RHUBARB, Rheum officinale


For great health and happiness, you need to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

A few years ago, if someone mentioned cholesterol most folks wouldn’t know what they were talking about. Nowadays, most people know you shouldn’t eat a lot of fats, meats, rich or fried foods. If you do, you are likely to get cholesterol and plaque deposits in your arteries. Cholesterol causes heart attacks and strokes.

Everyday you hear people ask what they can do for the cholesterol deposits in their blood vessels. Well, lots of people know that lecithin niacin, garlic, cayenne and a dozen more herbs are all good for cholesterol. However, the other day, I read about some tests that were done on rabbits and other animals. They were fed fats and junk foods to make them have a lot of cholesterol. The writer said the elevated levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoprotein decreased when the animals were fed a solution of rhubarb root. He went on to say that when you eat a meal heavy in fats, try to eat a simple dessert of delicious cooked rhubarb to help control cholesterol. Now I can just see someone eating a bunch of junk foods, then topping the meal of with a big piece of rhubarb pie or a cobbler to keep their cholesterol count down.

Well, I don’t know if rhubarb works that well on cholesterol, but I do know that rhubarb, among other things is a great laxative.

An ancient Chinese herb book over 2,000 years old told of the plant called “tahuang”—the great yellow laxative. It was shipped to Europe and other parts of the world over two caravan routes, one through China and the other through Turkey. One was called Chinese rhubarb, although they were the same plant. This plant would grow about ten feet tall, but it was not harvested until the root was six years old. The herb was grown just for medicinal purposes.

In the 17th century, the rhubarb plant we know of became successful as a vegetable. It was called garden rhubarb. The stalks are used as a vegetable, although the root has medicinal properties. Garden rhubarb grows about three feet tall and has big green leaves and stalks that are green and reddish when ripe. The stalk is the part that is used medicinally. The big green leaf is loaded with oxalic acid, and to some people is to not eat the leaves. Rhubarb root is generally used as a laxative. However, in small doses it is used to overcome diarrhea and even dysentery.

After World War I, the people of Nairobi, Africa, suffered from acute bacillary dysentery and many died. Dr. R.W. Burkitt tried many treatments in vain. He said the only treatment that was successful was powdered rhubarb root, which he used for three years.

The Chinese say to use a small amount of rhubarb for diarrhea, and a large amount for a laxative. Also, for best results, rhubarb should be used in conjunction with other herbs. Rhubarb is one of the main ingredients in Grandma’s herbal Super-lax formula.

Rhubarb is used for many other purposes. In China, rhubarb tea and rhubarb juice is used to treat some forms of cancer. They also use it for tumors. Others use it for menstrual problems. It also helps to relieve the itchiness and pain of psoriasis, arthritis, eczema, herpes and some forms of hepatitis. Everyone agrees that rhubarb tastes good. I guess there isn’t anyone who hasn’t chewed on a stalk of rhubarb or had a big piece of rhubarb pie.

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