Rhubarb
Rhubarb
Rhubarb
Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rheum rhabarbarum

Rhubarb is also high in vitamin K (which is essential for strong bones), vitamin C, iron and manganese.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Stalks
  • Side Effects: The leaves are poisonous
Use left and right arrows to navigate between tabs. Plants Informations

About Rhubarb

Cascading the stairwell from the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), it waves at its audience a hardy perennial crown. The long but thick stalk is what everyone gushes about. It is also recognized with different names, including R. xhybridum, R. xcultorum, and R. rhaponticum.

For thousands of years, rhubarb is highly respected in China and Russia due to its significant health benefits. The rhubarb plant can be 2 to 4 feet tall and emerges from a reddish-brown rhizome. Its leaves are heart-shaped with an extremely long stalk (12 to 18 inches).

Rhubarb can be pickled, baked, jammed, and even added to the ice-creams and sodas. Its tart flavor rubs shoulder with a wide range of sweet and savory recipes. Other than that, its root and rhizome are used in making medicinal preparations that can tend to gastrointestinal tract problems including constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, GI bleeding, and abdominal pain. It is also helpful for weight loss as it is high in fiber and lowers the cholesterol level. Moreover, being high in Vitamin C, rhubarb knows exactly how to play all the cards in its deck against viral infections.

Rhubarb has also proven to be an approachable therapy for liver diseases, kidney disorders, and certain types of poisonings.

Growing

Rhubarb is an undemanding plant that can be grown easily. They can be started via seeds, crowns, or budded pieces in spring or autumn. All they need is well-drained, moist soil and a good amount of sunlight to flourish.

It is advised not to displace the plant as this may interrupt its growth. Both indoor and outdoor settings are favorable for its growth. It requires weed-free region to avoid competition for nutrients.

Rotted manure, compost, and organic matter can be added to the soil to ensure healthy growth. However, direct contact of rhubarb with chemical fertilizers can kill the plant.

Usually, rhubarb manifests a lifespan of 5 years but some plants can exceptionally live up to decades. The rhubarb seeds germinate within 5 to 10 days upon receiving an optimal temperature of 60 to 77F.

Rhubarb grows at a mediocre pace, reportedly half an inch per day. The shoots produce buds that further give rise to stalks with a popping sound. As the plant matures, it paves way for the flowers to grow in spring. These flowers are pollinated by wind and transform into seedpods.

The seedpods release seeds that drop on the ground and start their own life.

Harvesting

Long and thick rhubarb stalks are harvested when they are around 12 to 18 inches long.

The rhubarb stalks are broken with hands by leaning the stalks on one side until they crack. They can also be cut with a sharp knife or shears easily.

The freshly harvested rhubarbs are not washed and placed in a container that can be refrigerated. This way, the stalks remain good for 2 to 4 weeks.

Rhubarb can also be dried to enjoy its year-round use. The stalks are chopped and dehydrated until they feel dry and crispy. The dried chunks are then stored in an airtight jar.

Usage

The gloriously tasty and colorful rhubarb is passionately used in medicinal preparations due to its staggering health benefits.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped rhubarb stalks in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Fresh rhubarb is chopped and simmered in water for 20 minutes. The tea is filtered and stirred with a teaspoon of honey to add some flavor.
  • Decoction - Rhubarb stalks and roots are boiled in water for 2 to 3 hours and strained away to obtain rhubarb decoction.
  • Syrup - Rhubarb stalks are rolled with sugar solution for few minutes to form rhubarb syrup.
  • Infused oil - Rhubarb root powder is infused with olive oil for an hour in a crockpot to form rhubarb infused oil.