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BOOK of HERBS

Garden Rhubarb

It is hard to believe, but since the end of 18th century trade monopoly of this popular plant in China and Russia has been regulated by a special committee. Nowadays it is hard to point a person, who has never seen rhubarb. However, if there is any, here we come with a description: rhubarb is a plant growing up to 3 m, with large, palmate leaves with strong petioles and whitish top panicles.

Rhubarb is well know as both a vegetable of edible petiole and a medicinal plant.

What has made rhubarb so appreciated? After all, there was no shortage in European laxative or reverse-acting plants. Maybe it was only a common medical fashion for a drug? Probably no. Rhubarb root has some extraordinary properties – it is dose-dependent laxative or antidiarrheal. Small doses prevent diarrhoea and correspondingly greater ones facilitate bowel movement. In addition, its bitter taste increases gastric juice and saliva excretion which, in turn, increases and facilitates digestion. Thus, rhubarb root may be administered in hypoacidity with all the after-effects, such as lack of appetite, bloating, abdominal pain and difficulties in assimilation of food. In higher doses, rhubarb reduces pressure waves of the colon, helps in chronic constipation and obesity. Co-administered with relaxants, root is used as a laxative in post-operative states. Moreover, rhubarb root has antibacterial and astringent properties. Hence, Herbapol Wrocław uses this extraordinary material in two preparations: Radirex tablets and Rhelax syrup.