What do you know about bamboo? It’s a tropical plant? Panda food? Both technically correct but what you might not know is that bamboo is a super-grass which provides a multitude of benefits ranging from health to practical to environmental. If you are curious to find out what these are keep reading and prepare to be amazed.
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo surprisingly belongs to the grass family; in fact, it’s their largest member. Found in Africa, America and Asia, bamboo can survive for up to 20 years and is the world’s strongest woody plant. Bamboo is rich in things such as amino acids, calcium, protein and potassium giving it lots of health benefits when digested, but that is only the beginning of its long list of helpful uses.
One interesting fact about bamboo is that it can actually be harvested without killing the crop, being able to regenerate to its full mass in six months, with the plant continuing to live it is constantly producing oxygen and consuming carbon dioxide while it grows! Bamboo also grows 15 times quicker than any other woody plant such as your average tree. This means we can harvest lots of bamboo with no damage to the environment, when considering bamboo as a sustainable alternative for materials these qualities make it an extremely beneficial choice. Another reason this is so beneficial is because replanting causes soil erosion, since bamboo doesn’t need replanting, it preserves the soil.
Another great benefit of bamboo is that it can be used for a variety of different things, which is especially helpful considering we can yield lots of it with no environmental damage. Along with this it can be used for construction, bamboo is actually incredibly strong, stronger than steel! This makes it a great option for the construction of things like furniture and flooring. Bamboo can also be transformed into fibres called viscose rayon, which creates a super soft material which is great for making clothes, underwear, bedding, towels and more! Due to all its uses bamboo offers a great solution to many of our sustainability needs.
CO2 emissions are a huge problem for our planet and a big contributor to climate change, with the growing problem of deforestation constantly rising we have less and less trees to absorb this CO2. Bamboo is beneficial because it actually generates 35% more oxygen than your average type of tree, this means less CO2 going into the air and makes bamboo a great use of space in a time where space is becoming less and less available.
Bamboo can actually be ingested and has a variety of healing ability’s. Other than its nutritional value bamboo has actually been found to provide medicinal qualities offering a natural remedy to some health problems. For example, it is used as a treatment for Rhinorrhagia which is repeated nose bleeds due to a haemorrhage of the nose. Scientists also found that when mixing an extract of bambusa arundinacea (a species of bamboo) with other agents it can cause anti-inflammatory effects, meaning it can be used for managing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Bamboo also contains anti stringent properties which can be utilised for treating cuts and scrapes. Research has also found benefits in bamboo when tackling the following health issues: diabetes, cholesterol levels, digestion and laryngitis.
Luckily bamboo does not need a lot of water to grow, in fact it can survive and continue to grow off just rain water. Once it has been established for roughly three years it gets all the water it needs from the ground, which is fantastic when considering the plant doesn’t die therefore won’t need to be re-harvested. This means it can be harvested in large amounts without wasting large amounts of water. Bamboo also doesn’t need fertilizers and pesticides to grow which means there is no risk of chemicals being swept into local water sources and polluting them.
Benefits of Clothing
Bamboo fibres are great for creating a super soft material which can be used for all different types of fashion items, but the fibres actually provide a range of other great benefits. Firstly, bamboo fibres contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal bio agents, this means that the fabric is odour resistant and keeps you fresher and drier for longer, this is also great when it comes to bamboo underwear for keeping your intimate areas healthy. Along with this the material contains micro gaps which makes the articles of clothing extremely breathable and retracts moisture away from the body. Bamboo fibres are also thermo-regulating meaning that they keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and if that wasn’t enough it is also wrinkle-free which means no ironing, what a dream.
So there are some of the main benefits of bamboo, in a time where choosing sustainable options is so crucial for the well-being of our planet, I think we can all agree bamboo is a great recourse we have to achieving that. Not only does bamboo provide us lots of benefits to the planet but also to us personally, two for the price of one! We hope to have informed you on the benefits of bamboo and that you will consider it as an option when shopping sustainably in the future because together we can make a real change.