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School children are generally taught a couplet, which means that it is always good to keep a stick nearby as it has many qualities. The stick, which has been mentioned, is nothing but bamboo. We know that bamboo has several uses but we are unaware of its medicinal uses.
Bamboo is available in all parts of India, but it is mainly found in southern India and the states of Orissa, Assam, lower Himalayas, the plains of Ganges and Indus. It grows naturally in the forests, but is cultivated in the cities. There are 550 different kinds of bamboo, here two or three types of bamboo are being described.
Dendro Calamus Atrictmus: It is straight, thin and solid. It belongs to the male species.
Dendrocalamus Giganteous: This also belongs to the male species. It is 20 to 120 feet long. When old, this bamboo turns green or yellow in color. This type of bamboo is very strong.
Bamboo Manma – these bamboos are of female species and are popular in the hilly areas as fat, hollow and catarrh bamboos. The white fluid inside the bamboos dries up and forms into a solid substance and is therefore known as Banshlochan (manna obtained from bamboo, manna is a sugary substance). The real banshlochan (manna) is white in color or has bluish stripes, opaque, irregular in shape and small to large big pieces found between each node. It is very hard and does not break easily. It is not easily soluble in water. When water is poured on this manna it becomes transparent. The real manna is very expensive and can also be manufactured through a chemical process.
Bamboos are absolutely straight in groups having fixed thorns. This type of bamboo generally grows up to a height of 20 to 50 feet in shrubs. The stem is round with a thickness of 6 to 7 feet, having several hollow and solid barks at a distance of 20 inches with different shapes of clear nodes. The tree has no branches but three-fourths of the tree have more spines between each node. The leaves grow in bunches and are around 7 inches long with a sharp front edges and rounded towards the end.
The long branches have whitish red colored flowers bearing fruits, which are 1/3 inch in size and barley shaped. They are also called vanshyava, because of their shape, and a rice like grain grows in these fruits, which are called bamboo rice.
Banshlochan (Manna) contains silica, mandoor, Potash, lime, alumina and some vegetable substances like colin carbohydrates and several other substances.
It is rough, slightly hot, sweet essence, astringent taste, ripe, oily, buddy leaves, belongs to the barley species and hot in strength.
It has a sweet astringent taste, sweet when ripe and cold in strength. It is healthy for the different humors of the body, and increases the sperm. It is beneficial in thirst, cough, fever, respiratory disorders, bile due to tuberculosis, blood impurities, leprosy with jaundice, wounds, ulcers, jaundice, vata dosha and painful discharge of urine. Besides it has other uses in pregnancy and post delivery.
Offshoots of bamboo:
Spicy, sour, pungent, bitter, slightly cold and beneficial in bleeding piles, for burning sensations and gonorrhea.
The bamboo rice is pungent, sweet, strong, and nutritious. It cures kapha, pitta dosha, removes toxic substances from the body and cures the disease in which the vital humors of the body are excreted through urine.
Bamboo and bamboo with a hole are beneficial in curing painful discharge of urine, excretion of vital humors from the body, and burning sensation of piles. The bamboo containing hole increases the fire in the stomach, cures indigestion, helps in digestion of food, relieves pain and enlargement of the heart and improves appetite.
Useful parts of Bamboo:
Roots, leaves, offshoots, fruits, manna.
Medicinal Uses of Bamboo:
1. Burn the skin and roots of bamboo and mix it in vinegar. Apply this lep (pack) on the head. Hair will begin to grow on a bald head.
2. Take the ash of the roots of bamboo and mix it in chameli (Jasmine flower) oil. This is very beneficial to cure baldness.
3. Burn the roots and skin of bamboo and mix equal quantity of turmeric powder in their bhasma (ash) and make a fine powder. Apply this on the scalp, it makes the hair strong and prevents hair loss.
4. Grind the roots of bamboo and apply on the face and small-pox marks. The skin becomes beautiful.
Burn the bamboo leaves and apply the ash on the area, where it is itching. This is a very effective medicine to stop itching.
