Scientific Name: Rheum Rhabarbarum
Rhubarb is used primarily for digestive complaints including constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, stomach pain, gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, and preparation for certain GI diagnostic procedures. Some people use rhubarb to decrease the strain during bowel movements. Rhubarb is also used for gonorrhea, high levels of cholesterol in the blood, high blood pressure associated with pregnancy, and weight loss.
Rhubarb is also used to improve symptoms associated with menopause or menstruation. It is also used to reduce pain associated with pancreas swelling (inflammation) or to slow down kidney disease. Rhubarb is used to reduce symptoms of stroke, sepsis (blood infection), or pesticide poisoning. It is also used for some types of cancer and for patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
Early research suggests that taking rhubarb powder might reduce pain during menstruation.
Bleeding from the stomach and bowels
There is some evidence that taking rhubarb powder might be useful for treating gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.
Early research shows that eating ground rhubarb stalk for 4 weeks can lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
There is not enough reliable information to know if rhubarb helps people with kidney disease. Most studies have measured the effects of rhubarb on markers of kidney disease and the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure. Results are conflicting. Nearly all of the studies are low quality and at high risk of bias.
Cancer affecting the area behind the nose (nasopharyngeal cancer)
Early research suggests that taking a specific Chinese herbal product (Shenlong) containing rhubarb and other herbs along with radiation therapy does not improve healing in people with nasopharyngeal cancer.
For menopause: A specific rhubarb root dry extract (ERr 731, Anderson Global Group) ) 4 mg per day for up to 2 years.
For swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis): Rhubarb powder 15 grams in 100 mL warm water given by a healthcare provider through a tube going directly into the small intestine for up to one week.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN
For cold sores: Cream containing rhubarb extract 23 mg and sage extract 23 mg in every gram of cream, applied every 2 to 4 hours while awake. Treatment starts within one day after symptoms appear and continues for 10 to 14 days.
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