Health Benefits of Bamboo Shoots


The health benefits of bamboo shoots include healthy weight loss, control of bad cholesterol, strengthening of the immune system, possible cancer-fighting properties and anti-inflammatory properties. It is heart friendly, contains protein, a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals and a negligible amount of fat. It also contains a significant amount of dietary fiber.

What are Bamboo Shoots?

Bamboo shoots are the sprouts which spring out beside the bamboo plant. These sprouts or shoots are edible and they belong to the Bambusoideae subfamily of grass. They are the largest and tallest in the grass family. Bamboo is also known to be one of the fastest growing plants in the world. The fastest growing species of bamboo is Chinese Moso. It reportedly grows up to 100 cm per day.

Some of the bamboo species whose sprouts are harvested include phyllostachys edulis, winter shoots, ‘hairy’ shoots, phyllostachys bambusoides, dendrocalamus latiflorus, bambusa vulgaris, bambusa oldhamii, andbambusa odashimae.

Every part of the bamboo plant is put to use by Asian cultures and various ethnic groups. Bamboo is used for various other purposes ranging from construction, support for buildings, simple housing, bamboo furniture, musical instruments such as flutes, dizi, xiao, shakuhachi, and in paper production. Thus, bamboo is one of the most utilized and versatile plants on the planet.

Bamboo shoots are available in either fresh or canned varieties. Fresh bamboo shoots can last for up to two weeks when they are properly refrigerated and away from sunlight or else the shoots will develop a bitter taste. On the other hand, canned versions can be stored for a long time. It is recommended to cook them as quickly as possible when eating them fresh. However, before cooking fresh bamboo shoots, it is highly recommended to boil them partially or soak them in water overnight, as some species may contain cyanide, which can be eliminated by either of these processes.

Nutritional Value of Bamboo Shoots

According to a study conducted by Nirmala Chongtham, Madho Singh Bhisht and Sheena Haorongbam from Punjab University in Chandigarh, India, bamboo shoots are rich in various nutrients.

BambooshootLow Caloric Content: A 100 gram serving of bamboo shoots contains only 20 calories. Also, the carbohydrates found in bamboo shoots do not amount to more than 3-4 grams per 100 gram serving.

Low Sugar Content: The amount of sugar found in bamboo shoots is about 2.5 grams per 100 gram serving. This is less than the  amount of sugar found in many fruits and vegetables.

Negligible Amount of Fat: A serving of 100 grams of bamboo shoots contains less than 0.49 grams of fat. This fat consists of both saturated and unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are needed by the body and they can control the spread of bad LDL cholesterol throughout the body.

Source of Protein: A 100 gram serving of bamboo shoots would have about 2 to 2.5 grams of protein. The proteins found in bamboo consists of seventeen essential amino acids and two semi-essential amino acids.

Vitamins and Minerals in Bamboo Shoots: Bamboo shoots contain vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. Minerals found in bamboo shoots include calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and iron.

High in Dietary Fiber: Bamboo shoots are high in dietary fiber. The amount of dietary fiber contained in bamboo shoots make up 6-8 grams out of a 100 gram serving.

Appetizing effects: Bamboo shoots contain high cellulosic material which stimulates the appetite. The taste and texture of the bamboo shoots also make them a good appetizer.

Health Benefits of Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo shoots are an exotic food that is consumed in many countries in Asia and now it is slowly growing in demand from western countries. Bamboo shoots are known for their various health benefits, including those explained in greater detail below.

Helps in Losing Weight: Bamboo shoots are weight loss-friendly. When we look at the amount of calories, carbohydrates and sugars contained in bamboo shoots, it is shocking to find that their presence is almost negligible. This makes it an ideal food for people who want to lose weight, but also who want their stomachs to be full.

Heart Health: According to research studies, phytosterols and phytonutrients found in bamboo shoots are ideal for dissolving harmful LDL cholesterol in the body. This eases cholesterol out of arteries for the smooth supply and movement of blood throughout the body.

Fights Cancer: Research studies conducted on bamboo shoots have indicated that leaves of bamboo shoots consist of phytosterols such as flavone, amylase and chlorophyll. Out of these, chlorophyll showed properties of controlling mutations and cancer.

Strengthens the Immune System: The vitamins and minerals in bamboo shoots are ideal for improving the body’s immune system. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in bamboo shoots are essential for strengthening the body from the inside out.

High Supply of Dietary Fiber: The amount of dietary fiber in bamboo shoots is high. Consuming sufficient amounts of dietary fiber is essential for easy digestion and healthy bowel movements. Including bamboo shoots in your meals can be a very good idea for losing weight as well. With lack of any physical activity during the night time, taking food with less calories and high fiber helps lose weight easily, even while you sleep!

