Botanical Name: Bambusa bambos (L.) Voss.

Family: Gramineae; Poaceae.




Latin name : Bambusa = Indian name; bambos = derived froro the name bamboo’.

 Bamboo, common name for about 45 genera and about 480 species of perennial, woody, usually shrubby or treelike plants of the grass family. Bamboos occur mostly in tropical and subtropical areas, from sea level to snow-capped mountain peaks, with a few species reaching into temperate areas. They are most abundant in southeastern Asia, with some species in the Americas and Africa and none in Australia. The plants range from stiff reeds about 1 m (about 3 ft) tall to giants reaching 50 m (164 ft) in height and 30 cm (12 in) in diameter near the base. Most bamboos are erect, but some are viny, producing impenetrable thickets in some areas.

stamens, and two stigmas typical of most grasses. In addition, although many bamboos flower annually, many others flower only at intervals of 10 to 100 years. All members of a particular species flower at the same time, and the plants die shortly after flowering and setting their seed. The individual species are perpetuated by the seed or by new culms sprouted from rhizomes.


Bamboos are among the plants most widely used by humans. In the tropics they are used for constructing houses, rafts, bridges, and scaffolding. Split and flattened culms can be used as flooring and interwoven to make baskets, mats, hats, fish traps, and other articles; culms of large species may be used as containers for liquids. Paper is made from bamboo pulp, and fishing rods, water pipes, musical instruments, and chopsticks from other parts. Many bamboos are planted as ornamentals, and young shoots are eaten as a vegetable. The grain is also a food.



Names in different Indian languages



Spiny orThorny Bamboo


Bams, kantabams




Mula, illi


Vansha, venuh


Moongil; Moongiluppu


Vedurubiyyam, veduruppu


Qasab, Tabaashir








Vansha, Venu, Kichaka, Trinadhwaj, Shatparvaa, Yavphala. Vanshalochana, Vansharochanaa,  Shubhaa, tugaa, Tugaakshiri, Tvakkshiri


Bambusa  arundinaceae (Retz.) Roxb.

Arundo bambos L.

Classification according to Charaka, Susrutha & Vagbhata












Varieties & adulterants - (CV – controversy, AD – adulterants) 



Maranta  arundinacea Linn

Curcuma angustifolia Roxb


In female variety of bamboo, white juice gets accumulated in its hollow cavity, which is called as ‘Vanshalochan’(bamboo manna). This tree grows 15-20 mtrs. high usually on islands. Stem - circumference is 30-40 cms. with distant nodes and the cavity between two nodes is hollow.

Leaves - long with tapering ends; flowers and Fruits - occur after 30 yrs. flower stalk - long and branched.

Flowers - homosexual. Fruit - resembles yava fruit and known as Vanshayav. It bears flowers and fruits in summer.



Distribution & Habitat

All over India, hut mainly in Assam, Brahmadesh. Java and Sumatra


Chemical constituents:

 Vanshalochan (Ayurveda) contains 90% silica. potash, calciun carbonate, aluminium and yeast. (Artificial vanshalochan is available in the market which is not useful.)






Rasa : madhur, kashaya:

Guna : ruksha, laghu, Tiksna;

Virya : sheeta but tender leaves and fruits - ushna.

Vipaka -katu


Karma -

Vasti sodanam, chedayam, sopha haram



Rasa-Kasäya, madhur


Virya-  sheeta



Karma –

Balyam, vrisyam, grahi, dadhuvardati, vrana hara


Bamboo Grains

Rasa : madhur, kashaya:

Guna : ruksha

Virya : sheeta

Vipaka -madhura


Karma –

Balyam, pushtim, pittaharam



Root - kaphapittashamak. tender leaves and fruits - pittavardhak, vanshalochan - vatapittashamak


Karma -

carminative, digestive,astingent,bitter, aphrodisiac, decreses lipid cholestrol level, blood purifier, antipyretic, ,antimicrobial, antifungal, anthelmintic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifertility, hypoglycaemic




 Doshà : Roots - kaphaghna, pittaghna; vanshalochan - vatapittaghna; tender leaves and fruits - pittakar.

Dhatü: Rasa (fever, dysmenorrhoea, thirst). rakta - (bleeding disorders), cough, dermatoses, aphrodisiac (vanshalochan), meda (brimhan - vanshalochan), meda (fat metabolism, antiobesity).

Mala : Purisha (astringent), mutra (diuretic).





Raktapittam, daham, trishna, vranam, mutrakrichram, kushtam, pandu, swasa, kasa

fever, skin disease, cough, piles, leucorrhoea,vomiting, dysentery,gout, burning sensation,dyspepsia,cephalgia, worm infection



Part used:

  Vanshalochan , root, leaves



Vanshalochan 1-2 gm

Decoctions - 15 to 100 ml

Uses : Paste or ash of the roots is used locally in skin disorders. ringworm infection and dermatoses. Vanshalochan is used in vomiting, diarrhoea, heart disease, bleeding disorders. cough, asthma, chronic fever, general debility. Decoction of leaves is useful is dysmenorrhoea and ammenorrhoea.

Fruit acts on meda dhatu and is useful in fat metabolism and obesity Decoction of roots is given in rabies.



Important Yogas  or  Formations:

      Sitopaladi churna, Talisadi churna.        





Descriptions on  Ayurveda books / Nighandu:


Bamboo grain








Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

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