Tabasheer, also known as bamboo silica, is a natural substance found in the joints of bamboo plants. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and Ayurvedic practices due to its various health benefits. Bamboo, the source of tabasheer, is a versatile plant known for its strength and rapid growth. Along with tabasheer, bamboo offers a wide range of uses and health benefits. However, it's important to be aware of potential side effects, particularly when using another bamboo-derived substance called Vanshlochan. In this article, we will explore the nutritional value, health benefits, and uses of bamboo, as well as the side effects associated with Vanshlochan.
What is Tabasheer?
The Tabasheer botanical name is Bambusa Arundinaceae, some other common names are bamboo, bambusa, venu, qusab, tabashir, spiny bamboo, vanshlochan and thorny bamboo. Tabasheer is believed to have originated in Asia, the tree grows wild throughout most parts of India.
Especially in the hilly forests of western and southern India, it is cultivated in the lower Himalayas and the valleys of the Ganga and Indus.
The Bamboo is a perennial tree growing up to a height of 12 meters with its trunk 8 to 15 cm in diameter. Between July and October, every year new shoots sprout at the base of the tree, the tree is always found in clusters.
Tabasheer is a white substance, liquid in nature, which is deposited in the internodes of Bamboo. After some time, it becomes solid and obtained after splitting the bamboo, its shape is round like Dirham.
The superior quality of Tabasheer is light in weight and white in color called Tabasheer e kabood or Tabasheer e Sadaf.
It is a versatile herb and is described to be cold in nature. Tabasheer is insoluble in water and partially soluble in alcohol.
The stem of the tabasheer is round, smooth, and hollow, the leaves are simple, shiny, thin, stiff, smooth, and dark green. Flowers are found in bunch and seeds resemble the corn of wheat in shape.
Bamboo leaves are a rich source of hydrocyanic and benzoic acids, and tender bamboo shoots contain various enzymes such as nuclease, deamidase, a proteolytic enzyme, amylase, amygdalin splitting, and silicon splitting enzymes.
Besides, the juice of the pressed bamboo shoots possesses protease activity which helps digestion of protein. Bamboo, a versatile and rapidly growing plant, offers various parts that are commonly used and appreciated for their culinary, medicinal, and aesthetic purposes. Let's explore bamboo leaves, shoots, and seeds in more detail:
Bamboo leaves are an integral part of the plant and serve multiple purposes. It contains lysine and methionine, betaine, choline, proteolytic enzymes, diastatic and emulsifying enzyme, nuclease, and urease.
Culinary Uses: In some cultures, young and tender bamboo leaves are used as a wrapping material for steaming or cooking food. They impart a subtle, earthy flavor to the dishes. Bamboo leaf-wrapped sticky rice is a popular example.
Herbal Remedies: Bamboo leaves are used in traditional medicine for their potential health benefits. They are believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Bamboo leaf tea is sometimes consumed for detoxification and to support digestive health.
Crafts and Decorations: Bamboo leaves are also used for various crafts and decorative purposes. They can be woven to create baskets, fans, and other artistic items.
Bamboo shoots are young, edible sprouts that emerge from the ground. They are highly prized in Asian cuisine and are known for their delicate flavor and crunchy texture. Tender shoots gave protein, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, copper, magnesium, chlorine, thiamine, and vitamin C. Here are some key aspects of bamboo shoots:
Culinary Uses: Bamboo shoots are widely used in stir-fries, soups, salads, and curries. They add a unique taste and texture to dishes, complementing other ingredients. Fresh shoots should be peeled and cooked before consumption to remove any bitterness.
Nutritional Value: Bamboo shoots are low in calories and fat while being a good source of fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B6), and minerals (such as potassium, manganese, and phosphorus). They also contain antioxidants that promote overall health.
Bamboo seeds contain arginine, cysteine, histidine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylamine, threonine, valine, tyrosine, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. They are less commonly consumed compared to shoots and leaves. However, they still have their own significance:
Propagation: Bamboo seeds are primarily used for propagating bamboo plants. Depending on the species, bamboo plants can take many years or even decades to produce seeds. The seeds are collected and used for cultivating new bamboo plants.
Animal Consumption: In some cases, bamboo seeds serve as a source of food for certain animals and birds.
Bamboo leaves, shoots, and seeds showcase the versatility of this plant, offering culinary delights, herbal remedies, and practical uses in crafts and propagation. Incorporating bamboo-based ingredients into your diet and lifestyle can introduce unique flavors, textures, and potential health benefits.
What is the Nutritional Value of Tabasheer?
Tabasheer is primarily composed of silica, a mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining healthy bones, teeth, hair, and nails. It also supports collagen production, which promotes skin elasticity and joint health. In addition to silica, tabasheer contains trace amounts of other minerals, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Tabasheer contains moisture 88.8 percent, protein 3.9 percent, fat 0.5 percent, minerals 11 percent, and carbohydrates 5.7 percent, per 100 grams of edible portion. Calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C are among its vitamin and minerals. Its calorific value is 43.
