Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Arrow Bamboo, Arundinaria japonica, Bambou, Bambou Flèche, Bambou du Japon, Bambou Métaké, Bambú, Pseudosasa japonica, Sasa japonica, Yadake.


Bamboo is a plant. Juice from young bamboo shoots is used to make medicine.

People use bamboo for asthma, coughs, and gallbladder disorders.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how bamboo works.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Asthma.
  • Cough.
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bamboo for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There isn't enough reliable information available about bamboo to know if it is safe.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of bamboo during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Thyroid disorders, such as too little thyroid function (hypothyroidism), an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), or a thyroid tumor: Prolonged use of bamboo shoot might make these conditions worse.


Medications for an overactive thyroid (Antithyroid drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Eating bamboo shoot long-term might decrease the thyroid. Medications for an overactive thyroid decrease the thyroid. Taking bamboo shoot along with medications for an overactive thyroid might decrease the thyroid too much. Do not take bamboo shoot long-term if you are taking medications for an overactive thyroid.

Some of these medications include methenamine mandelate (Methimazole), methimazole (Tapazole), potassium iodide (Thyro-Block), and others.


The appropriate dose of bamboo depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bamboo. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Akao Y, Seki N, Nakagawa Y, et al. A highly bioactive lignophenol derivative from bamboo lignin exhibits a potent activity to suppress apoptosis induced by oxidative stress in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Bioorg Med Chem 2004;12(18):4791-4801. View abstract.

Ando H, Ohba H, Sakaki T, et al. Hot-compressed-water decomposed products from bamboo manifest a selective cytotoxicity against acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Toxicol In Vitro 2004;18(6):765-771. View abstract.

Chandra AK, Ghosh D, Mukhopadhyay S, et al. Effect of bamboo shoot, Bambusa arundinacea (Retz.) Willd. on thyroid status under conditions of varying iodine intake in rats. Indian J Exp Biol 2004;42(8):781-786. View abstract.

Chang JJ, Yen CL. Endoscopic retrieval of multiple fragmented gastric bamboo chopsticks by using a flexible overtube. World J Gastroenterol 2004;10(5):769-770. View abstract.

Chen C, Huang X, Zhou J, et al. [Sulfation of polysaccharides isolated from Indocalamus tesselatus and their anticytopathic effect on human immunodeficiency virus type I]. Yao Xue Xue Bao 1998;33(4):264-268. View abstract.

Greaney MJ. Bamboo orbital foreign body mimicking air on computed tomography. Eye 1994;8 ( Pt 6):713-714. View abstract.

Hu C, Zhang Y, Kitts DD. Evaluation of antioxidant and prooxidant activities of bamboo Phyllostachys nigra var. Henonis leaf extract in vitro. J Agric Food Chem 2000;48(8):3170-3176. View abstract.

Iseki K, Ishikawa H, Suzuki T, et al. Melanosis coli associated with ingestion of bamboo leaf extract. Gastrointest Endosc 1998;47(3):305-307. View abstract.

Kim KK, Kawano Y, Yamazaki Y. A novel porphyrin photosensitizer from bamboo leaves that induces apoptosis in cancer cell lines. Anticancer Res 2003;23(3B):2355-2361. View abstract.

Kitajima T. Contact allergy caused by bamboo shoots. Contact Dermatitis 1986;15(2):100-102. View abstract.

Kitajiri S, Tabuchi K, Hiraumi H. Transnasal bamboo foreign body lodged in the sphenoid sinus. Auris Nasus Larynx 2001;28(4):365-367. View abstract.

Kweon MH, Hwang HJ, Sung HC. Isolation and characterization of anticomplementary beta-glucans from the shoots of bamboo Phyllostachys edulis. Planta Med 2003;69(1):56-62. View abstract.

Lu B, Wu X, Tie X, et al. Toxicology and safety of anti-oxidant of bamboo leaves. Part 1: Acute and subchronic toxicity studies on anti-oxidant of bamboo leaves. Food Chem Toxicol 2005;43(5):783-792. View abstract.

Maruya J, Yamamoto K, Wakai M, et al. Brain abscess following transorbital penetrating injury due to bamboo fragments--case report. Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo) 2002;42(3):143-146. View abstract.

Nakata H, Egashira K, Nakamura K, et al. Bamboo foreign bodies in lung parenchyma: CT features. Clin Imaging 1992;16(2):117-120. View abstract.

Ng KF, Lo CF. The bamboo skewer: airway management in a patient with penetrating injury of the floor of mouth. Can J Anaesth 1996;43(11):1156-1160. View abstract.

Peh WC, Helpert C, Chan CW. Bamboo skewer perforation of the bowel: computed tomography appearances. Australas Radiol 1997;41(3):308-310. View abstract.

Swaddiwudhipong W, Wongwatcharapaiboon P. Foodborne botulism outbreaks following consumption of home-canned bamboo shoots in Northern Thailand. J Med Assoc Thai 2000;83(9):1021-1025. View abstract.

Uchino A, Kato A, Takase Y, et al. Intraorbital wooden and bamboo foreign bodies: CT. Neuroradiology 1997;39(3):213-215. View abstract.

van der Wal KG, Boukes RJ. Intraorbital bamboo foreign body in a chronic stage: case report. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2000;29(6):428-429. View abstract.

Yadav S, Yadav SS. Induced abortion followed by pelvic osteomyelitis. J Indian Med Assoc 1979;73(9-10):168-169. View abstract.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors