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Medicinal uses of Rhubarb

Rhubarb has a long history of herbal usage. The primary result of rhubarb root as an herbal medicine is a positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system. Rhubarb is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine. Rhubarb roots are harvested in the fall from plants that are at least six years old. The roots are then dried for later use. The root is used as an anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic. Rhubarb roots contain anthraquinones which have a purgative effect, and the tannins and bitters have an an effect that is opposite that of an astringent.

When taken internally in small doses, rhubarb acts as an astringent tonic to the digestive system, when taken larger doses rhubarb acts as a very mild laxative. The root can be taken internally for the treatment of chronic constipation, diarrhea, liver and gall bladder complaints, hemorrhoids, menstrual problems and skin eruptions due to an accumulation of toxins. Note that this remedy should not used by pregnant or lactating women, or patients with intestinal obstruction. Used externally, rhubarb root can be used in the treatment of burns.

People have further claimed that Rhubarb enhances the appetite when it is taken before meals in small amounts, that it also promotes blood circulation and relieves pain in cases of injury or inflammation, inhibits intestinal infections. and can also reduce autoimmune reactions. The impact of the rhubarb depends on how it is prepared. More recently there have been claims that rhubarb root (Rheum officinale) can be useful in treatment of Hepatitis B.

Laxative Tea

Psyllium Seed 3 parts
Licorice Root 3 parts
Rhubarb Root 2 parts
Senna Pods (crushed) 2 parts
Angelica Root 2 parts

Drink as a simple infusion in evening.

Colon Tonic

Cascara Sagrada 2 parts
Oregon Grape 2 parts
Cayenne 1 part
Ginger Root 1 part
Lobelia 1 part
Rhubarb Root 1 pt.

Stimulates peristalsis for chronic constipation of long duration. 2 "00" caps with water, morning and evening. When feces soften up go to 1 capsule twice a day.

Neutralizing Cordial

Rhubarb Tincture 80 ml
Cinnamon Tincture 64 ml
Hydrastis Tincture 40 ml
Spirit of Peppermint 8 ml
Potassium carbonate 16 grams
Simple Syrup 250 ml
Diluted alcohol (50%) 550 ml

1. Dissolve 16 grams of potassium carbonate in 250 ml Simple Syrup. 2. Mix the tinctures, spirit and diluted alcohol. 3. Mix both liquids, stirring or blending until KCO3 is dissolved. 4. Add additional diluted alcohol to the total (if necessary) to bring the total volume to 1000 ml.

Use a teaspoon or two for nausea, gas pains, dyspepsia, tenesmus, diarrhea, and constipation. An elegant pharmaceutical that may be the single closest thing to auniversal GI tonic. Unfortunately it is no longer made by any American manufacturer.

Elixir or Rhubarb

Fluid extract of rhubarb, 2 fluid ounces.
Simple elixir, 14 fluid ounces.
Carbonate of magnesium, a sufficient quantity.

Triturate the fluid extract of rhubarb in a capacious mortar with carbonate of magnesium in amount sufficient to form a creamy mixture, then gradually add the simple elixir, stirring well, and filter. Each fluid ounce of the finished elixir represents seven and one-half minims of fluid extract of rhubarb.


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