Bamboo—the largest member of the grass family—is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. Throughout history, this highly usable and sustainable plant has found a prominent place in cultures all across the world, and for good reason. Bamboo offers benefits in a variety of different applications, ranging from good luck charms to structural materials.
Bamboo is native to China, and its uses date all the way back to ancient times. To this day, bamboo plays an integral role to the Chinese culture, with its influence reaching almost every aspect of everyday life. The use of bamboo can be traced back to the Neolithic times (12,000 BC-2,000 BC), when it was used in building construction as well as in tools and baskets. Records have also shown that the Chinese people during this time regularly ate bamboo shoots as part of their diet.
In the years following, bamboo was even used in the construction of the Dujiang Dam. Houses continued to be built out of bamboo during that time, and weapons made from bamboo have even been discovered. As society progressed toward education and the proliferation of written language, bamboo strips were writing utensils and bamboo sheets were used for paper.
As the years moved into more modern times, bamboo continued to proliferate in Chinese life. In fact, an American missionary named William Edgar Geil spoke of the numerous ways bamboo was used in the Chinese culture. In a passage of his book, he spoke of the existence of bamboo houses, bamboo chairs, bamboo hats, bamboo toys, and so on. He seemed amazed that bamboo could be utilized in so many different ways.
Modern Uses of Bamboo
In today's age, bamboo has spread across the world, and isn't just limited to Chinese culture. The rest of the world seems to have recognized the positive qualities bamboo possesses and the versatility it exhibits in almost every aspect of our everyday lives. Some of the modern uses of bamboo extend to things such as:
- Building Materials – If there is one thing that has stayed constant about bamboo, it's the ability to be used as building materials. In maturity, bamboo is sturdy and versatile, and it looks unique. People still use bamboo for furniture and flooring, among other construction applications.
- Decorations – In the same vein as building materials, many people have started using bamboo as decorations in their homes. Because of its versatility, bamboo can be used for dividing screens or picture frames. People also grow and keep small shoots of bamboo as house plants. Its unique look can make for stunning décor in any home.
- Clothing/Fabric – Bamboo fibers can, of course, make excellent materials for weaving clothing and fabric. The resulting material is soft and smooth, even more so than cotton alternatives. Things like bamboo bed sheets and bamboo cloth can provide a wide range of benefits, from thermal regulation to hypoallergenic properties.
- Cooking – Bamboo has been used for cooking in the Chinese culture for a long time, but it has recently spread to countries all over the world. Bamboo shoots are healthy for you, offering low sugar and caloric content, as well as a wealth of vitamins. These benefits can help you lose weight, control your cholesterol, and strengthen your immune system. Bamboo is also used to make cooking utensils and cutting boards, which are easier on knives than other materials.
Find Ways to Use Bamboo in Your Home
Bamboo is often much better than other alternatives when it comes to a variety of things in your everyday life. Try to find ways to use bamboo in your home, and you may start seeing benefits in ways you didn't imagine before. From bamboo bedding to bamboo tables, you are sure to find a way to use bamboo to enrich your life.