result of this health benefits of bamboo leaves.
2. Promote Hair And Nail Growth
Not only keeping your healthy skin, bamboo leaves can also promote hair and nail growth since it contains high level of silica. The silica itself is a mineral that become the main component of human nail and hair. To keep strong nail, you can drink bamboo leaves tea or when you want to improve your hair growth, you can also make a hair mask from the leaves. beside the silica content, bamboo leaves are completed with Vitamin E that makes it a great ingredients in improving the nail and hair growth especially if you have problem with brittle nail or hair lost day by day.
3. Prevent Alzheimer
Alzheimer is a mental disease that usually occur in older age and it is happen because the damage on the brain cell. A study has reported that the silica, mineral which contained in bamboo leaves could prevent the absorption of aluminum and eliminate it from the body. Aluminum itself is known as one of the main factor that can damage brain cell and promoting Alzheimer. Yet, the antioxidant content of bamboo leaves has also play important role in protecting brain cell from free radical damage, though some plenty study still requires to be done to prove this health benefits of bamboo leaves.
4. Reduce High Blood Pressure
Other health benefits of bamboo leaves is related to hearth health and blood pressure. The leaf of bamboo plant contains high fiber that aids in reducing high blood pressure and maintain healthy heart. The benefit of reducing high blood pressure can comes from the ability of fiber to reduce the number of cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol which comes in high number can promote the plaque formation inside the blood vessels and this condition will lead to a certain health problem of narrowed blood vessel called atherosclerosis. This is why, having enough fiber is important to keep healthy heart and circulatory track.
5. Aids In Digestive System
Health benefit of bamboo leaves is very useful in keeping healthy digestion and stomach. Drinking bamboo leaves tea before meal can improve the stomach function and bring comfort especially if you suffer from any digestive problem such as ulcer or bloating. The fiber content of bamboo leaves also can help the digestion process and makes the organs easier to work. Chinese people also believe that bamboo leaves has calming and cooling effect that can help to reduce the heat which produces by the stomach. This is why the health benefits of bamboo leaves is widely use in TCM.
6. Prevent From Free Radical Damage
Free radical is another hidden enemy that can cause many damage and health problem nowadays. Pollution, chemical substance, food and other substance can contribute the number of free radical that entering our body everyday. Bamboo leaves contains high level of polyphenols and antioxidant that can fight the free radical and prevent its damaging effect affecting the body. Somehow, some research has also reported that antioxidant is a main important substance in protecting the cell from cancer. To get the benefits of bamboo leaves antioxidant, you can just consume the tea everyday before start or after you finish your daily routine.
7. Help Detoxification Process
We can say that the health benefits of bamboo leaves in detoxification process is just amazing. The silica content in bamboo leaves can help the body to flush out any toxin, waste or poisoning material away. The mineral will bind the toxic and being removed from the body through urine and feces. This is why, drinking bamboo leaves tea is another great way to cleanse your body especially your cells. By cleansing the toxin from the body, you will feel healthier and more powerful to do your daily activities, also your liver will be thankful to you.
8. Heal Wounds
Since bamboo leaves contain anti-inflammation properties, it can also help you to heal the wound faster. The anti-bacteria content of the leaves even will prevent the wound from getting worse. Other than that, silica which contained in bamboo leaves can also promotes collagen forming to restore the skin and back it to normal condition. To get the health benefits of bamboo leaves, take some leaves, mashed it into smooth then put it on your wound. Keep it for 15 minutes inside a bandage and do this treatment twice a day until your wound completely healed. No need to doubting the health benefit of bamboo leaves in healing wound since some research in China and Japan has proven this once.
9. Relieve Menstrual Syndrome
Menstruation is a normal thing in women but sometimes it comes with back pain, stomachache, even uncomfortable bone and joint pain which make women feel really annoyed when their periods come. The decreasing level of hemoglobin in menstrual women also will slightly make them weaker and resulting in low stamina. People in Asia especially women, believe that drinking bamboo leaves tea can help them to relieve pain which comes along their menstrual period and increase their stamina through the days. To relieve menstrual pain, you can boil some blended bamboo leaves in a cup water for about 15 minutes the strain the tea. Drink it warm before go to bed.
