The leaves are consumed as green leafy vegetables, the rhubarb roots and rhizome are instead used in herbal medicine for their stimulating action on the intestine, liver and stomach.
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Originating from the East, China and Tibet in particular, the rhubarb plant has also spread elsewhere. It is used because it has beneficial properties, especially on the digestive system.
Against constipation and bad digestion
The main properties of rhubarb relate to the fact that small doses are enough to stimulate the production of gastric juices and therefore improve digestion. Taken in larger quantities it has a laxative effect, it is therefore a natural remedy in case of constipation. At the same time, it helps the liver perform its normal functions. To take advantage of its properties, an infusion of rhubarb can be prepared to be consumed if necessary. The important thing is not to overdo the quantities since excessive consumption or for a long time can lead to diarrhea and the consequent loss of mineral salts or the lack of assimilation of precious substances for the body. In herbal medicine it is found dried in powder or as an extract. The rhubarb mother tincture which is always purchased in herbal medicine also plays a curative role in the case of fissures and hemorrhoids, having healing properties.
Composed largely of water, rhubarb contains mineral salts, such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, potassium and selenium, as well as vitamins, especially of groups A and B. But to confer digestive, hepatoprotective, purifying virtues, laxatives and aperitifs to the plant, are microelements, such as reina, tannins, fibers, anthraquinone glucosides, some particular acids and pectins.
Precautions for use
In addition to not consuming this excess plant for too long, it is good to remember that it must be avoided during pregnancy, during breastfeeding, in the presence of intestinal obstruction or diverticula. Be careful even if you are taking medications or are prone to allergic reactions. In case of doubt, it is always better to hear a doctor's opinion.