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«In small doses, Rhubarb is tonic and stomachic. Cholagogue.… Laxative at high doses. Because of its property to stimulate bile release, it is frequently used in liver diseases»[1].  

«Due to the presence of tannins, Rhubarb has a dual action; in small doses it is tonic, stomachic, astringent and antidiarrhoeal… while with appropriate dosage it becomes laxative»[2]. 

«… This species of Rheum officinale [Rhubarb] is also one of the most widely used Chinese herbs and is mentioned in the Canon of Herbs by Shen Nong, which dates back to the second century BC.…A bitter, astringent, refreshing, digestive and laxative herb; it stimulates the uterus and facilitates recovery…in case of chronic constipation, diarrhoea, liver and gallbladder disorders, haemorrhoids, menstrual problems, symptoms related to inflammation and rashes caused by the accumulation of toxins…, it should not be used during lactation and in patients with intestinal obstruction»[3]. 

«Chinese Rhubarb has long been appreciated as the most effective laxative in herbal medicine, also safe for children. It has been used in China for over 2,000 years and is an extremely effective treatment for many digestive problems. Paradoxically, it acts as a laxative when taken in high doses, while it has constipating effects [astringent] in small doses…. It is clear that root decoctions are effective against Staphylococcus aureus, an infectious bacterium that causes mouth ulcers and folliculitis (an acne-like infection that affects beard hair follicles»)[4]  

«Rhubarb is used as an appetite stimulant and for digestive problems, gastro-intestinal catarrh and teething pain (children). In China, Rhubarb is used for delirium, tenesmus, oedema, amenorrhoea and abdominal pain»[5].  

«In small doses Rhubarb acts as: aperitif, bitter tonic, stomachic, digestive, cholagogue; in large doses: purgative»[6].

«Rhubarb is used to treat constipation, dysentery, haemorrhoids, portal congestion, presence of worms, rashes due to faulty defecation, blood in stool duodenal ulcers»[7]


[1] Alberto Fibi, Erbe e piante medicinali, Garlini Editore, Milano.
[2] Enrica Campanini, Dizionario di fitoterapia e piante medicinali, Tecniche Nuove.
[3] Deni Bown, Il libro completo delle erbe, De Agostini.
[4] Andrew Chevallier, Enciclopedia delle piante medicinali; Idea Libri.
[5] Physicans’ Desk Reference, PDR for Herbal Medicines, fourth edition, Ed. Thomson
[6] Luigi Pomini, Erboristeria Italiana, Edizioni Vitalità.
[7] Michael Tierra, Planetary herbology, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.
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