herbals rhubarb-root

RECND361

Rhubarb Root

Scientific:Rheum palmatum
Other:Rhubarb, Da hung
Synonym:Rheum rhabarbarum

Indications

In TCM, cools blood and clears heat. Used for fevers, constipation, infectious diarrhea and skin conditions.

Gastrointestinal
diarrhea (low dose) - antimicrobial and astringent actions helps control infection
- dysentery
constipation (higher dose)
- sluggish bowels

Note: Considered less stimulating than senna and aloe.

Dermatologic
- herpes simplex virus (HSV)
- shingles

Actions

astringent
• laxative (stimulating)
stomachic
styptic
antimicrobial
• antiviral
bitter

Constituents

• Anthraquinone (e.g. rhein, emodin, aloe-emodin)
• Tannins
• Flavonoids

Posology

• Tincture (1:5, 40% EtOH): 1-2 ml tid
• Decoction (root): 1/2 -1 tsp tid

Safety

Side-effects: Red urine (benign), constipation.

Long-term use: Hypokalemia.

Toxicity: Leaves are high in oxalic acid, which is toxic; may lead to kidney stones.

Interactions

• Hypokalemic agents - caution taken it concomitantly with drugs and herbs that depleted potassium: antiarrhythmic drugs (e.g. quinine), cardiac glycoside (e.g. digitallis), diuretics, corticosteroids and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).

References

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Barnes J, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines, 3rd ed. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2007.

Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2000.

Bone K. A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs: Herbal Formulations for the Individual Patient. St Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone, 2003.

Brinker F. The Toxicology of Botanical Medicines, 3rd ed. Sandy, Oregon: Eclectic Medical Publications, 2000.

Felter HW, Lloyd JU. King's American Dispensatory. 1898. http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/eclectic/kings/main.html. Accessed: August 19, 2006.

Hoffman D. Medical Herbalism. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988.

Williamson EM, ed. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2002

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