1. Burn the bamboo wood coals and make a powder. Sprinkle this powder on the wounds to stop bleeding and for fast healing. It also reduces swelling.
2. Pour the juice of tender shoots of bamboo to kill worms. Tie a poultice of tender shoots of bamboo to heal the wound quickly.
1. Banshlochan (manna) -1.250 mg, 1 small cardamom seed (powdered) – 10 gm, avala (mylobaran) – 750 mg, black pepper—500 mg, small pippali – 250 mg. Mix all the ingredients and add pure surma (collyrium, black substance applied as eye-liner) equal to half of the sum total of all the ingredients. Sieve with a thin cloth and apply in the eyes. This prevents all types of eye problems.
2. Apply the oily substance accumulated on the stem and leaves of bamboo in the eyes. This is an effective medicine to cure cataract.
1. Burn the roots of bamboo and massage the teeth with the ash. The teeth become clean and shining.
2. Take equal proportions of banshlochan (manna), small cardamom seeds and samamstangi. Grind all the ingredients together and store in a safe place. Massage the teeth with this powder twice daily. It cleans plaque and dirt on the teeth and makes the teeth sparkling white.
Disease of the Umbilical Tube:
Tie the poultice of the bamboo shoots on the umbilical tube. The disease will be cured.
1. Rub the fresh shoots of bamboo leaves in vinegar and apply on the back and hips. This reduces the pain.
2. Burn the roots of bamboo and mix the bhasma (ash) in water. Apply this on the hip bones to relieve pain.
Expulsion of the Placenta:
It is necessary to clean the uterus properly post delivery. Boil 10 bamboo leaves in 200 gm of water and make a thick decoction till it reduces to 50 gm. Sieve it and add 10 gm of jaggery and drink it hot (as per convenience). This eases the process of childbirth and expulsion of placenta. It reduces the pain in the uterus and prevents excessive loss of blood.
1. If the female does not get proper menses or if the cycle is irregular, decoction of fresh bamboo leaves is highly beneficial.
2. The same medicine is good for cleaning the uterus.
Painful and Mild Menstruation:
Make a coarse powder of the bamboo knot. Take 20 gm of this powder and 40 gm of soy seeds. Boil both the ingredients in one litre of water and reduce it to one-eighth of the quantity. Add 25 gm of jaggery and give it to the patient. This is beneficial in curing painful and mild menstruation.
1. Decoction of fresh bamboo leaves is beneficial in reducing the burning sensation and pain in the bladder.
2. Boil 25 gm of bamboo leaves in 200 ml of water. Reduce it to 40 ml. Give this medicine to the patient with 5 gm of honey. This is beneficial to cure urinary problems.
Bamboo leaves are extremely beneficial to cure Gonorrhea. Dry the bamboo leaves in the shade, take 6 gm of the dried leaves and mix it with 6 gm of Anantmool powder. Boil both the ingredients in 400 ml of water till it reduces to 100 ml. Add 3 to 4 grams of sugar candy in this decoction and give to the patient regularly for one or two weeks.
Increasing the fire in the stomach:
Bamboo shoots are used as food in various ways. Boil the fresh leaves or shoots and prepare pickle, vegetable or soup and include it in your diet. This is very beneficial in curing indigestion and the digestive system will function properly.
Extract the juice of bamboo leaves and add jaggery powder. Give one dose of this medicine to reduce the effect of poison.
1 .When a dog bites someone, its poison (bacteria) enters-the body. Grind the roots of bamboo in milk and give it to the person, the poison will be removed.
2. Grind bamboo shoots and roots in cow milk and give to the person every morning for 15 days. This will remove the effect of poison in the body.
Soak the bamboo knot in water and heat it lukewarm. Give this to children suffering with dry cough.
Grind the knots of bamboo, heat them a little and tie a poultice on the painful area.
