Mountain Rose Herbs

Turkey Rhubarb Root Powder

Also known as

Rheum palmatum, Rhubarb root, da huang, and Chinese rhubarb.

Introduction

Turkey rhubarb has been used as a purgative for at least 2,000 years. Its used was recorded in the Chinese medical text Divine Husbandman’s Classic of the Materia Medica nearly two centuries before the beginning of the Christian era. Rhubarb roots are dug in September or October after the stem and leaves of the plant are withered by frost. The roots should only dug after the plants are about 2-3 years old, and the maximum effectiveness of the roots as a purgative requires that they be aged for about 6-12 months.

Constituents

Anthaquinone glycosides including chrysophanol, emodin, aloe-emodin, rhein, physcion; as well as cinnamic acid, calcium oxalate, fructose, glucose, tannic acids, and sennosides A, B, and C.

Parts Used

Dried root, chopped and powdered.

Typical Preparations

Traditionally used as a tea or tincture. May also be taken as a capsule for convenience.

Summary

Chinese physicians today use rhubarb root teas to treat stubborn infections of the skin caused by Staphylococcus aureus. A powder of rhubarb root and licorice can be made into a plaster to treat boils and furuncles.

Precautions

If you experience cramping, you’ve taken too much. On the other hand, if you take only a tiny amount of rhubarb, you will become constipated. In very small doses, the tannins in rhubarb are more effective than the purgative chemicals and the herb actually causes constipation. Use as directed.

Don’t take rhubarb or any other stimulant laxative if you take Lasix (furosemide); the combination can lead to potassium depletion. Not known to be safe during pregnancy, although no complications have ever been reported. Not recommended for long term use.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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