TURKEY RHUBARB (Rheum palmatum)
Rhubarb is commonly used for pies, jams and as stewed rhubarb. Its red, bittersweet stems are found in supermarket produce shelves each spring and many people have it in their backyards. The Turkey Rhubarb is a member of the rhubarb family with roots which have a particularly strong and desirable potency.
The leaves of the Turkey Rhubarb are somewhat rough. The root is thick, of an oval shape, sending off long, tapering branches. Externally it is brown, internally a deep yellow color. It has a long thick root, brownish on the outside and full of reddish veins inside, similar to Garden Rhubarb. It flowers early to midsummer. It is also known as East Indian Rhubarb or China Rhubarb and has been used in China for more than 2,000 years.
Turkey Rhubarb must be purchased because its natural habitat is in China and Tibet. Rene Caisse preferred this variety to the common rhubarb because its medicinal properties were stronger and the taste less bitter.
The Turkey Rhubarb root contains vitamin A, many of the B complex, C, and P; calcium, chlorine, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and zinc.
The rhubarb root exerts a gentle laxative action by stimulating the secretion of bile into the intestines. It also stimulates the gall duct to expel toxic waste matter, thus purging the body of waste bile and food. As a result, it is alleged that the liver is cleansed and chronic liver problems are relieved. In small doses, the powdered root is an astringent and checks diarrhea, but in larger doses it irritates the colon causing the bowels to evacuate (diarrhea).
If diarrhea or abdominal discomfort develops, contact a qualified health practitioner. It may be necessary to either lower the dosage until the body adjusts to it, or stop taking it.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Disclaimer: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.