Constipation, influenza virus treated with TCM rheum palmatum

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What is rheum palmatum(Da Huang)? Rhubarb collectively refers to a variety of perennials in the family Polygonum. It comes with a few different common names, such as Turkish rhubarb, Indian rhubarb, Chinese rhubarb, and Russian rhubarb. But in different contexts this herb has different definitions. In TCM it is known as the rhubarb root or Radix et Rhizoma Rhei in Latin, namely the dried root and rhizome of Rheum palmatum L., Rheum tanguticum Maxim. ex Balf., or Rheum officinale Baill. But in USA, Europe and the Middle East, it tends to mean a few edible species of the genus Rheum, mainly the R. rhabarbarum. There it is usually consumed as fruit instead of vegetable.

A perennial tall herb, in its natural habitat rhubarb plants usually grow in forest edge near the mountain or grassy slopes, wild or cultivated. It has stout rhizomes. Stems are erect, about 2m high, hollow, smooth, and hairless. Large basal leaves are with stout fleshy long handle, which is in similar length with the leaf. Inflorescence is large panicles, with terminal flowers. Pedicels are slender and with joints in the middle to lower part. Flowers are purplish red or mixed with red purple. Dark brown achene has 3 ridges, wings along the ridges, hollow top, and heart-shaped base. It blossoms from June to July and fruits from July to August.

Rheum palmatum benefits
In addition to culinary use, as previously mentioned rhubarb-based formulas can be the remedies to a variety of diseases. And now let’s explore a little deeper on what exact health benefits it can do to us.

1. Rhubarb can increase peristalsis, inhibit intestinal absorption of water and promote defecation;

2. Rhubarb has anti-inflammatory effects on a variety of Gram-positive and-negative bacteria. The most sensitive ones are staphylococcus and streptococcus, which are followed by diphtheria, typhoid and paratyphoid bacillus, pneumococcus, Shigella, and so on;

3. Rhubarb also inhibits influenza virus;

4. Rhubarb cause constipation after the diarrhea due to the tannin contained;

5. Rhubarb has cholagogue and stomachic effects;

6. Rhubarb stops bleeding, protect liver, lower blood pressure, reduce serum cholesterol, and more.

 Key words:  Chinese herbsconstipation

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