Bamboo: The Antibacterial, Anti-Odor Superhero of the Plant World
by BENNY YU on Oct 15, 2022
You know that old saying, "you can't judge a book by its cover?" Well, it turns out that you really can!
At least when it comes to bamboo.
This humble plant is often underestimated because of its unassuming appearance, but don't let looks deceive you - bamboo is a superhero when it comes to anti-bacterial and anti-odor properties.
In this article, we're going to dive into the science behind why bamboo is so unique and show how you can benefit from these properties in your own home.
Okay, Is Bamboo Really Antibacterial?
Cutting to the chase, the short answer is yes.
Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and antifungal. In fact, bamboo has been shown to be effective against a wide range of bacteria, including some that are resistant to antibiotics.
Does this mean you can use bamboo products in your life, and you'll be able to enjoy all the anti-bacterial properties you could expect from an anti-bacterial hand gel or soap? Well, technically, yes, but it is a little more complicated than that!
This is all thanks to a part of the bamboo known as 'Bamboo Kun.'
Bamboo Kun is an antimicrobial agent that is found in the bamboo plant. It's what gives bamboo its natural anti-bacterial and antifungal properties.
Bamboo Kun has been shown to be effective against a wide range of bacteria, including some that are resistant to antibiotics. In fact, one study showed that bamboo Kun could kill up to 80% of bacteria on a surface.
So, how does bamboo Kun work?
Bamboo Kun works by damaging the cell walls of bacteria. This makes it difficult for the bacteria to reproduce and spread. As a result, the population of bacteria on a surface is reduced.
In addition to its antibacterial properties, bamboo Kun also has antifungal properties. This means that it can help prevent mold and mildew growth.
Bamboo Kun is not just effective against bacteria and fungi - it also has antiviral properties. In one study, bamboo Kun was shown to be effective against the influenza virus.
Is Antibacterial Bamboo Scientifically Proven?
Of course, don't just take our word for it.
In addition to the influenza study above, there have been plenty of studies over the years that have proven that bamboo is practical when it comes to providing anti-bacterial properties.
For example, a study from SWST back in 2012 found that the bacteriostatic rate of regenerated bamboo fiber against S.aureus (the most common bacteria that causes disease within humans) was around 75.8% effective, but it's worth noting that natural bamboo on its own showed little to no signs of impact.
Another study published in the Journal of Family Ecology and Consumer Sciences back in 2011 that specifically looked into regenerated bamboo fabrics, comparing these to cotton and other viscose fibers, found similar results.
While this study didn't link the anti-bacterial properties to the Bamboo Kun itself and didn't kill bacteria completely, it did prove that it slowed the growth of bacteria. It also noted that while other viscose fibers are more effective, this could be because the fibers are broken down into a pulp and then made into fabrics, and the anti-bacterial properties could come to light during this process.
On the other hand, bamboo doesn't currently go through this process on a commercial level and therefore doesn't have the same effects.
There is certainly some debate about what this all means.
Some studies state that bamboo has these properties, and others disagree and say more research is needed, which is really the crux of where we're currently at.
Bamboo products are taking the world by storm, but the industry still has a long way to go. There's still a debate as to whether the production of mechanically reared bamboo is better than naturally grown bamboo and what the most sustainable yet commercially viable approach is.
Long story short, we're certainly in the early days of the bamboo industry, but there is certainly an effect that we can all benefit from.
Speaking from NRK.TV, expert Sandra Roos, who has over 16 years of experience working with bamboo and the fashion industry, explains that the process of using bamboo as a textile and fabric needs to be refined.
She explains how the process of peeling back the bark and breaking it into a pulp can actually reduce the natural antibacterial properties, and this process would need to change. She also explains how bamboo has zinc, which is usually added naturally throughout the manufacturing process and is known to help prevent bacterial growth.
Finally, she adds that bamboo is naturally super-absorbant, which could help reduce moisture when worn, thus reducing the potential to smell and minimizing the breeding grounds in which bacteria thrive.
Again, it's early days for the bamboo industry, but when you start adding in the comfort levels that bamboo fabric provides, the notable natural benefits, and the increasing cost-effective and sustainable production methods, there's certainly a lot to get excited about.
How You Can Enjoy Bamboo Products At Home
Now that we know a bit more about bamboo and its potential benefits let's take a look at some of the ways you can enjoy bamboo products in your own home.
Bamboo Sheets: Soft, Comfortable, and Anti-Odor
Bamboo sheets are a great option if you're looking for an upgrade to your current bedding situation. They are incredibly soft and comfortable and offer a range of benefits that other materials simply can't match.
For example, bamboo is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, which means it's resistant to dust mites, mold, mildew, and other allergens that can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems.
Moreover, bamboo is also naturally absorbent, which helps wick away moisture and keeps you cool and comfortable all night long. And because it's so porous, it also helps to prevent odors from building up over time.
Bamboo Socks: Breathable, Anti-Odor, and Hypoallergenic
If you suffer from allergies or sensitive skin, then you know how difficult it can be to find socks that don't irritate your skin or cause you to break out in a rash. But bamboo socks offer a hypoallergenic alternative that's gentle on your skin and won't trigger an allergic reaction.
What's more, bamboo is also incredibly breathable, which helps keep your feet cool and dry even on the go. And because it's so absorbent, it helps to prevent odors from building up in your shoes.
Ready to try them out for yourself? Check out our full range of beautiful, comfortable, and affordable bamboo socks right here at Seri Simple. You don't want to miss out!
Bamboo Towels: Soft, Absorbent, and Anti-Odor
Towels are one of those things that you don't really think about until you don't have a good one. But a quality towel can make all the difference in your daily shower or bath.
Bamboo towels are soft, absorbent, and naturally antimicrobial, which means they're resistant to mold, mildew, and other allergens. With their outstanding absorbency, these towels also help prevent odors from building up over time and keep you cool and comfortable all night long.
Bamboo Cutting Boards: Durable, Easy to Clean, and Anti-Odor
A good cutting board is an essential tool in any kitchen. But not all cutting boards are created equal. Bamboo cutting boards are durable, easy to clean, and naturally antimicrobial, which means they're resistant to bacterial growth.
And since bamboo is so absorbent, it helps to prevent odors from building up over time. So if you're looking for a cutting board that will last you for years to come, bamboo is the way to go.
You get the idea.
The bamboo industry is on the rise, and it will be for the foreseeable future, so don't miss out. Bring one of nature's best, unsung heroes into your home, and see what it can do for you!