Rhubarb facts

Rhubarb is a perennial and cool season plant which is resistant to drought and winter hardy. The crown consists of buds and fleshy rhizomes. In the spring, the edible leaves and petioles appear. Before it became a vital part of human diet, Rhubarb was used in the folk medicines. It prefers moist soil, temperate climate and the areas with adequate amount of sun. Rhubarb is used as a source of fiber, pigment and food in addition to treat various disorders.

Name Rhubarb
Scientific Name Rheum rhabarbarum
Native Native to Siberia
For over 5000 years, it is used as a medicinal plant in Asia. Rhubarb was the renowned vegetable in Asia but was not grown widely in the past.
Common/English Name Garden rhubarb, Pieplant, Rhubarb, österreichischer Rhabarber, Rabarbaro, Rabarbaro commune, Ruibarbo, Ruibarbo,  Wineplant, Rabarber, Daehwang
Name in Other Languages German: Rhabarber,
Dutch: rabarber,
Swedish: rabarber,
Danish: rabarber,
Norwegian: rabarbra,
Icelandic: rabarbari,
French: rhubarbe,
Italian: rabarbaro,
Spanish: ruibarbo,
Catalan: ruibarbre,
Portuguese: ruibarbo,
Romanian: revent,
Russian: ревень – revenj,
Polish: rabarbar,
Czech: reveň,
Bulgarian: равен,
Croatian: rabarbara,
Serb: рабарбара,
Slovenian: rabarbara,
Ukrainian: rumbambar,
Lithuanian: rabarbaras,
Albanian: raven,
Turkish: ravent,
Hungarian: rebarbara,
Finnish: raparperi
Plant Growth Habit Herbaceous
Growing Climate Cool
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size Height and Width: 2-4 feet
Lifespan Perennial, 10-15 years in wild
Root Orange tinted, brown, fibrous and woody
Stem Fleshy, red, pink or light green; Length: 12-18 inches
Leaf Heart shaped, fan like, triangular, dark green, Diameter: 30 cm
Petiole Thick, red skinned, Length: 18 inches long, Diameter: 1-2 inches
Stalk shape and size Long, thin, resembles celery, Height: 24 inches
Stalk color Deep red-light green
Flowering Season June
Flower Green white-rose red, hermaphrodite
Flesh color White
Flavor/aroma Tart sweet
Stalk taste Sour
Varieties/Types
  • Tilden
  • Victoria
  • Valentine
  • MacDonald
  • Crimson
  • Canada Red
  • Red Cherry
  • Ruby Red
Major Nutritions (Raw) Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 35.7 µg (29.75%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 9.8 mg (10.89%)
Calcium, Ca 105 mg (10.50%)
Manganese, Mn 0.239 mg (10.39%)
Potassium, K 351 mg (7.47%)
Total dietary Fiber 2.2 g (5.79%)
Carbohydrate 5.54 g (4.26%)
Magnesium, Mg 15 mg (3.57%)
Iron, Fe 0.27 mg (3.38%)
Copper, Cu 0.026 mg (2.89%)
Health Benefits
  • Losing weight
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Supports digestion
  • Prevent Alzheimer’s
  • Healthy bones
  • Prevent cancer
  • Circulates blood
  • Kidney stones
  • Maintains blood pressure
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Antibacterial activity
Calories in 1 cup diced (122 gm) 26 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • The root is considered to be antiseptic, anticholesterolemic, antispasmodic, antitumor, astringent, aperient, demulcent, cholagogue, diuretic, purgative, laxative, tonic and stomachic.
  • It is taken in small doses as an astringent and tonic for the digestive system whereas larger doses are used as a mild laxative.
  • The internal use of root helps to treat diarrhea, constipation, haemorrhoids, skin eruptions, liver and gall bladder ailments as well as menstrual problems.
  • The external usage of root helps to treat burns.
  • The dried root is used to prepare a homeopathic.
  • It is used to treat diarrhea in the teething children.
  • In Chinese medicine, the root is used as a vital ingredient which helps to lower the level of blood glucose.
  • It helps to induce vomiting.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, the roots of Rhubarb are used as a laxative to treat millennia.
  • In Korea and China, the extract made from Rhubarb is used to prevent ulcers, fever, cancer, toothaches, headaches and liver conditions.
  • The rhizomes and dried root helps to treat ailments such as constipation, poor blood circulation and senility.
  • Rhubarb helps to treat cold sores.
Precautions
  • Rhubarb causes side effects such as gastrointestinal problems.
  • Due to the presence of oxalic acid in the leaves, it could create additional health problems.
  • The pregnant women, kidney or liver patients should consult the doctor before using it medicinally.
  • Leaf has oxalate can which can cause toxic symptoms such as burning in the throat, eyes and mouth, problem in breathing and skin edema.
  • Severely, it could lead to kidney failure, coma, convulsions and death.
  • The people having kidney ailments, gout and rheumatoid arthritis should avoid this food.
  • Rhubarb can cause stomach pain, uterine contractions and watery diarrhea.
  • The long use can lead to bone loss, muscular weakness, irregular heart rhythm and potassium loss.
  • It is not safe for the children.
  • Rhubarb can worsen the condition of diarrhea or constipation.
  • The people having kidney stones should not take rhubarb.
How to Eat
  • Rhubarb is used to make pies and desserts.
  • The stalks are cooked with other fruit to add acidity in compotes, jams, sauces and desserts.
  • The stalks are used in pies or used with strawberries to add sweetness.
  • Rhubarb is used to make jams and jellies.
  • Rhubarb is also preserved by freezing or canning.
  • It is used in the savory dishes and pickled as well.
  • Rhubarb can be infused with the fruit juice.
  • It is used to prepare tarts, crumbs, puddings, muffins, pancakes, strudel etc.
  • It can be included in cakes, breads and made a refreshing juice.
  • Rhubarb is combined with blueberries, strawberries and peaches.
  • Rhubarb can be consumed in form of smoothies and wines.
  • It is used as an ingredient in the baked goods.
Other Facts
  • The taste of the stalk is determined by its color.
  • The leaves of the Rhubarb are poisonous.
  • Flowers are self-pollinated.
  • The stalks are an excellent source of vitamin K and C, dietary fibers, manganese, calcium and potassium.
  • Rhubarb is called pie plant as it is mostly used for preparing pies.
  • Rhubarb leaves are used to repel insects.
  • In the 16th century, Rhubarb was considered more valuable than the cinnamon in the France and in 17th century, it was more expensive in comparison to opium in England.
  • Rhubarb belongs to the Polygonaceae family which also includes sorrel and buckwheat.
  • The red stalks possess more minerals and vitamins in comparison to the green.

References:

http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/rhubarb-stalks.php

http://www.alive.com/food/rhubarb/

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-214-rhubarb.aspx?activeingredientid=214&

http://produce.about.com/od/Top-10/fl/9-Facts-About-Rhubarb-That-Will-Blow-Your-Mind.htm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874114002499

https://draxe.com/rhubarb/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/rhubarb.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/rhubarb.html

http://tenrandomfacts.com/rhubarb/

http://www.freshforkids.com.au/veg_pages/rhubarb/rhubarb.html

http://www.softschools.com/facts/plants/rhubarb_facts/1313/

https://floweryprose.com/2016/05/25/fun-and-interesting-facts-about-rhubarb/