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: According to research conducted by Muniappan and Sundararaj, bamboo shoots possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-killing) properties. It helps in the healing of ulcers as well. Juice from bamboo shoots can also be used as a medicine for external wounds and ulcers.

bambooshootsinfoRespiratory Disorders:Bamboo shoots have been known to be effective against respiratory disorders. A decoction of the shoots can be prepared by boiling the shoots twice. The first boil should be for 5 minutes followed by a second boil for about 10 minutes. The decoction can be taken along with honey for the best effect.

Possible Cure for Poisoning: In Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient Indian science of medicine and lifestyle, it is believed that bamboo extracts contain anti-venomous properties. They are useful in cases of both snake and scorpion bites.

Uterotonic Properties:Traditional Chinese medicine believes that bamboo shoots can cause uterine contractions. It is used as a medicinal supplement during the last month of pregnancy when the delivery date is still pending. According to the research papersubmitted by Gruber and O’Brien at the University of Vienna, bamboo is one of the many plants which have been listed among uterotonic plants.

Stomach Disorders: Bamboo shoots are useful in treating stomach disorders. Apart from bamboo shoots, bamboo leaves are also suggested as a remedy for intestinal worms and stomach disorders as well.

Wound Cleaning: Bamboo shoots are also used for cleaning wounds and sores.

Lowers Blood Pressure: Bamboo shoots contain high amounts of potassium. Potassium is highly beneficial as an electrolyte and is also very good for lowering and maintaining blood pressure.

With all of these benefits from bamboo shoots, they are highly recommended for a healthy lifestyle.

A Few Serving Ideas for Bamboo Shoots 

Bamboo shoots can be boiled and then used for making various dishes. Boiled shoots can be served with butter and soya sauce as a vegetable accompaniment.

Bamboo shoots can be added to soups, stews, salads and gravies.

Pickles made from bamboo shoots are available and can be consumed as a delicious snack!

Bamboo Species of Nagaland – Intern Project #1 Karan Nair

Species of Bamboo identified in Nagaland


  • Sinarundinaria Griffithiana Saramarti Region
  • Sinarundinaria Elegans Puliebadze, near Kohima
  • Sinarundinaria Rolloana Japfu Range, Kohima
  • Sinarundinaria Nagalandiana Naithani Niriyo Peak, Wokha
  • Chimonobambusa Callosa Puliebadze above Kohima
  • Neomicroocalamus Prainii Puliebadze, Japfu Range
  • Bambusa Balcooa Wokha, Niuland and Jalukie Area
  • Bambusa Tulda Kohima, Jalukie Region
  • Bambusa Pallida Wokha, Kohima and Peren Region
  • Dendrocalamus Hookeri Kohima, Wokha
  • Dendrocalamus Hamiltonii Dimapur-Kohima Road and Wokha
  • Dendrocalamus Giganteus Kohima
  • Dendrocalamus Calostachys Phekerkrima, Dimapur and Kohima
  • Schizostachyum Polymorphum Longsachu near Wokha
  • Schizostachyum Fuchsianum Kohima, Zulhami- Kilomi Area
  • Melocanna Baccifera Jalukie



These days, mining has become a terrible threat to nature with its widespread damaging impacts on environment and ecosystem. The noxious impacts of mining are mainly due from mine tailings. The mine tailings are highly acidic as well as toxic with a number of heavy metals including Cu, Zn, Mn, Ni, As, Fe and Hg.

The abundance of heavy metals along with other harmful effects in the tailings and very low pH of the tailings degrade the natural ecosystem of the tailing dams to a problematic state. Among various techniques for rehabilitation of the ecosystems on tailing dams, introducing various grasses at mine tailing sites is the most efficient and healthy management technique.

Here are some grass species which can be introduced on tailing dams to rehabilitate their ecosystem.


Chrysopogon Zizanioides
Chrysopogon Zizanioides

Chrysopogon Zizanioides or vetiver grass, a perennial bunchgrass, is a unique grass variety used in many countries in the world for its numerous beneficial effects on soil and ecosystem including-rehabilitation of the ecosystem on tailing dam, soil and water conservation, sediment control, pollution control, waste water treatment, infrastructure stabilization etc.

Height: Up to 1.5 m or 5 ft.

Stem: Tall, erect and stiff stems.

Leaf: Long, thin and rigid leaves; grow up to 5 ft long and 0.3 inch wide.