10. Help In Urination
Urination problem also become health problem that can be cure by consuming bamboo leaves tea because we know that the leaves contain amount of anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial properties. If you feel burning sensation on your bladder and hard to urinate, it may be a sign that you are facing an infection that caused by bacteria or lack of drinking water. To solve this issue, boil 20 leaves of bamboo in three cups of water until it remain one cup only then drink the solution by adding two spoon of honey. In Traditional Chinese Medicine they use Danzhuye, dried leaves of Lophatherum gracile, one of bamboo species to cure this problem.
11. Reduce High Sugar Level
Other health benefits of bamboo leaves can comes form it’s ability to reduce the high blood sugar especially in diabetes patient. Diabetes is a disease which caused by the lack amount of insulin produced by the pancreas. Insulin plays important role in regulating blood sugar and those diabetes patient has not enough insulin in the body. The fiber content of bamboo leaves can help to reduce high level of blood sugar which will be aid for diabetes patient. You can consume the bamboo leaves tea after consuming meal to lower the sugar level if you are the one who face this case.
12. Help In Weight Lost
Not only lowering blood sugar level, the health benefits of bamboo leaves also aids in weight lost program. The fiber content of the leaves is the one who play important role to suppress the appetite and makes you feel fuller for longer time. It is makes a good diet tea to lose weight and it is better if you drink the bamboo leaves tea everyday along with some exercise and healthy eating habit.
13. Treat Respiratory Disorder
Drinking a cup of bamboo leaves tea mix with honey can be a good treat for respiratory disorder such as asthma or respiratory infection. The anti-inflammation properties of bamboo leaves are the one who provide this benefit. The carbohydrate, protein and other component of the leaves also reported to have some effect in the healing process of respiratory disorder. Just consult your doctor first if you want to take the bamboo leaves as an alternative way to cure the disease.
14. Increase Male Fertility
Male fertility is one of health issue that comes in modern era and has become a concern for some expert. African used to have the bamboo leaves as a folk natural remedy to cure the infertility and a study which conducted by Linus Chia Saalu in 2016 which published in Research Journal of Medicinal Plants found that bamboo leaves and shoots contains some active substances such as tannins, alkaloid and saponins that can improve the function of epididymis, a reproduction gland in male reproduction system. For your information, the bamboo shoots also known as popular aphrodisiac in China that is believed can increase their sexual stamina.
15. Help In Delivery Process
People in some part of Asia including China believe that consuming bamboo leaves tea in the last months of pregnancy can help to increase the contraction and make it easier to deliver the baby. It also believed that substances contained in bamboo leaves can prevent excessive bleeding during the delivery process which is very useful for the mother after birth. Another study reported that the bamboo leaves tea consumption can help to prevent birth defect in baby especially prevent from brain damage that can causing autism to the infant.
16. Improve Immune System
Since silica is known as a vital component of the leaves, it provides many health benefits of bamboo leaves not just keeping healthy skin, hair and digestive system. Silica and other mineral in bamboo leaves plus its antioxidant are important in preventing infection and disease which mostly cause by infection. As we know that the skin, and the digestive system are our first defense lines that will protect the body against the pathogens.
17. Strengthen Bones And Teeth
Last but not least, the health benefits of bamboo leaves also come for your bones. There are many studies which have proven that the presence of silica especially in bamboo leaves can helps the body to absorb and use the proper amount of calcium. As human get older the silica levels in the bones is declining and it weaken our bones. Having right amount of silica can help to prevent bone fracture as well as keeping healthy teeth and gum from having any cavities. You can simply get this health benefits of bamboo leaves by drinking the tea several times a week.
Side Effect Of Bamboo Leaves
We have read many health benefits of bamboo and now we must also acknowledge the side effect of consuming bamboo leaves especially if it being consumed in high amount and in long period. A study by Jun Panee, PhD which published in Journal Of Medical Plant Research in 2015 reported that the bamboo leaves medication that used to be consume by Asian especially China and Japan also bring some toxicity effect along with the health benefits of bamboo leaves.
Some species of bamboo such as Bambusa vulgaris is reported to bring abortifacient effect that can increase the abortion frequency and decrease the survival rates of the pregnant rabbit. Other side effect that may comes from the consumption of bamboo leaves including digestion and metabolism problem. Just remember to consult your doctor if your problem doesn’t solved by consuming the bamboo leaves immediately.