Bamboo is one of the two main ingredients of the I Coloniali Softening body care line . Bamboo has many cosmetic properties; it makes the skin more elastic and luminous and is also suitable for the most sensitive skins.
The symbol of longevity, strength and flexibility, bamboo is also a top-class choice for sustainable beauty products. The powdered bamboo prepared from its leaves is rich in minerals. In particular, the silicate layers have great exfoliative potential and help the skin to absorb essential minerals, so revitalising it and making it more luminous.
Bamboo: cosmetic and medical properties
Bamboo is a woody, perennial, evergreen plant, originally from the Indo-Burmese region and very widespread in the tropics. The stems are strong and thick, formed from various nodes. Bamboo plants can grow up to 10–20 metres in height with 4–10 cm diameter shoots. The young part of the stems has a length of 20–30 cm and is soft and ivory in colour.
Korea is one of the largest producers of cosmetics based on bamboo, used most of all for bath salts thanks to its cleansing power. Bamboo extract is rich in vitamins and amino acids. II moisturises and deeply smooths the skin, promoting the natural regeneration of the cells and preventing premature ageing.
The moisturising substances present in Bamboo extracts contain anti-irritant, astringent, refreshing and stimulating agents which help to reduce wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin. The extracts of many species of bamboo also possess antibacterial properties which are exploited in cosmetics to limit the proliferation of certain bacterial strains. These bacteria can cause acne or allergy problems.
Other studies have revealed that bamboo extracts exhibit tyrosinase inhibition, thus helping to making the skin colour more uniform, a characteristic much desired by all users of cosmetic products, male and female. The xylooligosaccharides are highly absorbed through the skin, thanks to their low molecular weight, and offer numerous beneficial actions including potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Bamboo shoots contain various vitamins: B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B6 (pyridoxine). They also contain a good number of minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, chromium, copper and phosphorus. The minerals and vitamins have skin rejuvenating properties.
Bamboo shoots have a high nutritional value. They contain many proteins, sugars, minerals, fibre, vitamins and highly valued antioxidants. They are used both as natural therapeutic remedies and as the base of many cosmetics.
The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of bamboo extracts are due to compounds such as flavonoids, glycosides, phenolic acids, coumarin, lactones, benzoquinones and anthraquinones, stigmasterol and sterols. In addition to bioactive compounds such as glycosylated flavonoids and polyphenols, bamboo leaves contain a large amount of active low molecular weight oligosaccharides such as arabinoxylans and xylooligosaccharides which are considered to be prebiotics.
Bamboo leaves, as well as the other parts of the plant, had been used since ancient times in traditional Tibetan and Chinese Ayurvedic medicine for the preparation of various herbal remedies. The most famous of these remedies is called Tabasheer. This acts as an antispasmodic and is used in combination with other plant extracts in the treatment of asthma, coughs and sore throats.
Taking ancient medicinal practices as a starting point, modern medical and biological research shows that many bamboo extracts also have potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-obesity effects. All these potential effects, which are due to the chemicals and vitamins it contains, decrease the risk of heart disease.
Bamboo: history and symbolism
Bamboo (bambusa vulgaris) is one of the tallest grasses to grow on our planet but because of its very tree-like appearance it is often called a “bamboo tree”. It is a species which is used for multiple purposes: for its beauty, its biology and its history. The plant originated in China but it is found all over the world. Thanks to its longevity and hardiness, scholars have become increasingly interested in it. Many ancient civilisations associated the plant with different symbolic meanings and significances.
For example, in China it symbolises honesty and integrity whilst in India it is used as a symbol of friendship. The history of Bamboo is bound up with the traditions of the tribal peoples of the whole of Asia. The tree has more than 1,500 different traditional uses and a variety of industrial applications such as textiles, construction, food and agriculture, without forgetting the medicinal and cosmetic uses.
In ancient Asian cultures it was believed that man had appeared from a bamboo root. Filipino mythology tells that man and woman materialised from the splitting of a bamboo tree on an island between the sky and the ocean. In Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese culture, these trees are linked to the manifestations of many Gods and Goddesses of the Tang Dynasty.
Many texts from Chinese literature praise bamboo trees as being elegant and straight and are interpreted as metaphors which describe people with these characteristics. As well as being associated with lifestyle, the plant also played a significant role in the history of Buddhism, since the monks were the first to use them as a source of food. Buddhist temples are surrounded by bamboo forests, as the tree is also considered a barrier which can scare away evil.