Flower: Brownish-purple colored flowers.

Root system: Finely structured and very strong root system. Roots grow downward, generally 7 ft to 13 ft in depth.

Distribution: This grass is native to India and cultivated intensively in tropical regions.

Resistance: Resistant to frost and wildfire; highly resistant to drought.

How it helps in stabilizing the ecosystem: The roots of vetiver grow almost exclusively downward, in some cases deeper than some tree roots, which make it a very effective erosion control plant and a great stabilizing hedge for stream banks and terraces. Its deep root system binds the soils tightly and thus it cannot dislodge which ultimately prevent erosion, while its root system penetrates the compacted soils and make them loose. It is also effective in runoff alleviation and water conservation.

Vetiver Grass Technology (VGT) is highly effective in rehabilitation of the ecosystem on tailing dams; as vetiver grass has a strong finely structured and deep root system along with excellent tolerance to extreme climatic variations including submergence and extreme temperature, prolonged drought, flood etc. Vetiver grass is also tolerant to a wide range of soil pH, Al an Mn toxicities, and various heavy metals including As, Pb, Zn, Hg, Cd, Cr , Ni, Cu etc. In Australia vetiver grass has been effectively used to stabilize mining overburden and highly sodic, magnesic, saline and alkaline tailings of coal mine. Using this grass is also effective in stabilizing highly acidic and high As tailings of gold mines.


Cynodon Dactylon
Cynodon Dactylon

Cynodon Dactylon is a fast-growing and widely cultivated grass variety in worm climates. This grass is capable of quick recovering from damage, and highly tolerant to heat and drought. It is a great grass species to rehabilitate the soil and ecosystem.

Common Names: Bahama Grass, Couch Grass, Indian Doab, Devil’s Grass, Wire Grass etc.

Distribution: The grass is originated in Asia, especially in India; it has now become pan-tropical.

Stem: The erect, slightly flattened stems are tinged purple in color and grow 1-30 cm tall usually.

Leaf-Blade: Leaf-blades are short (generally 2-15 cm long), blades are grey-green in color having rough edges.

Flower: Flowers occur on 3-7 cm spikes; time of flowering is late summer.

Resistance: Resistant to heat and drought.

Root system: A deep root system; greater portion of the root mass is less than 24 inches under the surface but under drought the root system is capable of growing to over 2 m deep in a penetrable soil.

How it helps in stabilizing the ecosystem: This grass species is highly useful and is being used as lawn grass, pasture grass, and anti-erosion cover on dams in many countries. Cynodon dactylon is useful as a forage resource for milk cattle for the places where the soil is not suitable for growing crops like soyabean, maize etc.

Cynodon Dactylon is a great tool to rehabilitate the ecosystem on tailing dam, as it is capable of absorbing a wide range of metals and heavy metals of the dams including Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd, Co; it can grow well in the very low pH of the damaged soil. It can grow in dry season and wet season and also in times of heavy rainfall as well, when the toxic tailings are eroded and deposited on it.


Hyparrhenia Hirta
Hyparrhenia Hirta

Hyparrhenia Hirta is a tufted and wiry perennial grass. It is an invasive variety which can be used productively to rehabilitate the ecosystem on a tailing dam if managed carefully.

Common Names: Tambookie grass, common thatching grass, thatching grass, Coolatai grass.

Distribution: This grass is common in southern Africa. It occurs throughout Africa and also occurs in Pakistan.

Stem: It has upright flowering stems which are hairless. Stems may be covered with in a whitish powdery substance during their young stage.

Root system: Deep root system.

Resistance: Extremely tolerant to drought.

Flower: Whitish flowers occur throughout the year especially in the summer.

Leaf: Leaves are green to bluish green in color, generally 2-35 cm long and 2-4 mm wide. The hairless leaves are often tufted at the base of the plant.

How it helps in stabilizing the ecosystem: An excellent grass which efficiently protects the soils and stabilizes eroded soils, and hard gravelly soils. They are self fertile and drought resistant grass.

Hyparrhenia Hirta is an effective tool to rehabilitate the ecosystem on tailing dam, as it is capable of absorbing a wide range of metals and heavy metals of the dam including Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd, Co; it can grow well in the low pH of the damaged soil. Hyparrhenia Hirta is an efficient hyper-accumulator for heavy metals like Cu and Zn and thus it is useful in selecting grasses on the basis of target toxic metals. It also has a limitation in growing on the tailing dam, that is- it cannot grow under heavy rainfall.

Caution: Hyparrhenia Hirta is an invasive variety and must be managed with extreme care.