The bamboo plant is a type of giant grass. There are over 1,000 different species. Most grow in Asia. Young bamboo shoots are used as food and medicine.

Bamboo shoots are eaten like other vegetables. They're a source of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins E and C. They also contain chemicals that might have anti-cancer and thyroid effects.

People use bamboo for dental cavities and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
When taken by mouth: Bamboo shoots that have been processed properly are likely safe when consumed as food. There isn't enough reliable information to know if bamboo is safe or what the side effects might be when used in larger amounts as medicine.

When applied to the skin: Toothpaste containing bamboo salt is possibly safe when used twice daily for up to 4 weeks. There isn't enough reliable information to know if bamboo is safe or what the side effects might be when applied to other parts of the body.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if bamboo is safe to use when pregnant or 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: Taking bamboo shoots long-term might make these conditions worse.


There is interest in using bamboo for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of bamboo might be. 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 a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Medications for an overactive thyroid (Antithyroid drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Eating bamboo shoots long-term might decrease thyroid function. Medications for an overactive thyroid also decrease thyroid function. Taking bamboo shoots along with medications for an overactive thyroid might decrease thyroid function too much.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 31/07/2023 10:00:00 and last updated on 25/10/2022 07:14:43. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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