Many people are not aware of the medicinal benefits of bamboo. It is more commonly known for its decorative and constructional uses. For centuries, however, bamboo has been used in Asia for its medicinal purposes. It is considered a rich source of nutrients, including over ten amino acids, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, guaiacol, cresol, phenol, formic acid, acetic acid, benzoic acid and salicylic acid. It is also considered the richest natural source of silica, a mineral vital to bone formation. Bamboo is the principal food for many animal species. For example, it is a major food source of the red panda in Nepal and the bamboo lemurs in Madagascar. The diet of the giant panda in China is almost exclusively bamboo. Bamboo is thought to be the reason why their skeletal system is very strong.
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