- What’s special about bamboo leaves?
- Uses of bamboo leaves
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final words
For the most part, bamboo shoots are the widely used parts of a bamboo tree. These shoots can be used for construction, decoration, medication, food, and more. A lot of people don’t know that there’s also a wide range of uses of bamboo leaves. So instead of throwing it away, you might as well consider the following applications to utilize every part of the versatile bamboo tree.
What’s special about bamboo leaves?
Bamboo leaves are rich in silica flavonoids, amino acids, and phenolic, which can bring a ton of health benefits. Also, its properties make it an ideal choice for handicrafts and decorative purposes.
The bamboo tree is so versatile that all of its parts have a purpose – much like the coconut tree. As foliage, it makes an excellent shade and windbreaker. When processed, its leaves and shoots can be converted into medicinal products. Bamboo is also widely used for construction.
Although many people don’t realize the potential of bamboo leaves, many manufacturers are now utilizing these parts of the tree. You can also use it at home on some DIY projects and simple applications.
The following are just some of the amazing uses of bamboo leaves that you should know.
Uses of bamboo leaves
1. Bamboo tea
Bamboo tea is one of the most famous uses of bamboo leaves. The bamboo leaves are crushed and processed to make bamboo teabags. It’s a healthy drink, and you can enjoy a cuppa every day. It will aid digestion and alleviate any digestive problems that you’re having.
Bamboo tea is also rich in silica that can help reduce bloating and ease diarrhea. And for those with a bad case of flatulence, bamboo tea is a great drink.
Some also make bamboo tea at home by soaking and boiling bamboo tea leaves. If you are to do this, make sure that the bamboo leaves are fresh, and you shouldn’t consume the leaf itself.
2. Bamboo leaf wine/beer
One of the most interesting uses of bamboo leaves is making bamboo wine. It involves collecting natural dewdrops in the morning from the leaves of the bamboo. This will be added to the fermented bamboo dust to make the wine. It’s a laborious process, which is why authentic bamboo wine doesn’t come cheap.
The bamboo wine has mellow and tonic characteristics, which suits laidback events and gatherings.
Another amazing drink made from bamboo is bamboo beer. It’s healthy booze with antibacterial and antiviral properties. It’s usually a combination of bamboo leaves, shoots, and various grains. All of it will be fermented together. The extracts will be processed to produce the beer.
3. Bamboo vinegar
The bamboo vinegar is produced by boiling the bamboo leaves and then processed with other ingredients to achieve a high concentration of acetic acid. It’s a distilled product that makes a great alternative to the typical vinegar you can purchase in the grocery store.
Another method of making bamboo vinegar is through the carbonization of bamboo. The steam that comes from it is distilled and processed to make the sour fluid.
Aside from cooking, bamboo vinegar can be diluted and used as a hair conditioner or skin toner. This is a widespread practice in Japan.
4. Face mask for skincare
Bamboo face masks are fairly new in the market, but it’s starting to gain its own following. These face masks are infused with bamboo leaf extracts rich in silica. This helps nourish the facial skin without blocking the pores.
For those who don’t have the budget to purchase commercial face masks, DIY bamboo leaf masks are also a good choice. You can crush some bamboo leaves and use it as a facial scrub. You can also add your preferred facial oil for a relaxing experience. This is a cost-efficient and organic way of having clear skin.
5. Bamboo oil
Bamboo oil is made from bamboo shoots and leaves. These are crushed, and the essence is collected to be infused with sunflower oil and other carrier oils. It’s a great way to use silica in various parts of your body.
You can apply bamboo oil on your skin and hair as a nourishing and organic regimen. You can also blend it with your favorite oils.
Unlike other oils, those made from bamboo are lightweight and don’t have a greasy feeling. It’s rich in both silica and antioxidants, not to mention that it’s packed with minerals. It’s one of the most holistic uses of bamboo leaves that you can try.
6. Remedy for skin irritations
If your skin is feeling itchy or has been in contact with an irritant, you can use bamboo leaves to ease the discomfort. You just have to crush some clean bamboo leaves until it has a pasty consistency. After that, you can add honey or olive oil into the crushed leaves. This will help disinfect the affected skin and lighten blemishes.
Bamboo leaves are a natural and organic way of treating skin irritations. It can also help in the fast healing of wounds and cuts. You can mix crushed bamboo leaves with a poultice to speed up the recovery of the skin.
However, make sure that you soak and clean the bamboo leaves with warm water first.
7. Livestock fodder
Although bamboo leaves are known to be foods for Pandas, it’s also great alternative fodder for livestock. If hay and straw aren’t available right away, you can give your livestock with fresh bamboo leaves.
According to studies, bamboo leaves are rich in roughage. It’s a type of indigestible fiber that helps pass the waste through the gut. This means bamboo leaves will improve your livestock’s digestion.
Also, it’s believed that the leaves in the tender stages are the best. It’s more palatable and rich in the much-needed nourishment of various livestock.
