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Is bamboo antibacterial?

Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and is extremely efficient at reprocessing nutrients, so it requires no pesticides and little to no fertiliser to grow, although some farmers will add the latter to increase yields. For this reason, it’s important for manufacturers to source from certified organic sources.

Bamboo toothbrushes, for example, require very little processing. Bamboo is carved into shape and then the bristles are added. When the brush is no longer fit for purpose, the bamboo handle can be safely composted in nature. A much more sustainable alternative to plastic toothbrushes, which will stick around for ages.

The natural antibacterial comes with any bamboo product not covered in colour.

Effects are as with everything sometimes questioned. On internet with a simple googling "bamboo antibacterial" one will read about this in positive and negatives tones. This, on the negatives sides refers to clothing (rayon) where anti bacterial is mistaken for only hindering smell.

A 2012 study released by the Journal of The Textile Institute proved that an Australian-grown Moso bamboo (phyllostachys pubescens) has natural antibacterial agents located in the plant’s “lignin.” Meanwhile, a study in Japan also established that bamboo shoot skins could be utilized as a possible antibacterial material in the future. 

We in particular love this study: https://www.swst.org/wp/meetings/AM12/pdfs/papers/BAF-1.pdf



Besides bamboo, other plants also discovered to have natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties include:

  • Apple
  • Chamomile
  • Clove
  • Garlic
  • Hemp
  • Onion
  • Turmeric
This does not account for any plastic alternative. 
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