Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum)
Rhubarb is a knotweed plant that originated in East Asia. The garden rhubarb we are familiar with has different ingredients than the medicinal rhubarb. The dried, peeled rhizome is used for medicinal purposes. The valuable constituents of the rhubarb root are mainly anthranoids, tannins, glycosides and flavonoids.
The medicinal herbs have a laxative effect (softening the stool) as well as against diarrhoea and stimulate intestinal peristalsis. It also has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. The main area of application for rhubarb root is constipation.
In folk medicine, medicinal rhubarb is also used for haemorrhoids and gingivitis. The plant, which has been used medicinally for over 5000 years, is also valued for its vermifuge and appetite stimulating effects.
Recent research is investigating the phytoestrogens contained in the root in connection with menopausal symptoms.