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Bamboo (Arundinaria japonica)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • Arrow bamboo, Arundinaria japonica, bambusa, Dendrocalamus, Fargesia, Himalayacalamus, Indocalamus, Otatea, Phyllostachys edulis, Pleioblastus, Pseudosasa japonica, Sasaella, Sasa japonica, Semiarundinaria, Shibatea, Thamnocallamus.

Background

  • Bamboo is the hard woody stems of bamboo plants. Bamboo cups were used in cupping therapy or the "horn method" in ancient China. Today, the Chinese still use cupping therapy to stimulate circulation through the tissues, manage pain and enhance healing.
  • In China, people identify bamboo as a symbol of desirable personality characteristics: it represents elasticity, endurance and perseverance. The stem bends and does not break.
  • In folk medicine, the leaves have been used to treat blood diseases and inflammation. Tabashir, which can be found as a hardened material inside bamboo, has been used for tuberculosis, asthma and leprosy. In Chinese diet therapy, a soup of bamboo shoots and carp is used to treat measles. The tips of the branches have been used in India for uterine disorders. The shoots are said to be an appetite stimulant and digestion aid. The root has been used for ringworm. The juice from the flowers has been used for earache and deafness.
  • Cane and bamboo may be alternative basic construction materials for orthotic and prosthetic appliances. Bamboo night splints and upper limb splints are believed to be effective, and bamboo walkers, crutches and wheelchairs are remarkably useful, inexpensive and lightweight.
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Evidence

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Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.