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Home » Plant infomation

Rheum officinale  Baill.


Botanical Name


Rheum officinale Baill.

English Name


Chinese rhubarb





General Info


Herbs large, 1.5-2 m tall. Rhizomes and roots stout. Stem stout, hollow, finely sulcate, with white hairs, especially above and at nodes. Petiole of basal leaf terete, ca. as long as blade or slightly shorter, pubescent; leaf blade orbicular, rarely broadly ovate, large, 30-50 cm in diam., or longer than wide, abaxially pubescent, adaxially glabrous, rarely pubescent along veins, basal veins 5-7, base subcordate; palmatilobate, apex subacute; stem leaves smaller upward; ocrea large, to 15 cm, broad, outside with dense hairs. Panicles large; branches spreading. Pedicel 3-3.5 mm, slender, jointed below middle. Flowers 4- or 5-fascicled; tepals 6, green to yellow-white, elliptic or narrowly elliptic, 2-2.5 × 1.2-1.5 mm; stamens shorter than perianth. Style deflexed; stigma inflated. Fruit oblong-ellipsoid, 8-10 × 7-9 mm; wings ca. 3 mm wide, with longitudinal veins near margin. Seeds broadly ovoid.

Herb Effects

Anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic (root)


Plants For A Future


Active Ingredients

Aloe-emodin, anthraquinone, caffeic acid, calcium oxalate, cinnamic acid, emodin, ferulic acid, gallic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, pectin, rhein, rutin (root)

Chemistry of Active Ingredients
Product Categories






Product Categories
Aloe-emodin 481-72-1 1,8-dihydroxy-3-(hyd
C15H10O5 Click Here To Enlarge
Anthraquinone 84-65-1 Anthracene-9,10-dion
C14H8O2 Click Here To Enlarge
Caffeic acid Not Available 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphen
yl)prop-2-enoic acid
C9H8O4 Click Here To Enlarge
Calcium oxalate 5794-28-5 calcium oxalate C2CaO4
Cinnamic acid 63938-16-9 3-phenylprop-2-enoic
C9H8O2 Click Here To Enlarge
Emodin Not Available 1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-m
C15H10O5 Click Here To Enlarge
Ferulic acid 24276-84-4 3-(4-hydroxy-3-metho
ic acid
C10H10O4 Click Here To Enlarge
Gallic acid 149-91-7 3,4,5-trihydroxybenz
oic acid
C7H6O5 Click Here To Enlarge
Oleic acid 8046-01-3 octadec-9-enoic acid C18H34O2 Click Here To Enlarge
Palmitic acid 66321-94-6 Hexadecanoic acid C16H32O2 Click Here To Enlarge
Pectin 9047-18-1 Not Available Not Available
Rhein Not Available 4,5-dihydroxy-9,10-d
rboxylic acid
C15H8O6 Click Here To Enlarge
Rutin Not Available 2-(3,4-dihydroxyphen
[(3,4,5-tr ihydroxy
l] oxy-chromen-7-on
e trihydrate
C27H36O19 Click Here To Enlarge


Medicinal Use

The root is taken internally in the treatment of chronic constipation, diarrhoea, liver and gall bladder complaints, haemorrhoids, hepatitis, menstrual problems and skin eruptions due to an accumulation of toxins. Externally, the root is used in the treatment of burns. A homeopathic remedy prepared from the dried root is used especially in the treatment of diarrhoea in teething children.


1. Not prescribed for pregnant or lactating women, nor for patients with intestinal obstruction.
2. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition


Jing-Nuan Wu. An Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica. P: 552, Oxford University Press, Inc.2005.



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