Bamboo tea

I read a blog earlier this week on the benefits of bamboo tea. I am always interested in trying the plants I have ready access to, and have some access to fishpole bamboo (aka golden bamboo, Phyllostachys Aurea). I've read both that it is edible, and that like pretty much all bamboo, it has to be prepared properly to be safe to consume - as it contains cyanogenic glycosides named taxiphyllin that turns into cyanide in your stomach. Cooking, soaking, and drying is said to reduce this to safe amounts. I'm trying to learn more - normally I walk away from a plant that could kill me if I don't prepare it properly. I like plants that are safe for me to mess up with. Does anyone here know more about it? I'm feeling a bit like if I soak the leaves, then dry them on low in oven, they should be good for tea, but would like to know more - I also want to preserve the elements that are beneficial. I won't put it to my lips until I know for absolute sure :)


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A side note: I love your avatar.

  • Interesting post - I'll be following. Thank you!

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 916 ✭✭✭✭

    I’ll be following this post as I am also intrigued how others may comment.

  • So what about bamboo shoots, used in Chinese cuisine? I'm so curious now as well.

  • csinclair461
    csinclair461 Posts: 159 ✭✭✭

    Thanks. These are sisters, who were born and grew up in our yard (stray mom who wouldn't get too close to us). Our yard grows more than just medicinal wild plants, heh.

  • csinclair461
    csinclair461 Posts: 159 ✭✭✭

    from reading, canned bamboo shoots are fine, and cooked shoots are fine. Some parts of the world soak the shoots for a few days, changing the water every day. Other places just cook them for a bit. I looked more into it today, and found:

    • A tea vendor that says they pick young leaves, wash, and dry in sun to make the tea they ship
    • A bamboo farmer in Florida that says she juices bamboo leaves, and she said people can sun dry their own bamboo leaves, and boil them in water a few minutes for tea. She said this was because it has high fiber content, and said nothing about the taxiphyllin.
    • a site that says to wash the fresh leaves, then boil them in water 5 min, strain leaves, and drink the tea (rather than ditch the water, can just drink it).
    • Another site said pick them, wash them, cut them up, dry fry them until the color starts to go brown. Then use the dried leaves to make tea by cooking dried leaves in gently boiling water for a few minutes.  

    So, what I feel best doing is wash, dry on stovetop or in oven/low heat, and boil dry leaves 5 min. After of course, identifying the type and confirming it’s edibility (even though most bamboo is supposed to be edible, some have higher levels of taxiphyllin than others, and some are more bitter). Apparently bitterness is a clue to taxiphyllin, as I read if you cook it, the bitter goes away, and if you can’t cook away the bitter, don’t eat it.

    That being said, I have heard some people say they ate some raw with no problem. 

    They have a lot of nutrition, and wound healing properties also. From things I have heard about horsetail, I believe one would want to toggle drinking/eating bamboo.

    Still would love to hear more :)