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Bamboo Herb Information

The first mention of medicinal applications was circa 500 a.d. and describes the use of bamboo sap (zhu li) and the stem shavings (zhu ru). A silica-like substance called tabisheer (tian zhu huang) is used in a manner similar to the dried sap. It occurs inside the lower internodes in fragile chunks. Black Bamboo is native to China, but has long been cultivated in Japan as well as Europe and elsewhere. The genus name is Greek for 'leaf-spike'. The 3 cm diameter stem is green at first, slowly turning brown, then purple-black. The joints of the stem are prominent, being blackish on the upper rim and white on the lower.

The leaf of bamboo has been used as an antipyretic. The stem (new shoots) have been used for hematuria. The juice of the stem of bamboo is considered antipyretic, antitussive, expectorant and sedative and has been used for bronchial, cartarrhal and cerebral infections. Also used for spasms, convulsions caused by phlegm and heat, strokes with phlegm obstructing breathing passages and childhood convulsions.

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