In a world of 24-hour gyms, prescription ads on TV, and the self-care movement at its peak, you may feel bombarded with options on how to improve your health. Should you overhaul your diet and cut out carbs? Join that new gym that opened down the street? Maybe that gross green smoothie your sister drinks will be the answer to all your prayers?
Take a deep breath, friend. Improving your health doesn’t have to be so difficult or dramatic. Sometimes adding a simple supplement can be the boost we need to see results. Bamboo extract has a variety of benefits that almost anyone would wish for.
Bamboo has been shown to benefit the environment and improve our mental health. But you may not have realized bamboo can improve your physical health too. Bamboo extract is a common supplement used to treat or prevent common ailments and might be what you need to improve your well-being.
We aren’t doctors and this is not medical advice, but we do think it’s worth talking to your healthcare provider about adding bamboo extract to your routine.
What Is Bamboo Extract?
Bamboo extract is a natural source of silica derived from the leaves and stems of the bamboo plant. Silica is a mineral that builds strength in our joint tissue and improves hair, nail, and skin health by promoting the production of collagen.
You may be familiar with different types of silica that occur naturally in the environment. It’s often used in building materials like bricks or as anti-caking agents or food additives. Bamboo extract contains high levels of organic silica which is essential for bone and tissue health.
While there’s no recommended amount of silica for the body, it’s not easy to get silica from food alone. So if you’re not adding a bamboo extract supplement to your diet, chances are you’re missing the full benefits.
How Do You Use Bamboo Extract?
Bamboo extract is made from the processed leaves of the bamboo plant. Eating the leaves isn’t an option because they may contain high levels of cyanide unless they’re correctly processed for bamboo extract. You’ll want to avoid eating the bamboo leaves and look for bamboo extract instead.
Once the bamboo extract is taken from the leaves, it is made into an oral supplement, liquid extract, or powdered extract. The oral supplements are taken like any other pill – just swallow them with a large glass of water. Liquid extracts can be taken alone as a liquid and powdered bamboo extract can be mixed into food or drinks.
How Bamboo Extract Can Improve Your Health
1. Support Bone and Joint Health
Silica deficiency can create deformed bone structure and ineffective cartilage growth. Since bamboo extract has a high level of organic silica, it can help regenerate cartilage and improve the absorption of calcium and vitamin D. Healthy cartilage is needed to keep bones from rubbing against each other so we can move pain-free.
2. Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation can appear in many areas of the body including your joints, digestive system, or skin. It’s caused by stressors like overexercising, a poor diet, external stress, or autoimmune diseases.
Establishing healthy habits is key to reducing inflammation and adding bamboo extract may help. Bamboo is anti-inflammatory and can help restore your body’s healthy tissues. It can soothe and repair inflamed tissue and support the growth of healthy cells.
3. Stimulate Hair and Nail Growth
A common reason to add bamboo extract supplements to your diet is to improve hair and nail growth. Bamboo extract helps create a healthy scalp, improves hair growth, and reduces the amount of hair that falls out. Some extracts also reduce grey hair or heal hair damage.
Bamboo extract also helps strengthen weak and brittle nails. Strong nails are essential in protecting our fingers and hands. If you have weak or brittle nails it may be a sign of weak or brittle bone health too. If you have too little collagen in your nails it likely means you have too little collagen in your bones. Fortunately, bamboo extract is great for strengthening bones and nails at the same time.
4. Improve Brain and Cellular Function
Silica makes up a large portion of our connective tissue that keeps our neurons connected. Strengthening connections means stronger brain activity and cognitive function. Studies done on animals show that the silica from bamboo extract helped rats improve their memory and spatial learning.
Other areas of the body are also supported with bamboo extract. Research shows bamboo extract can help flush lipids from the liver and kidneys, keeping cells from degrading.
5. Fight Depression and Anxiety
A 2012 study shows that bamboo extract may help protect our mental health. Especially depression and anxiety related to a high-fat diet. It's always best to choose a healthier diet, but if you’re facing mental health challenges bamboo extract could help improve your symptoms.
6. Enhance Immunity and Respiratory Health
Bamboo is a nutrient-dense plant filled with vitamins and antioxidants that support the immune system. As the extract is taken from bamboo, many of these vitamins are preserved including Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin C. Besides silica, bamboo extract also contains minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Some varieties of bamboo are reported to restore elasticity to lung tissue making it easier for users to breathe and experience fewer symptoms of COPD and asthma.
How Long Does It Take Bamboo Extract to Work?
Because silica is a fat-soluble mineral it may take your body 24 hours to absorb the bamboo extract. Once absorbed it will remain in your system for about 30 days until it’s excreted. Liquid bamboo extract is water soluble so it will absorb into your body more quickly, but it won’t stay in the body as long as a fat-soluble bamboo extract.
As with any medication or supplement, consistency is key. Taking bamboo extract regularly is the best way to ensure your body is absorbing the right amount. It will take around 2-4 weeks of ingesting bamboo extract to notice a change or improvement in symptoms.
When to Avoid Bamboo Extract
Even if you consider yourself healthy you should talk with a healthcare professional before adding bamboo extract to your diet. This is especially true if you are pregnant or nursing or if you have an underlying thyroid condition.
Long-term use of bamboo extract can decrease thyroid function leading to fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Some studies show silica helps eliminate aluminum in the body which helps thyroid function. It’s best to talk with your doctor to find out if bamboo extract is a good choice for you.
Where to Buy Bamboo Extract
You don’t need a prescription to buy bamboo extract, but you’ll want to do some research to find the best option. Whether you choose a natural or synthetic bamboo extract, you’ll want to watch for unnecessary additives that may do more harm than good.
Many supplements can be found through online dispensaries like Fullscript. You may also be interested in a supplement that combines bamboo with other important vitamins and minerals. If you regularly see a naturopathic physician they can also give you some recommendations on where to purchase the best bamboo extract.
Bamboo Extract May Be the Supplement You Need
Whether you’re faced with chronic illness or just want to improve the look of your hair, skin, and nails, bamboo extract may be a great addition to your diet. It’s easy to find and contains a great variety of other vitamins and minerals making it a great option for most people to take. Adding bamboo extract to your daily routine may be just what you need to improve your well-being.