Bamboo leaf extract supplement - Medicinal uses, latest research studies and review of benefits and side effects by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

April 7 2014

Bamboo leaf has been used in China as a food and herbal medicine. The botanical name for bamboo is bambusa vulgaris. There are more than a thousand species of bamboo around the globe. Bamboo is a rich source of silica. For more information on Chinese herbs.

Commercial bamboo leaf extract
Cactus Botanics bamboo leaves dry extract, manufactured through the process of water-ethanol extraction, membrane filtration chromatography, vacuum concentration and spray drying, is now available. Cactus Botanics has determined that the major components of its bamboo leaves extract are flavonoids, lactones and phenolic acids, with the flavonoids being mainly flavone glycosides, including orientin, homoorientin, isovitexin, vitexin and tricin. The lactones in the extract are mainly hydroxyl coumarin and its derivatives. The phenolic acids are mainly derivatives of cinnamic acid including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid. The bamboo leaves extract is intended to be used in dietary supplements applications in capsule form. Because of its water solubility, it can also be used in other nutraceutical products such as milk powder and nutraceutical beverages. It has also been added to regular foods such as rice and noodle to increase nutrition values.

Q. Is there such a thing as bamboo extract?
   A. Yes, I am aware of one supplier who sells a 70 percent bamboo extract.

Q. Do you know where I can learn to extract bamboo powder? We have a lot growing here. Are all species equal in this regard?
   A. Sorry this is outside my area of knowledge regarding how to extract bamboo powder. As with just about all plants, the chemical composition of different species can vary.

Bamboo is showing up in beauty products across the board, from hair care to facial scrubs to organic soaps, while bamboo leaf extract supplements claim to aid in anti-aging and strengthening bones and tissues. Are there any benefits of using topical bamboo leaf extract over ingesting it as a supplement (or vice versa)? Can a person eat bamboo and reap the same benefits of ingesting a bamboo leaf extract supplement?
   Using topical bamboo leaf extract on the skin is not likely to lead to much absorption of the active ingredients into the blood stream whereas ingesting it as a supplement  could lead to potential health benefits. Bamboo shoots are used in certain Asian dishes and broths, and are available in supermarkets in various sliced forms. Since there have not been studies comparing the health benefits of consuming bamboo shoots versus taking a leaf extract supplement, it is not easy to say which form is preferable but I suspect both are good options.

Bamboo leaf research for cholesterol
The effect of bamboo leaves extract on hemorheology of normal rats
Zhong Yao Cai. 2005.
Sixty rats were randomly divides into six groups. Blood stasis model was set up by sc isoprenaline, and different dose of bamboo leaf extract (15 mg/kg, 30 mg/kg and 60 mg/kg) were iv. The effects of bamboo leaf extract  on rat's blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, FIB, ESR, TK, electrophoresis times and HCT were measured by automatic analysis system. Sixty mice were randomly divided into six groups, and the serum cholesterol of the high cholesterol's mice was obtained by eyepit vein and measured. The results showed that bamboo leaf extract (15 mg/kg, 30 mg/kg and 60 mg/kg) could reduce blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, FIB, ESR, TK, HCT and increase the speed of electrophoresis time in blood adhesion model, and bamboo leaf extract (22 mg/kg, 45 mg/kg, 90 mg/kg) could significantly reduce serum cholesterol of the high cholesterol in mice.

Bamboo salt?
We received this interesting email
We are pleased to introduce ourselves as the supplier of Bamboo Salt. Bamboo Salt is unique in the world. This bamboo Salt is manufactured under the instruction of Intangible Cultural Property. Sun-dried salt which is produced in clear west sea of Korea is put ! in Bamboos. Bamboos with sun-dried salt are burned and melted 850 1500 degree C in clay furnace by pine tree. Burned salt rock after burning is grinded. Grinded salt is put again in Bamboos and burned again in clay furnace. This process is executed up to 3-9 times. During final burning at 1,500 degree C, this salt is melted completely. All of noxious material like heavy metals in Salt is removed. 9 times or 3 times burned and melted Purple Bamboo Salt is good for health. Re : 3 times burned & melted Bamboo Salt.  We make 9 times or 3 times burned & melted Bamboo Salt for health care and 1 time burned Bamboo Salt for flavoring cooking normally. The price of 9 times burned and melted Bamboo Salt is very expensive although there are many benefits for health care. So, we think that it is some difficult to find new foreign markets. Therefore, we tested 3 times burned & melted Bamboo Salt many times and succeed in making similar to 9 times burned & melted Bamboo Salt. Surely, price is decreased greatly. Please consider this 3 times burned & melted Bamboo Salt for health care. And also, you can sell this Bamboo Salt as Ingredient to health food manufacturers using some salt. In Korea, our 9 times or 3 times burned & melted Bamboo Salt are used as Ingredient for Toothpaste, Soap, face mask pack, bakery, confectionery, vagina detergent and etc. So, please consider various markets.
   Re : 1 time burned Bamboo Salt. This is not melted. It is only 1 time burned Bamboo Salt. It is used for flavoring for cooking or Ingredient for some foods. We are now finding agent in your country. \if you are interests in our product, please feel free to contact us. Junghun Shim, Myju Ind., Corp.

Bamboo in skin care
Finely milled bamboo powder is used as an exfoliant in cleansers and scrubs. The smooth bamboo particles are less harsh than the scraggly, uneven grains made from salt and nuts, making it safer and less irritating to sensitive skin.

Q. On your website, you mention that a bamboo scrub would be a good option for someone with sensitive skin. Why is bamboo a safe option for people with sensitive skin, and do you have any recommendations on ingredients to combine with bamboo for maximum benefits of a bamboo scrub?
   A. This is outside my area of expertise.