1. In case of any type of injury, grind the bamboo skin and make a fine powder. Give one dose with grounded jaggery.
2. If injury causes acute pain and burning sensation in the blood and on the skin. In this case make a decoction with bamboo skin. Let it cool, add honey and give it to the person twice or thrice daily. This is very beneficial to reduce dehydration due to consumption of excess liquor and burning sensation due to the effect of toxic substances.
Uses of Banshlochan (Manna):
1. 1.250 to 2.500 mg of banshlochan with honey cures dry cough.
2. One gm banshlochan powder, 395 mg of Pippali powder. Add both these ingredients in honey and give two to three doses daily to cure breathing and cough problem.
Fever due to indigestion:
500 gm banshlochan, 500 gm of Giloy satva (extract), 250 gm of pippali powder. Add all these ingredients with honey and give three doses daily. This medicine cures fever due to indigestion.
Take 500 gm of banshlochan with ghee or honey thrice daily. This will heal all wounds.
Secretion of vital humors from the body:
Banshlochan rasa (essence), pure nagkesar and seeds of cardamom. Take equal proportion of these things, grind them and sieve it with a thin cloth. Grease it with sandal oil and make small pills. Give one pill each in the morning and evening with 50 ml water mixed with 6 gm of grounded jaggery. This dose reduces the burning sensation in case of Gonorrhea and completely cures the disease within seven days. This pill is beneficial in all types of secretions of the vital humors.
Burning Sensation in Urine:
1. In the above mentioned pill do not grease it with sandal oil and give only one and a half or three gm of powder with sugar candy and milk.
2. A dose of banshlochan with Gokharu drops with swarasa (essence) of Gokharu reduces the burning sensation of the urine.
3. Make curds with raw milk, add banshlochan powder, Gokharu and sugar candy. This medicine cures burning sensation in the stomach.
Take 2 gm of banshlochan powder and 10 gm of bamboo rasa and mix it with sugar candy.
Mix banshlochan, small cardamom, white catechu (katha) and geru in equal quantities and make a powder. Put a small quantity of this powder in the mouth at small intervals. Take 40 gm of rose petals and make Gulkand, add 2 to 3 gm of banshlochan and give twice or thrice daily.
Mix banshlochan with honey and apply the lep (pack) on the mouth ulcers.
Consume one gm of banshlochan everyday or take it with praval pishti, abhrak bhasma (ash of mica), shilajit and other medicines.
If there is a chance of miscarriage, take one gm of banshlochan, add 125 mg of Kalbul Haj. Grind both these ingredients separately and then mix them. Take this medicine twice or thrice to prevent miscarriage.
1. Take out the green portion of the lotus stem, which lies in the middle of the stem, and add equal quantity of banshlochan. Make a fine powder with both the ingredients and add sugar candy in double proportion. Take this medicine twice or thrice daily with cow milk to be blessed with a baby.
2. The children have the habit of eating sand. Give them a cake of banshlochan to get rid of this habit.
Dalchini 10 gm
Small cardamom seeds: 20 gm
Small Pipal : 40 gm
Banshlochan: 80 gm
Sugar candy: 160 gm
Grind all these ingredients separately, sieve it with a cloth and store it safely. Give two to four gm of this powder with honey to cure phlegm related diseases.
In case of wind and bile related problems, consume banshlochan first with ghee and then half quantity of honey.
This powder cures dry cough, respiratory disorders, bleeding from the mouth, burning sensation in the hands and legs, pain in the ribs, fever due to indigestion and humors, weakness in children, burning sensation in the eyes, throat etc.
A pregnant lady should take this powder for 4 to 6 months to give birth to a healthy baby. The same preparation can be used in the last month of pregnancy to induce labor.
10 gm of sitopaladi churna
10 gm of pure ghee made out of buffalo milk
Keep both the things in glass or mud vessel and pour the freshly extracted buffalo milk and consume it twice daily for two months.
Excess consumption of banshlochan is harmful for the lungs. Honey, Mastangi (a kind of gum), saffron, Unnav (jejube fruit used in medicine) and eluva (wormwood) have the capacity to remove the harmful effects.
Kulpha and Raitang.