Do you harvest your Bamboo or complain that it is invasive?

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP:  This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

Arrggg, I am starting to get annoyed at hearing opinions about plants being invasive and the frustration one feels at the natural characteristics of the plants to grow!  Now with an increased focus of  exploring the benefits of the plants growing right in our own gardens, when I hear this type of statement, I change it in my mind to, “I am not harvesting this plant and letting it overgrow.”  Imagine blaming a plant for growing!  

One of the plants that I hear this comment the most about is Bamboo.  Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants on the planet and it cleans our atmosphere at an alarming high rate.  It is time to love your bamboo! 

My love affair with bamboo began when I recognized that it was a calming influence for me.  Whether it was the appearance of the stalks and leaves, or its rustling sound in the wind, a peaceful settling was immediate.  After growing this plant for sometime now even a picture of it has the same calming experience.

It took five years for it to fill in along a fence line where I had planted it.  It adds privacy between the sidewalk and our backyard.  It keeps the dust blown up by the cars that travel behind the fence  down and it muffles the sound of cars.  It is our white noise!

I began harvesting the leaves to explore infusions and teas. It is wonderful to use in one’s hair, bath and to soak finger and toe nails.  I learned how to process the leaves to create a tea.  By the photos below you can view how a yin backyard became a yang experience!



This year the stalks have exploded!  I have increased the harvesting of the leaves and begun harvesting the stalks.

Enjoying the learning experience of how to use bamboo, I’ve dyed material, made paper and recently used it to soak the metal dishes that sit under the electric stove elements. Silica is used to clean metal and bamboo has a high content of silica!



I have begun cutting the long stalks to learn how to dry bamboo to create a privacy screen in my office and stalks for the garden.  I have been given some fat bamboo stalks that I will cut up into a short Zen type fence!  Pictures to follow!

To



by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP:  This post may contain Affiliate Links for your convenience, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee


In 2012 my son and I received an offer to come by a clients and dig up some bamboo that was invading their driveway.  After planting it the shoots all died back and I wondered if bamboo would ever grow.  For two years it sat idle and it wasn’t until the third season it began to grow.  It grew quickly and by the fourth it was filling in the spaces between plants. Now it is hardy with a steady growth of new stocks and leaves. It is strong and flexible.

Bamboo is the a fast growing woody plant that is considered a grass in the true grass family Poaceae.  This family has over 10,000 species native to Asia and imported to North America as a decorative plant for landscaping.

Making Tea with Bamboo Leaves

There are a number of different types of bamboo leaves used for commercial  tea processing.  The Indocalamus Longiauritu pictured above is the bamboo that I have growing in my garden.

I have discovered the leaves of the Indocalamus Longiauritu were in a Chinese scientific study that suggests it has comparable components, biological activity and effective qualities to ginkgo leaves. The extract of the leaves was shown to have excellent resistance to radical, anti-oxidation, anti-aging, lowering of blood lipid and micro-circulation of blood cholesterol, dilated capillaries, clearing up, activation of the brain and memory, improve sleep, fight cancer, and had an effect of  beautifying the skin.

These bamboo leaves contain a lot of flavone and lactone, chlorophyll, amino acids, polysaccharides, vitamins, trace elements and other nutrients.  Active ingredients found are flavonoids compounds, biologically active polysaccharides and other phenolic acid derivatives, Anthraquinone compounds, amino acids and terpene Lactone, special active peptides, manganese, zinc, selenium and other trace elements.

They found it could efficiently regulate body fat, and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, improve immunity function.

In North America the Tea wholesalers suggest that Bamboo Leaf Tea has 10 times the amount of vegetable silica than horsetail.  Horsetail has 5-8% vegetable silica versus the bamboo plant which is made up of 70% silica.  Vegetable silica helps to fix calcium, so that the body can store more of this mineral and then use it to repair bones, collagen and other body tissues.  Silica is water-soluble and so it is highest in the tea.  If the body doesn’t use the silica it flushes it  out of the body.  Therefore drinking tea through the day is recommended.

A high silica content has shown to cut hair loss, increase growth and improve vitality.

Steps for preparing Bamboo leaves for Tea

  1. Pick new bamboo leaves
  2. Wash & drain leaves
  3. Dry fry in a pan until leaves start to turn brown

Preparing Bamboo Tea

  1. Gently bring dried bamboo leaves to a boil
  2. Reduce after a few minutes and steep to taste.

If you don’t have bamboo in your garden, get tea here:

Bamboo Leaf Tea

30 Day Bamboo Leaf Tea Challenge

Bamboo as a Medicinal

Bamboo leaves have been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and in the Indian Ayurveda.  They have used  the Bamboo leaf extract and tea for detoxification of the body, to aid in digestion, in the treatment of blood diseases and inflammation, for protection against cancer and for improving sleep quality.

Bamboo is considered sweet, cooling, diuretic, febrifuge, expectorant and controls vomiting, stems bleeding and has been used for bacterial infections.


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.