If you live in a very windy area, you can plant a smaller species of bamboo to serve as your windbreak. Bamboo trees are very resilient and they can bend to resist the force of the wind. This will protect your property from wind-related damages.
Also, bamboo makes a natural ornamental clump around your property. That’s the same reason why it’s a great choice for a windbreak.
Take note that it’s normal for bamboo trees to shed their leaves during winter. But once Spring comes, it would sprout back and retain its windbreaking capabilities.
Sure, bamboo shoots are the widely used material for bamboo fencing. But if you want something that doubles as a decorative plant for your property, you can plant bamboo trees as your fence. It’s an aesthetic and natural way of marking your property.
You can also build a lower fence just to secure your boundaries. From three, you can plant the bamboo trees, and it will help shield your property from the outside.
If you want a tropical landscape, it’s almost a sin not to plant some type of bamboo. The bamboo leaves provide a calm and natural vibe to your garden.
Make sure that the bamboo plants are well-trimmed and manicured to retain its good look. If planted or installed properly, bamboo trees and its leaves will be a great asset on your property.
You can choose from a wide variety of bamboo species that suit landscaping purposes. You can use the bamboo tree for hedges, screens, and evergreen areas. Bamboo trees are also great containers when blended with smaller plants.
The leaves can be dried and weaved into baskets as one of the uses of bamboo leaves. This makes a great ornament and container for your home, which doubles as décor. It can be made into wall baskets, wicker baskets, and more. It’s a great way to use the leaves instead of just throwing it away after cutting the shoots.
Some people create small bamboo leaf baskets that can be used as containers for garnishes when serving food. It’s food-grade and guaranteed to be natural. Most of all, it’s biodegradable and a sustainable container. This reduces plastic waste while adding an environmental touch, especially in restaurants.
12. Bamboo roof thatch
Aside from the frame, the thatch of a bamboo roof can now be made with bamboo leaves! It’s a great alternative to coconut leaves.
The bamboo leaves will be dried first and woven together to create a thick layer. This roof will be warm during winter and cool during summer.
Also, bamboo leaves are great in absorbing sounds, which reduces the disruption while you sleep on your small hut. However, it takes a lot of work, and you must find large bamboo leaves for the roof to hold up against winds and rain.
13. Strand woven bamboo
If you want to try bamboo flooring, you must look for strand woven bamboo. This is produced by pressing the bamboo fibers tightly to make a solid mass. This is then lacquered for a glossy finish. Usually, manufacturers will use both shoots and leaves for this process.
This kind of flooring is cool during summer and warm during winter. The good thing with bamboo is it can adjust depending on the temperature. Aside from that, it can hold up against intense humidity.
Make sure that you’re getting high-quality strand woven bamboo as some manufacturers use a substandard production process.
If you want an easy way of disposing of the fallen bamboo leaves in your garden, simply dump it on your compost. You can also add it to your mulch. It’s a free fertilizer that will nourish the soil and boost the health of your plants.
The bamboo leaf will create a natural mulch that produces silica and nitrogen, which are both helpful in growing plants. Simply tear it to small pieces and mix it to your mulch. It will do its job in just a few weeks. Make sure that you add more biodegradable matter to complement the benefits of the bamboo leaves.
15. Livestock pen flooring
During winter, your livestock will be exposed to extreme cold. One good way to add insulation to their den is by putting layers of bamboo leaves on the floor. This is an excellent alternative to hay and also a cost-efficient option as the bamboo leaves shed during the cold season.
You can also use this as a cushion for the dog house and other areas where your pet stays.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are bamboo leaves edible?
A: Take note that only the bamboo shoots are readily edible. Also, it has to be cooked and prepared properly to avoid poisoning. As for the leaves, only the extracts can be consumed, though it has to undergo a rigorous and laboratory-level process.
Q: Are there other names for bamboo leaves?
A: Yes, bamboo leaves are also known as Sasa leaves or Sasaya leaves. It’s a versatile component of the bamboo tree and can be used on a variety of applications.
Q: Do bamboo leaves contain cyanide?
A: Yes, raw bamboo leaves have cyanide that’s why you’re not supposed to eat it as is. Bamboo leaf products have undergone intensive processing to remove the cyanide. Nevertheless, it’s usually safe to feed on animals since they have different gut flora than humans.
Q: What are the benefits of bamboo leaf tea?
A: Bamboo leaf tea is an excellent source of silica which stimulates the production of collagen. It boosts hair, nail, and skin health if consumed in the right amount. Make sure that the bamboo tea leaf that you’re drinking is legitimate and has passed various standards.
Q: How can I cook bamboo leaves?
A: You first have to soak the leaves in warm water for at least five minutes. After that, clean and scrub the soaked leaves in cold water to remove any dirt. Once done, you can now boil the leaves for 15 minutes or until it has become soft.
There are more uses of bamboo leaves that you can explore and try. What we discussed here are just some of the options you can consider. It ranges from food, medicinal applications, and practical uses like roofing, flooring, and fodder.
A little creativity will go a long way with bamboo leaves. Have you tried any of the listed bamboo uses? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!