- As of 2000, there were 62 known bamboo species in the Philippines. Of these, 21 are endemic or native Philippine bamboos; 13 are climbers and 8 are erect. (3)
The rest are introduced; a few introduced in prehistoric times.
- There are more than a 1000 different bamboos worldwide.
- Bamboo, a type of grass, is the fastest growing plant in the world. Some varieties grow at a peak rate of 5 centimeters (2 inches) per hour; more commonly about 10 centimeters per day. (2) (3)
Phyllostachys nigra is an evergreen bamboo growing 3 to 6 meters high. Culms are 50 millimeters or more in diameter. Internodes are cylindrical or grooved on the branch-bearing side, 15 to 25 centimeters long; green when young, sparsely to densely soft-hairy, becoming smooth with age and mottled with purple spots until the whole culms appear purplish-black. Branches are paired in midculm, unequal in thickness. Culm sheaths are yellowish-green to light orange-yellow when fresh. Leaves are abundant, lance-shaped, 4 to 13 centimeters long.
- Recently introduced to the Philippines.
- Ornamental cultivation.
- Thrives well in Bukidnon.
- Native to China.
- Long cultivated in Japan.
- Bamboo leaf extract yielded chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and luteolin 7-glucoside.
- Study of bamboo leaves by chromatography on silica gel column yielded 12 compounds
from EtOAc soluble fraction and n-BuOH soluble fraction: ß-sitosterol (1), tricin (2), daucosterol (3), butanedioic acid (4), 5-methyluracil (5), tricin-7-O-ß-D-glucopyranoside (6), vitexin (7), tricin-7-O-neohesperidoside (8), orientin (9), isoorientin (10), uracil (11), rhymisine (12). (11)
- Study of leaves showed moisture, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, and carbohydrate contents of 6.30%, 5.1%, 1.73%, 10.61%, and 76.26%, respectively. Of the organic acids, citric acid was most abundant, followed by succinic acid, acetic acid, malic acid, and formic acid. Total polyphenol and flavonoid contents were 21.66 mg/g and 42.78 mg/g respectively. (see study below)
- Studies have suggested anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, prooxidant, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, anti-melanogenic, aldose-reductase inhibitory properties.
Leaves, stems, roots.
- Young shoots are edible. Acrid when raw; prepared by boiling.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Elsewhere, rhizomes used for treating astralgia and amenorrhea.
- Leaves are antipyretic and diuretic. Used for treatment of infantile convulsions, vomiting, and nosebleeds. Juice of stems is antipyretic, antitussive, expectorant and sedative. Roots have been for treatment of rabies. Bamboo parts are dried for later use.
- Culms: Used in furniture making. In England, used for making pipe stems, chairs, walking sticks.
- Rural use: Bamboo is integral to the Filipino's rural lives. Midwives used the razor-sharp bamboo knife to cut the newborn's umbilical cord. (3)
- Crafts / Construction: Strong and straight culms make it useful for construction. Culms are carved to make various utensils and crafts. Even today, bamboo splits are still used in building houses. (3) Used for decorative inlays and paneling. Rhizomes used for making umbrella handles, wickerwork, canes, musical instruments, and various other handicrafts. (4) Used for scaffolding and bicycle frames.
