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Jamaican Bamboo Benefits
Does It Really Have Medicbamboinal Benefits?

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holland_bamboo_st_elizabethJamaican Bamboo Benefits | Holland Bamboo - St. Elizabeth

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Bamboo is popular in Jamaica for 2 reasons; the Bamboo rafts we all love to lounge on as we float along the Jamaican rivers and Bamboo Avenue in St. Elizabeth. Outside of that, youโ€™ve probably seen impressively crafted bamboo furniture or heard of the bamboo being processed into tissue.

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But did you know there are health benefits from bamboo too? I had no idea either!

Does bamboo grow in Jamaica?

Yes, bamboo grows in Jamaica, particularly in St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland and St. Catherine. It is that much more important to Jamaican farmers as the closely matted roots prevent soil erosion. 

What kind of bamboo is found in Jamaica?

The most commonly found bamboo species in Jamaica is the Bambusa vulgaris. This is just one of the 1500 species grown around the world. Of course, other species have been brought to the island over the years but they havenโ€™t been grown on as wide a scale as Bambusa vulgaris has.

What is bamboo good for?

Because of its durability, it is often used in the construction of houses, huts, boats, fences, props and furniture. It is also a raw material for paper pulp.

How fast does bamboo grow in Jamaica?

Bamboo grows very fast, up to 100 centimetres in 24 hours. Growth is affected by the environment the bamboos are in. They can grow to heights of 98 ft or they can be as small as 8 centimetres.

When was bamboo introduced to Jamaica?

It is believed that bamboo was brought to Jamaica in the 18th century from Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

What are some interesting facts about bamboo?

  • Interestingly, bamboo is actually not a tree, it is a type of grass.
  • It is also the fastest-growing land plant in the world.
  • A fact that will be good to remember in the warm climate of Jamaica is, bamboo cools down the surrounding air by up to 8 degrees.
  • Bamboo was used in making ancient books. We use bamboo to make paper now, be even before this, bamboo strips were used to make books.
  • Bamboo can release more oxygen than hardwood
  • Bamboo is naturally antifungal and antibacterial
  • Bamboo was used in many historical inventions including the first successful attempt at the lightbulb.
  • Bamboo is edible by both animals and humans. It is commonly eaten by pandas and in Asian countries, the soft shoots are included in stir-fries.
  • When we think of bamboo colours, we immediately think of lush, deep green and maybe yellow. But did you know bamboos actually come in many other colours? Yes, they do. Bamboo can be pink, red, black or even blue!

What is Bamboo Used For?

Bamboo can be used to make:

  1. Furniture
  2. Craft Items
  3. Jewellery
  4. Powder
  5. Paper
  6. Tissue
  7. Teabags
  8. Soaps
  9. HouseDrinking Straws
  10. Biofuel
  11. Fabrics
  12. Pulp
  13. Charcoal
  14. Ornamental garden planting
  15. Skateboards
  16. Snowboards
  17. Bike Frames
  18. Kitchen Utensils
  19. Storage Containers
  20. Toothbrushes
  21. Cotton Buds
  22. Hairbrushes
  23. Musical instruments
  24. Art and writing materials

Health Benefits of Bamboo

Bamboos are 70% rich in silica, the largest plant source of silica on the planet. It is also a great potassium, manganese, calcium, collagen and folic acid source.

Bamboo strengthens your hair and nails.

It rejuvenates and tightens your skin due greatly to the presence of silica and collagen in the plant.

Bamboo also increases bone density and flexibility.

Watch Video! Medicinal Benefits of Jamaican Bamboo

How did we come to know about these benefits? Mrs. Lawrence knows quite a lot about bamboo and its health benefits and so she introduced it to us. You can watch the video below.

How to Use Bamboo

  1. Bamboo leaves can be used to make teas or can be dried and ground into a powder and added to smoothies, cakes and just about anything.

  2. It can be used in your beauty regimen by mixing the bamboo powder into a paste for a face mask. It can also be used to make mild soaps for the face and skin.

What are the characteristics of Bamboo?

Bamboo is known for its strength, flexibility, strong roots, height and durability.

Jamaica has actually been appointed head of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan. There are strides to make bamboo a more integral part of the Jamaican economy by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica and the Bamboo and Indigenous Materials Advisory Council of Jamaica.

With these health and other benefits being realised, we might soon see a boom in the Bamboo industry. In fact, there are plans in place for a bamboo factory to begin operations in Westmoreland soon.

Watch Video! Does Bamboo Furniture Really Last?

The Original Bamboo Factory is ahead of the curve though with their exceptional bamboo furniture on display. Take a look right here.

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References & Sources For Jamaican Bamboo Benefits

  1. Senior, Olive, Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage, 2003
  2. Wallace & Robinson, Creating Jamaica, Our Early Years, Carlong Publishers
  3. Black, Clinton V. History Of Jamaica, 2005
  4. Simpson, Joanne, M. Why Heritage, "A Guide To The Importance Of Our Jamaican Story"
  5. Sherlock, Phillip & Bennett, Hazel, "The Story Of The Jamaican People" (independence)

Jamaican Bamboo Benefits | Written: February 23, 2023

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