Other names: Chinese Rhubarb, Turkey Rhubarb

Scientific name: Rheum officinalis, rheum palmatum

Common names: Turkey rhubarb

Ayurvedic names: Amla-vetasa 

Chinese names: chuan da huang

Bangladesh names: Revanchini, Rheuchini

Arabic names:    الراوند (ar-ruwand)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae?

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Root

Collection:  Usually collected in China or Turkey


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 5 to 10 feet

Actions:  Bitter, aperient, astrigent, purgative, stomachic, tonic, vulnerary

Known Constituents: Anthraquinones, tannins

Constituents Explained:


Traditional Use:

A laxative of moderate strength.  At lower doses it doesn’t seem to function as a laxative, but instead is used for the liver and gallbladder, and to control diarrhoea.  At higher doses it purges and cleanses walls of the large intestine, and its astrigent action has has antiseptic effect.

An old fashioned remedy, and a laxative considered so gentle that an infant can take it.  Thought of to stimulate the gall bladder.1 The leaf is considered poisonous.1 Rhubarb can be high in oxalic acid.

Like many products that have the effect of helping the colon empty its contents its best to combine with calming herbs like chamomile, fennel or giner.

It also seems to show mild antimicrobial function. 

Occasionally it can colour the urine yellow or red.

Clinical Studies:

Rhubarb has been used to decrease plasma cholesterol levels and reduce vascular endothelial cellular damage in recent years. However, it is not known whether reported lipid-lowering effects are associated with the improvement of endothelial function.

A study aimed to elucidate the therapeutic effects of rhubarb on serum lipids and brachial artery endothelial function, as well as to investigate the relationship between them.

One hundred and three patients with atherosclerosis were randomly divided into two groups: patients in the control and the trial group received a placebo and rhubarb, respectively, in addition to the 6 month baseline therapy. 

Serum lipids and brachial artery endothelial functions were measured in all patients before and after treatment. A total of 83 patients completed the 6-month follow-up protocol. 

Serum total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in the trial group decreased significantly and LDL-C was significantly lower than that in the control group. 

Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in the trial group was significantly higher after treatment in comparison to the baseline and to the control group. Improvement in FMD correlated with the decreased magnitude of TC and LDL-C levels. 

The results obtained appeared to confirm that rhubarb significantly improves endothelial function mainly due to lipid-lowering effects in patients with atherosclerosis.


Liu YF, Yu HM, Zhang C, Yan FF, Liu Y, Zhang Y, Zhang M, Zhao YX. “Treatment With Rhubarb Improves Brachial Artery Endothelial Function In Patients With Atherosclerosis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” 2007 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17708625


                       RHUBARB, Turkey

Latin name:         Rheum palmatum

Family:                 N.O Polygonaceeae

Other names:

Chinese rhubarb, ornamental rhubarb and East Indian rhubarb.

The leaves of the Turkey Rhubarb are palmate and somewhat rough. The root is thick, of an oval shape, sending off long, tapering branches; externally it is brown, internally a deep yellow colour. 

The stem is erect, round, hollow, jointed, branched towards the top, from 6 to 10 feet high.

The Turkey Rhubarb grows remarkably quickly – a six-year-old plant was found to grow between April, when the stalk first emerged from the ground, to the middle of July, when it was at its greatest height, to 11 feet 4 inches. In one day it was observed to grow 3 inches and over 4 inches in one night. Many of its leaves were 5 feet long. The root, taken up in October, weighed 36 lb. when cleaned, washed and deprived of its small fibres.

It is especially useful in cases of diarrhoea, caused by an irritating body in the intestines: the cause of irritation is removed and the after-astringent action checks the diarrhoea. It is also been credited as a cure for Astringent, tonic, stomachic, aperient. In large doses, Rhubarb powder acts as a simple and safe purgative, being regarded as one of the most valuable remedies we possess, effecting a brisk, healthy purge, without clogging the bowels and producing constipation, too often consequent upon the use of the more active purgatives.

Rhubarb in small doses exhibits stomachic and tonic properties, and is employed in atonic dyspepsia, assisting digestion and creating a healthy action of the digestive organs, when in a condition of torpor and debility. 

The tincture is chiefly used, but the powder is equally effective and reliable. 

Rhubarb when chewed increases the flow of saliva.

Herb Name:  Turkey Rhubarb

Other Names:  Chinese rhubarb, ornamental rhubarb

Latin Name:  Rheum Palmatum

Family:  Polygonaceae

Common parts Used:  stem, roots

Turkey rhubarb is perennial plant. It has greenish white flower. It grows tall. It is native to China. It requires moist soil to grow. It belongs to the family polygonaceae.

The leaf of Turkey rhubarb is used raw as well as cooked. The stem is considered to be good in flavor to ordinary rhubarb. It has an acidic flavor. It is used as a substitute for cooked fruit. The leaves of plant are used for making spray against insects.

Turkey rhubarb is mostly used in china as natural drug. It is considered good for digestive system and used a tonic. It is also considered as anti cancer. Turkey rhubarb is laxative in nature. It is also used in stomachic. The root of Turkey rhubarb is used internally to treat diarrhea, constipation and other liver diseases. The plant should be not used in baby feeding mothers and pregnant women. The roots are also used for healing of wounds and burns. In children it is used for diarrhea during growth period.