Bambusa Vulgaris bamboo plant health benefit
February 1 2017

Bambusa Vulgaris or bamboo, has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese herbal medicine. Bambusa Vulgaris extract is a rich source of natural silica. Very little is known about the clinical uses of this plant by Western natural medicine healers.

Medicinal use
Bambusa Vulgaris has historically been used to treat coughs and excess mucous and help alleviate fever. The prebiotic xylooligosaccharides found in Bambusa Vulgaris may contribute to improved intestinal health and a reduced risk of digestive disorders.

Abortifacient potentials of the aqueous extract of Bambusa vulgaris leaves in pregnant Dutch rabbits.
Contraception. 2009; Yakubu MT, Bukoye BB. Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
There is the claim in the folklore medicine of Nigeria of the use of Bambusa vulgaris leaves as an abortifacient. However, there has not been any scientific evidence in the literature that substantiated or refuted this claim. Our study has substantiated the abortifacient potential of the aqueous extract of B. vulgaris leaves. The mechanism of abortion could possibly be through changes in the implantation site, altered hormone levels and, partly, estrogenicity. All these may be attributed, at least, in part to the phytoconstituents.

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2009. Toxicological implications of aqueous extract of Bambusa vulgaris leaves in pregnant Dutch rabbits. Aqueous extract of Bambusa vulgaris L. leaves at 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight was investigated for toxic effects in pregnant rabbits. Apparently healthy, female rabbits (Dutch) weighing between 1.62 and 1.70 kg as previously used in our abortifacient study were paired overnight with male rabbits in ratio 2:1 and those that became pregnant were completely randomized into three groups (A-C). Group A (the control), received orally 1.85 mL/kg body weight of distilled water thrice daily on days 1-9 of pregnancy while groups B and C were treated orally with the same volume corresponding to 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight of the extract. Clinical signs of toxicity were not observed in all the animals during the study. The extract did not significantly alter the serum follicle stimulating hormone and total protein content of the pregnant rabbits throughout the exposure period whereas, the concentrations of luteinizing hormone, progesterone, albumin, globulin, urea and calcium decreased in the serum of the rabbits. At 250 mg/kg body weight, the extract increased kidney alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity whereas at 500 mg/kg body weight of the extract, the ALP level was similar to the control group. Liver ALP at all doses, as well as the activity of gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) at 500 mg/kg body weight was reduced. This reduction was accompanied by an increase in serum ALP and GGT at these doses. At 250 mg/kg, the extract increased kidney GGT. Conversely, at 500 mg/ kg, kidney GGT activity decreased. Liver and serum GGT were not altered by the 250 mg/kg. The extract also increased the serum levels of creatinine, uric acid, sodium, potassium and bicarbonate ions as well as total and conjugated bilirubin. In the hepatocytes of extract-treated animals, there was no evidence of necrosis, inflammation, fibrosis and degenerative changes in the central vein and radiating hepatic cords, while the glomerulus and the tubules of the nephrons also remained intact. The alterations in biochemical parameters by the aqueous extract of B. vulgaris leaves suggests adverse effect on the synthetic, secretory, reabsorptive and excretory functions of liver and kidney of the animals. Therefore, the absence of histopathological lesions in the hepatocytes and nephrons implies that histopathological changes are not a sensitive assay for the assessment of tissue damage by the extract.

Skin care products
Bambusa Vulgaris has been used extensively as an ingredient in skin care products. It may maintain moisture levels. Bambusa Vulgaris may protect the skin against bacteria and fungus, helping avoid various skin troubles, and it is used as a tooth polisher.

Bambusa Vulgaris extract contains abundant antioxidants and vitamins, and is also a rich source of flavone, phenolic acid, lactone, and polyose.

A Bambusa Vulgaris 70% silica extract is available as a supplement.

Final comments
As of 2017, we could not find human studies with Bambusa Vulgaris powder or Bambusa Vulgaris extract to know what health benefits this plant has.