Best Uses for Bamboo Leaves

By Barry Finnegan , last updated April 1, 2011

Bamboo is plant that grows in China with approximately 36 forests around the country, and it has many great uses inside and outside the home. The fastest growing plant in the world, bamboo is actually considered a type of grass that grows an average of four inches per day although there are certain types that grow at a rate of two inches per hour. With somewhere around 300 species and accounting for about four percent of China's forests bamboo also grows in India and between the two countries 10 million tons of it are harvested every year. A number that continues to grow. Although the most common use for bamboo is the building of certain aesthetic structures and fixtures with the light yet sturdy stalks that grow to towering heights of up to 60 feet bamboo has other uses that may be surprising.

Bamboo leaves, as well as bamboo shoot shavings and their resin, all can be used for medicinal purposes. The leaves from the smallest species of bamboo known in the horticultural world as Lophatherum gracile are the most commonly used bamboo leaves in the making of herbal remedies. This particular type of leaf is dried after collection and can used in the treatment of such things like urinary tract retention when blood is present in a person's urine as well as fidgeting and fever. Leaves from a type of bamboo known as Pleioblastus amarus also known as the bitter bamboo leaf, a taller form of the plant which grows in Southern China, is also typically used to treat fidgeting and fever in addition to treating lung inflammation. The bamboo leaf is the only part of the bamboo plant that is not used in relieving phlegm. Not long ago it was discovered that leaves from other tall species of the plant known as Phyllostachys can be used as antioxidants. This comes from the fact that these leaves contain vitexin and orientin which serve as flavonoids a component that has properties which help to curb allergic reactions as well as inflammations and also help with circulation.

Bamboo leaves are not only used by themselves to treat certain conditions but have also been used in combination with other ingredients to create helpful medicines. Bamboo combined with gypsum which originally came about to treat things like high fever have now been used to combat ailments such as diabetes. There are a variety of different remedy cocktails that include bamboo leafs combined with a number of other ingredients that have been used to treat everything from blurry vision and headaches to insomnia and delirium and has even been used in the treatment of comas.

In addition to medicinal uses, although bamboo leaves retain their medicinal value however they are used, a juice from bamboo leaves can even be used in the creation of beer. Another popular use for bamboo leaves is to wrap Chinese dumplings with them. This can be done by boiling the leaves and letting them soak overnight and then keeping them weighed down to prevent them from curling up before they are wrapped around the dumpling.

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