- Dance culture: The Philippine cultural dances of "tinikling" and "singkil" rhythmically weave in and out of bamboo poles, usually the species balo (Kligantochloa buis). (3)
- Energy source: Study showed P. nigra can be source of briquette production and alternative source of raw material for energy generation (see study below) (13)
• Inhibition of Interleukin-12 / Anti-Inflammatory: Pharmacological inhibition of interleukin-12 (IL-12) production may be a therapeutic strategy for preventing occurrence and progression of disease in experimental models of autoimmunity. An acetone fraction from bamboo, P. nigra var henonis, potently inhibited the lipopolyssacharide (LPS)-induced IL-12 production from RAW264.7 monocytic cell line in a dose-dependent manner via inhibition of NF-kappaB binding activity. (7)
• Antioxidant / Prooxidant / Leaves: Bamboo leaf extract containing chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and luteolin 7-glucoside was evaluated for in vitro free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities. The BLE showed both antioxidant and prooxidant activity. The leaf extract exhibited concentration-dependent scavenging of DPPH radical. The prooxidant activity, although minor, resulted from the reducing power of plant phenolics in the presence of transitional metal ions. (8)
• Comparative Antioxidant Activity / Ginkgo biloba / Leaves: Study showed the total flavonoid content and anti-free radical activity of bamboo leaf are comparable with the leaf of ginkgo biloba. Both are potential sources of natural antioxidant and free radical scavenger. (9)
• Anti-Melanogenic / Antioxidative / Stems: Study evaluated an EtOAc fraction (PN3) of P. nigra stem extract for anti-melanogenic and antioxidative activities. The PN3 consisted of a mixture of flavonoids, such as catechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and p-coumaric acid. Antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH, ABTS, and hydroxyl scavenging assays, as well as ROS inhibition. The PN3 showed in vitro tyrosinase inhibition activity. The PN3 demonstrated potent anti-melanogenic effects as evidenced by inhibition of PKA/CREB and degradation of microphthalimic-associated transcription factor (MITF), resulting in suppression of melanogenic enzymes and melanin production, probably attributable to the presence of flavonoid compounds. The results suggest potential use as additive to whitening cosmetics. (10)
• Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol Toxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective potential of ethanolic extract of P. nigra leaves on paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity. Pretreatment with P. nigra extract reduced the biochemical markers of hepatic injury i.e., SGPT, SGOT, ALP, total bilirubin and total protein. (12)
• Potential for Briquette Production: Study evaluated the potential of four bamboo species (Bambusa vulgaris, Phyllostachys bambusoides, P. edulis, and P. nigra) for briquette production. Parameters measured were moisture content, bulk density, compression strength, proximate analysis, gross calorific value and energetic density. Briquettes produced from P. nigra showed the best energetic quality, followed by P. edulis, P. bambusoides and B. vulgaris. Results suggests the four bamboo species can be used as alternative raw materials for energy generation. (13)
• Inhibition of Pigmentation: Study evaluated the effect of bamboo (P. nigra var. henosis Strapf) leaf extract on formation and decrease of UVB-inducd epidermal melanocytes in C57BL/6 mice. The leaf extract was administered intraperitoneally or topically pre- or post-irradiation. Results showed interruption of UVB-induced pigmentation and marked reduction in number of epidermal melanocytes. The number of DOPA-positive epidermal malanocytes were also decreased. Results suggest potential use as inhibitor of UVB-induced pigmentation and depigmenting agent. (14)
• Inhibition of Aldose Reductase and Advanced Glycation EndProducts / Potential for Diabetes Treatment: Study of P. nigra isolated eight compounds which were tested for effects on rat lens aldose reductase and advanced glycation endproducts. Luteolin 6-C-(6"-O-trans-caffeoylglucoside) showed strong aldose reductase and advanced glycation endproduct inhibition. The compound also showed antioxidant activity. Results suggest the flavone can be a lead compound for a new natural product for diabetic complications. (15)
• Enhanced Leukemia Cell Differentiation / Potential for Leukemia Treatment / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of acetone fraction from P. nigra leaves on cell differentiation in a Human myeloid leukemia HL-60 cell culture system. MTT and nitroblue tetrazolium reduction assay showed inhibition of proliferation, along with a little increase in cell differentiation. Results suggest the acetone fraction of the bamboo leaf enhanced leukemia cell differentiation and potential in the treatment of leukemia. (16)
• Antioxidative / Oral Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidative and oral antimicrobial effects of P. nigra var. henonis leaves. The ethanol extract of leaves showed strong antimicrobial effects against oral pathogenic bacteria i.e., S. mutans, S. sobrinus, P. gingivalis, and P. intermedia suggesting an effective natural agent for oral hygiene. (see constituents above) (17)
• Antiallergy in Asthma: The middle layer of P. nigra callus has been used for cough and sputum. Study evaluated the positive effect of P. nigra on asthma murine model by measuring IL-4 production of broncho-alveolar lavage fluid , IgE of serum, and immune cell infiltration of lung tissue. Results showed P. nigra has anti-allergy effects on asthma, based on down-regulation of ICAM-1 (intracellular adhesion molecule-1). (18)
• Anti-Tumor / Friedelin / Bamboo Shavings: Study evaluated the anti-tumor activities of a terpenoid-rich extract of bamboo shavings (EBS) and its main component, friedelin. The triterpenoid -rich extract was prepared from P. nigra var henonis. The EBS was proved to inhibit growth of P388 and A549 cancer cell lines effectively. It showed notable inhibitory effect on sarcoma-loaded mice S180 model. MTT assay showed friedelin exhibited strong anti-tumor activities on the proliferation of four cancer cell lines viz., A375, L929, HeLa and THP-1. Results suggest the EBS has great potential as functional food for its anti-tumor activity, with friedelin as its most important constituent. (19)
- Seeds in the cybermarket.