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Herbs & Botanicals

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Bamboo Juice (zhu li)

What is bamboo juice? What is it used for?

Bamboo juice comes from the bamboo plant, which grows throughout China and other parts of Asia, and can reach a height of more than 30 feet. Bamboo juice is collected from the plant when it is harvested and allowed to dry, becoming a resinous-type sap.

In traditional Chinese medicine, bamboo juice is associated with the Lung, Heart and Stomach meridians, and is believed to have sweet and cold properties. Its main functions are to clear heat and resolve phlegm, which can manifest as coughing, chest pain, or wind stroke. It is especially effective for treating upper respiratory infections, or coughs caused by phlegm that is difficult to expectorate. Bamboo juice is sometimes used with ginger juice or other herbs, such as loquat and trichosanthes.

How much bamboo juice should I take?

The typical dose of bamboo juice ranges between 30 and 50 grams, taken internally. It is usually mixed with ginger juice. Smaller doses (9-15 grams) are used to treat coughs.

What forms of bamboo juice are available?

Dried bamboo juice can be found at some Asian markets and specialty stores. Bamboo juice can also be sold as an infusion, typically with ginger juice.

What can happen if I take too much bamboo juice? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

Bamboo juice should not be taken by patients who have a cough caused by cold, or by patients who have diarrhea caused by spleen deficiency. As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions with bamboo juice. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking bamboo juice or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.

References

  • Cohen I, Tagliaferri M, Tripathy D. Traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of breast cancer, part three. Available online at www.cancerlynx.com/chinesemedicine3.html.
  • Li M, Wang X. Clinical observation on treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy with refined tian ma du zhong capsule. J TCM 1999;19(3):182-4.
  • Luo M. Studies on distribution of paris and annual growing characters of some species on mountain E' mei. Zhong Yao Cai July 2004;27(7):478-81.
  • Yuan JX. Preliminary analysis of fresh bamboo juice. Zhong Yao Tong Bao July 1985;10(7):35-7.
  • Yuan JX. Research on the production and botanical origin of bamboo juice in eastern China. Zhong Yao Tong Bao March 1983;8(2):10-2.

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