What are the benefits and uses of Bamboo?
Since ancient times tabasheer is common among the common man, because of its numerous health benefits. The leaves of the bamboo tree are stimulant, aromatic, and tonic without any prominent taste. They are useful in counteracting spasmodic disorders and arresting secretion or bleeding. They are also effective aphrodisiacs.
Tabasheer contains anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, astringent, desiccant, demulcent, expectorant, liver and cardiotonic, refrigerant, diuretic, and rejuvenating properties.
Benefits – The leaves of the tabasheer or bamboo tree are beneficial and effective to kill intestinal worms, especially threadworms.
Uses – Take tender leaves of the bamboo tree and make a decoction of that, take this twice a day after meal.
Benefits – The leaves of the tabasheer act as an emmenagogue, stimulate mensuration, and promote and regulates the menstrual periods.
Uses - Take tender leaves or nodes of the stem of the bamboo tree and make a decoction of that, take this twice a day for one month.
Benefits – The tender shoots are useful and beneficial in treating respiratory disorders, it helps to expel phlegm and clear the tract.
Uses – Make a decoction of the tender shoots should be taken with a tbsp of honey once or twice daily for 5 days.
Benefits – The leaves of the bamboo tree are beneficial in treating stomach troubles, they strengthen the stomach and promote its action.
Uses – The young shoots of the tree serve as an appetizer, in many parts of India, the leaves of the tree are used in the form of decoction to treat diarrhea.
Wounds and Ulcers
Benefits – A poultice of the tender shoots is used for cleaning wounds and maggot-infested sores. Decoction or juice of the fresh bamboo leaves is applied as medicine in such ulcers.
Uses – Juice of 35 grams of fresh leaves taken twice daily either alone or mixed with any other juice. The decoction extracted from 70 grams of leaves by itself serves the same purpose.
Take 120ml of the juice extracted from very tender shoots, take twice daily.
Women Health – The decoction of tender bamboo shoots, mixed with palm jaggery is given once or twice a day for a week to cause abortion during the first month of pregnancy.
The same preparation can be used in the last month of pregnancy to induce labor. Its use after childbirth eases the process of expulsion of the placenta and prevents excessive loss of blood.
Boosts Bone Health: The silica content in tabasheer contributes to improved bone density and strength. Regular consumption of bamboo and tabasheer may help prevent conditions like osteoporosis and enhance overall bone health.
Promotes Hair and Nail Growth: Silica is essential for healthy hair and nails. Bamboo extract or tabasheer supplements can be beneficial for individuals experiencing hair loss, brittle nails, or weak hair.
Supports Skin Health: Silica in tabasheer aids in collagen synthesis, promoting skin elasticity and reducing the signs of aging. Bamboo-based skincare products are gaining popularity due to their potential to nourish and rejuvenate the skin.
What are the recommended doses for consuming bamboo leaves, shoots, or seeds?
The recommended doses for consuming bamboo leaves, shoots, or seeds can vary depending on the specific purpose and the individual's overall health. It's important to note that there is limited scientific research available on standardized doses for these bamboo-derived components. However, here are some general guidelines:
- Culinary Uses: Bamboo leaves used as a wrapping material for cooking are typically safe for consumption in moderate amounts. The leaves themselves are not usually eaten directly.
- Herbal Tea: When brewing bamboo leaf tea, a typical recommendation is to steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried bamboo leaves in 8 ounces (240 ml) of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. However, it's always best to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult a herbalist or healthcare professional for personalized guidance.
- Culinary Uses: Bamboo shoots are typically consumed as a part of a dish, and the quantity used depends on the recipe and personal preference. It's recommended to follow specific culinary recipes for appropriate portion sizes and preparation techniques.
- Bamboo Shoot Extract or Supplements: If considering bamboo shoot extract or supplements, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist to determine the appropriate dosage based on your individual health condition and specific product instructions.
Bamboo seeds are primarily used for propagation purposes rather than consumption by humans. The amount of seeds needed for cultivation would depend on the desired scale and planting requirements.
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Side Effects of Bamboo
Vanshlochan is a substance derived from bamboo, specifically the inner white part of the stem. While it shares some similarities with tabasheer, it's important to note that Vanshlochan can have certain side effects, especially when consumed in large quantities or without proper guidance.
Constipation: Vanshlochan has a high fiber content, which can potentially cause constipation if consumed in excessive amounts. It's crucial to maintain a balanced intake and drink plenty of water when using Vanshlochan.
Choking Hazard: Vanshlochan is available in powdered form, and its fine particles can be a choking hazard, especially for children. Care should be taken to store it safely and use it responsibly.
Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to bamboo or Vanshlochan. Allergic reactions can vary from mild skin irritation to more severe symptoms. It's recommended to perform a patch test before using Vanshlochan topically or consuming it.
Here are some precaution while taking Bamboo
- Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
- Do not take Bamboo without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
- Do not take Bamboo if you are suffering from any kind of critical disease.
- If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Bamboo
- If you are above 65 years old and want to start Bamboo, consult the doctor, and talk about the health conditions.
- If you are on any supplements, vitamins, or herbal medication, consult the doctor before taking Bamboo.
- Stop taking Bamboo at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Bamboo may interact with other medicines like blood sugar or blood pressure allopathy medicines.
In conclusion, tabasheer, derived from bamboo, offers valuable health benefits due to its silica content. Bamboo itself is a versatile plant with a range of applications, including culinary uses, skincare, and eco-friendly construction. However, it's important to exercise caution when using Vanshlochan, a derivative of bamboo, as it may have side effects such as constipation, choking hazards, and potential allergic reactions. As with any natural substance, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your routine.
Remember, embracing the benefits of bamboo and tabasheer while being aware of potential side effects is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.
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Frequently Asked Question
Q - What is tabasheer used for?
Vanshlochan or Tabasheer is a translucent white substance, which is used for many health benefits, it prevents and controls dehydration, and kidney stone and gives relief from dry skin, arthritis, arthritic, cough and cold, and asthma.
Q - What is Bambusa arundinacea used for?
Bambusa arundinacea is useful in treatment of intestinal disorders, menstrual disorder, respiratory and stomach disorders. Bamboo shoots are used variously as food, to prepare candy, bamboo chutney and candy.
Q - What is the English name of tabasheer?
Tabasheer English name is Bamboo, its botanical name is Bambusa arundinacea, some common names are Kattang, Tabasheer, and Bamboo Silica.
Q - Is Tabasheer good for health?
Tabasheer is used in Ayurveda form many years in medicinal preperations, it is also used in culinary. It helps to regulates the menstrual cycle, leaves are useful to kill intestinal worms and it is best for respiratory problems.
Q - How do I use tabasheer or bamboo silica for improving hair and nail health?
Tabasheer or bamboo silica can be consumed as a supplement in powdered or capsule form. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the recommended dosage. Additionally, you can use bamboo silica-infused hair products or apply tabasheer powder mixed with a carrier oil to the scalp or nails for topical application.
Q - What are the culinary uses of bamboo shoots?
Bamboo shoots are versatile in the culinary world. They can be used in stir-fries, soups, curries, salads, pickles, and even as a vegetable side dish. Bamboo shoots add a unique flavor and texture to dishes, enhancing their overall taste.
Q - Can I consume bamboo leaf tea for detoxification?
Bamboo leaf tea is believed to have detoxifying properties, although scientific evidence is limited. To prepare bamboo leaf tea, steep dried bamboo leaves in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. However, it's important to note that individual responses to detoxification practices may vary, so consult with a healthcare professional if you have any specific health concerns.
Q - Is tabasheer or bamboo silica effective for bone health and osteoporosis?
Tabasheer or bamboo silica is often associated with promoting bone health due to its silica content. Silica plays a role in maintaining healthy bones and may contribute to bone density.
Q - Can bamboo products or supplements help with skin rejuvenation?
Bamboo-based skincare products are popular for their potential skin benefits. They may help nourish and rejuvenate the skin due to the presence of antioxidants and silica.
Q - Are there any allergic reactions associated with bamboo shoots or bamboo-based products?
While bamboo shoots are generally safe for consumption, some individuals may be allergic to bamboo. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe and may include skin irritation, itching, or respiratory symptoms. If you suspect an allergic reaction, discontinue use and seek medical advice.
Q - What are the nutritional values and calorie content of bamboo shoots?
Bamboo shoots are low in calories and fat. On average, they contain approximately 20-30 calories per 100 grams. They are a good source of fiber, providing about 2-3 grams per 100 grams, and contain various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese.
Q - Can bamboo-based skincare products help with acne or skin inflammation?
Bamboo-based skincare products may have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for acne-prone or inflamed skin. However, the effectiveness may vary depending on the specific product and individual skin type. It's recommended to choose products targeted for acne or consult with a dermatologist for personalized advice.
Q - Can consuming bamboo shoots or tabasheer aid in weight loss?
Bamboo shoots are low in calories and high in fiber, which can contribute to a feeling of fullness and potentially aid in weight loss by promoting satiety. However, weight loss is a complex process, and it's important to adopt a balanced diet and active lifestyle for sustainable results.
Q - What are the different culinary techniques for cooking bamboo shoots?
Bamboo shoots can be cooked in various ways. They can be boiled, sautéed, stir-fried, or added to soups and stews. Prior to cooking, fresh bamboo shoots should be peeled and boiled to remove any bitterness. They can then be used in your preferred recipes or culinary creations.