Tag Archives: bamboo leaf

Bamboo on the Internet for May 2014 – my picks

bamboo sculptureA bamboo art installation that you can climb on at the Israel Museum. It’s called 5,000 Arms to Hold You. Professional rock climbers were engaged to build it. While it is under construction there is a live webcam.

  • A competition (open to US and Canadian residents only AND since expired) alerted me to the existence of bamboo easels and bamboo easel boxes. There’s quite a range on Amazon and eBay au.

bamboo kiosk cambodia

  • Two items from designboom.com are noteworthy for us this month: a kiosk for a bear rescue centre in Cambodia and bamboo plants inside an office in Shanghai. The kiosk supports the work of the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. The park gets about 250,000 visitors annually. Their work combats the illegal trade in live bears and provides a safe sanctuary for rescued bears.

living bamboo office divider

  • Living bamboo is incorporated into the meandering central island of an open-plan office in Shanghai. The stands of bamboo, in large planters, create soft and unusual desk and room dividers. The central island, somewhat sadly, is made from timber. I’m sure the whole thing would have looked far superior had the architects chosen bamboo instead.

 

  • Bamboo salt update: A recent study has established that 9X Bamboo Salt probably prevents obesity in mice. Although, in the experiment, the researchers first unnaturally induced obesity in the mice. Still, this gives some people hope that the same result is possible for people. The (refereed) journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology published the research. The numerous other health benefits of 9X bamboo salt still stand. See a previous post for more about that.
  • bamboo leaves, zongzi, dumplings, dragon boat festivalA note from The Star online tells us that the dried ingredients for making dumplings for the Duan Wu festival cost more this year. This includes, of course, the dried bamboo leaf that wrap the dumplings. The dumplings, zongzi, are an important part of the annual Duan Wu celebration (dragon boat festival).  Why they are important is a matter of conjecture. The Star says it “originated from a practice to commemorate poet Qu Yuan, who drowned himself to protest against corrupt practices in China about 1,000 years ago. Back then, the local folk threw rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves into the river to prevent his remains from being eaten by fish.”  Here is a recipe if you need to practice for your local zongzi making competitions next year, like this one in Taichung, Taiwan:


Sources:

Park, K. Y., Ju, J. H., Song, J. L., & Moon, S. H. (2014). Anti-obesity effect of bamboo salt on diet-induced obesity in C57BL/6 mice (811.12). The FASEB Journal28(1 Supplement), 811-12.

Bamboo leaf tea – part 3

bamboo leaf teaExperimentation with bamboo leaf tea continues. I’ve been drinking a cup or more of bamboo leaf tea most days for past 3 months with a view to observing any noticeable health benefits. Most importantly though, I really like the flavour of the tea.

Bamboo Leaf Tea – part 1 enumerated some of the benefits I could expect. I’ve just reread them. Some beneficial changes I might have been able to observe (and any change) include :

  • skin elasticity (same)
  • teeth and gums (same)
  • connective tissue and musculoskeletal system (no improvement in weights-induced shoulder injury)
  • hair (maybe)
  • nails (no change)
  • diuretic (possibly)

Despite my research efforts, I was unable to locate any definitive research on the bio-availability of nutrients in bamboo leaf tea. In the course of the research however, I did come across another tea called bamboo leaf tea. 

The ‘other’ Bamboo Leaf Tea
bamboo leaf tea

Emei Shan

Also known as Zhu Ye Qing, this is a green tea first grown and produced by a monk near the top of Emei Shan, a famous Buddhist mountain in Sichuan province, China. It is called Green Bamboo Leaf because of its bamboo leaf shape not because it is actually made with bamboo leaves. You can read more about Zhu Ye Qing here. The tea undergoes seven processes before it’s ready to drink. It’s quite expensive. Amazon stocks it.

How to make bamboo leaf tea: The Life with Bamboo hybrid method

In Bamboo Leaf Tea – part 2, I shared some different ways the tea is made in Japan. Not having the same kinds of equipment, I developed a similar method using what I have in the kitchen here.

  • Young green leaves are picked and cut into small pieces with scissors
  • The cut-up leaves are tossed around in a wok and toasted until the aroma changes from green grass to toasted rice and the leaves are just starting to brown.
  • A saucepan of water is bought to the boil and toasted leaves are added. Slow boil the leaves for a few minutes.
  • Its ready to drink now. I put my cooked tea in a coffee plunger (I don’t have a teapot) and drink the tea throughout the day.
bamboo leaf tea

Left to right: Green leaves, toasted leaves, cooked leaves, plunger

If this is all too much bother, or you just don’t have access to fresh young bamboo leaves, Amazon stocks a range of bamboo leaf teas.

Bamboo leaf tea – part 2

A friend and fellow blogger in Japan was kind enough to send me links to some Japanese blog posts about bamboo leaf tea. (Thanks, Megumi!). So, following on from Bamboo leaf tea -part 1, here is some how-to (with the aid of Google Translate) for making your own bamboo leaf tea at home.

The instructions in the blogs are similar and use Kumazasa, a bamboo that grows in Hokkaido. In fact, Kumazasa is something of a Hokkaido speciality and is sold as tea (loose leaf, tea bag, and canned drink), granulated extract and candy. Bears are also very fond of Kumazasa bamboo.

Kumazasa bamboo

Kumazasa bamboo

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Bamboo leaf tea – part 1

bamboo leaf teaHave you heard of bamboo leaf tea? The proponents of bamboo leaf tea make it sound marvellous, of course. The main health benefits proclaimed are those associated with the intake of silica.

Bamboo Leaf Tea lists some of the benefits;

  • improves skin elasticity
  • benefits teeth and gums
  • improves connective tissue and strengthens musculoskeletal system
  • plays a role in helping the body to eliminate aluminium
  • strengthens hair and nails and encourages new growth
  • thought to improve cardiovascular system
  • may help to reduce high blood pressure
  • essential for bone growth

I consulted Michael Tierra’s book, The Way of Chinese Herbs (1998) to see what he had to say. Bamboo leaf is listed under ‘herbs that clear heat and purge fire’. The properties of the bamboo leaf are listed as anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (reduce or prevent a fever), and diuretic (promote passing of urine). “Indications: This herb is used for heat conditions associated with irritability and anxiety. It can also be used for swollen, painful gums and urinary tract infections with signs of irritability” (p. 171). All this said, he makes no clear suggestion as to how to ingest the bamboo leaves as a medicinal herb.

bambooleafteaThis morning I went out and picked some low-hanging bamboo leaves. Following some ideas I found online, I roasted them in the bottom of the oven for short time and made a tea. The liquid was rather colourless, but the flavour was fresh, slightly sweet and subtle. Rather delightful really.

I made another cup of tea with fresh, raw leaves. The flavour was quite different – more like grass, but in nice way. Still, the lightly roasted leaves win the flavour stakes.

And the effects? I don’t know yet. I’ll continue to make and drink bamboo leaf tea and tell you another time. Do you have experience with bamboo leaf tea? Please leave a comment.

You can buy Bamboo Leaf Tea on Amazon.