Rheum palmatum Common name: Turkey rhubarb
Parts used: Rhizome
Medicinal actions: Bowel tonic (mild stimulant laxative), astringent, aperient, sialogogue
Constituents: Anthraquinone glycosides including emodin, tannins, stilbene derivatives, volatile oil, rutin, fatty acids, calcium oxalate.
Medicinal use: Rheum palmatum is used for its laxative effects. Rheum is indicated in atonic constipation or diarrhea secondary to lack of tone. Rheum has an antiseptic action.
Pharmacy: Rhubarb powder: 0.5-5g/day. Decoction: 1 tsp/cup; 1 cup TID. Tincture (1:5) up to 6 ml/day; 40 ml/week max.
Toxicity: Diarrhea with mild griping; icterus and hepatic enlargement; renal insufficiency and proteinuria.