For centuries bamboo has been inextricably linked to the Chinese Culture. Su Dong Po philosopher and literary giant of the Song Dynasty (c960-1279AD) said that people could not live without bamboo.
Throughout its venerable history, China has used bamboo the way other cultures have used wood to create anything from furniture to musical instruments of unparalleled splendor. Bamboo has been the subject of many Chinese works of art, the shoots are used in Chinese cuisine, and of course, bamboo has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine since ancient times.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), all parts of the bamboo plant have medicinal value — although the shaved shoots, the dried or liquefied resin or “vinegar”, and the leaves all have differing applications.
TCM recognizes the following medicinal virtues of bamboo
- Reduces Fever
- Natural Expectorant(clears phlegm)
- Anti-Emetic (prevents vomiting)
- Prevents Seizures
The fundamental basis of TCM is the concept of “Qi.” Loosely translated, “Qi” means “vital energy.” In the TCM tradition, within the body Qi flows through meridians or energy pathways. Each major organ has its own meridian.
TCM recognizes several major Qi, or energy function problems, primarily described as “Qi Deficiency,” and “Qi Stagnation.” In these conditions, energy and information cannot move smoothly to or from its appropriate meridian. The conditions of Qi deficiency and Qi stagnation are most closely related to the liver meridian. Western Medicine often refers to such conditions as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Metabolic Syndrome.
TCM and many other alternative and complementary medical practices understand the value of detoxification. Even conventional medicine can no longer deny that environmental factors can play a significant role in many illnesses. It has been well documented that conditions from asthma to cancer are strongly influenced by exposure to toxic or allergenic substances in the environment. Today, we are living in a toxic soup. It is estimated that one in every four Americans suffers from some level of heavy metal poisoning.
Awareness about the positive health benefits of removing these toxins from the body is growing, as are the number of products available for natural detoxification. One of the latest is the use of organic bamboo vinegar
The Foot Is the Key
Chinese Medicine recognizes that the pathway to the meridians for the liver, kidneys, and gallbladder – the organs that handle toxins in our bodies – runs directly from the bottom of the foot. Foot patches have been shown to be a simple yet potent way to extract or draw toxins from the body. One of the most effective ingredients in these foot patches is bamboo vinegar.
Bamboo vinegar is a misnomer. Bamboo vinegar is actually not vinegar at all, rather it is a highly acidic byproduct of bamboo charcoal production To make bamboo charcoal, bamboo is burned in a furnace or Kiln, with smoke rising up a flew or chimney. As the chimney cools, condensation occurs and the smoke turns to a tar-like liquid. This liquid is called bamboo charcoal vinegar. Like other substances derived from bamboo trees, bamboo vinegar has potent medicinal properties.
Saunas or “sweat rooms” using Bamboo Charcoal have been used therapeutically to treat anxiety, fatigue and other mood disorders in Japan for hundreds of years. A recent scientific study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of such treatments concluded:
“Charcoal kiln sauna bathing appears to improve mood, reduce fatigue and decrease anxiety.”
Have you ever breathed in the air in the mountains or at the ocean and thought – “Wow I feel good”? This is not just because the air is “fresher”. Scientific studies have shown that the air around mountains, beaches and the like are charged with negative ions. Negative ions are tiny, undetectable molecules. They cannot be seen, nor smelled, nor tasted.
Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to interact with our body’s chemistry on a molecular level, stimulating particular biochemical reactions, which may increase the levels of certain neurotransmitters. Increased levels of neurotransmitters in the blood such as serotonin and norepinephrine can alleviate the symptoms of depression, relieve stress, and boost energy levels. Bamboo charcoal vinegar generates these same negative ions. Bamboo charcoal emits infrared rays, which reduce water vapor in the air to fine particles that naturally become negative ions. This may in part explain the therapeutic properties of bamboo charcoal or bamboo vinegar.
Footpads or patches using bamboo charcoal vinegar combine the known therapeutic properties of bamboo vinegar with the acupressure and acupuncture points of the sole of the foot to offer profoundly effective detoxification and rejuvenation. Foot patches imbued with bamboo vinegar stimulate key Chakra points or nerve endings on the bottom of your feet which, in turn, may improve the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids, enhance the flow of “Qi,” and boost the immune system.