Botanical Name: Rheum palmatum | Family: Polygonaceae
Common name(s): Turkey Rhubarb, Chinese Rhubarb
- Perennial | Zones 6-9 | 9 feet tall | Palmate, roughish leaves. Greenish-white flowers in June/July. Larger than garden rhubarb.
- Full sun to partial shade | Prefers well-drained, moist soil but will grow in clay soils
Parts used: Root (for medicine), stems for food, leaves are poisonous
Harvest at least 6-year old roots in the fall.
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Decoction: Put 1/2 – 1 tsp root in 1 cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 2x/day
Tincture: 1-2 ml 3x/day
Constituents: Anthraquinones, calcium oxalate, essential oils, fatty acids, minerals, resins, tannins
Actions: Astringent, bitter], laxative
Uses: at normal doses it treats constipation. At low doses tbe astringent action treats diarrhea.
Cautions: DO NOT EAT THE LEAVES! They are toxic. Avoid during pregnancy. Oxalates can aggravate arthritis and gout. Enhances loss of potassium, which can interfere with certain cardiac drugs.
- Bitter, cold, dry
- A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve
- Medical Herbalism, David Hoffman
- Herbal Remedies, Andrew Chevallier
- The Complete Medicinal Herbal, Penelope Ody
- Plants for a Future
- photo credit: douneika Rheum palmatum via photopin (license)
I do not have access to turkey rhubarb, but when we were splitting up a 15-yr old garden rhubarb, I dried some of the root. According to A Modern Herbal, it is similar in action to Turkey Rhubarb, only milder. I haven’t used it yet, it sits in my pantry.