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Bamboozled by Bamboo?

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This versatile plant is almost too good to be true. Its proclaimed uses range from building homes and recycling air to feeding millions of people, while also supporting spiritual needs. Like the Wonder Woman of nature, it seems there is little that Bamboo can’t do. It’s easy to be sceptical, but many of the praises sung are both good and true.

For centuries, Eastern cultures around the world have enjoyed the benefits of bamboo and it’s not hard to appreciate why. This mystical plant carries a sense of strength and flexibility, continuing to play a role in ceremonies, music, art and daily life. Now the rest of the world is tuning in, with bamboo bringing its unique energy to homes and gardens and proving there is more to it than meets the eye.

Not only does its rustic aroma and wooden face soothe the senses, but Mother Nature approves too. Research shows that bamboo has a lot to offer the environment. There are over 1200 species of this ancient grass, found mostly in Asia, Africa and America. Without getting lost in the family tree, bamboo is popular for its rapid growth, toughness and generous production of biomass. This means it could be used as a renewable energy source, and a useful one at that.

Bamboo produces around 35 percent more oxygen than wood. This makes it the ideal “carbon sink”, according to the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR). Their research reveals that carefully managed bamboo forests recycle more carbon than fast growing trees like Eycalyptus.

In other words, bamboo carries serious potential to help counter effects of environmental damage and shouldn’t be dismissed as just a pretty face. Of course, more research is needed. Having recently taken part in the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, INBAR and similar organisations are at the forefront of this. We hold our breaths waiting to see where their discoveries lead.

When you consider all the above, it’s little wonder that bamboo has been nicknamed “the miracle plant”. Luckily, you don’t have to be an ecological scientist or a panda to enjoy the benefits. At the very least, bamboo promotes a sense of balance in many aspects of life and should not be taken for granted.

But don’t take our word for it. For more info, visit the International Network for Bamboo  and see what the fuss is all about.

Melissa 

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