Chinese rhubarb seeds herb Rheum palmatum Rheum officinale seeds da-huang
In ancient , rhubarb root was taken and recognized as a means to cure stomach ailments and as a “cathartic” (an agent used to relieve severe constipation), as well as its use as a poultice (a preparation of fresh, moistened, or crushed dried , applied externally) for “fevers and edema” (swelling caused by fluid retention in the tissues of the body). It was given its Latin name by the renowned Carolus Linnaeus in the year 1759, and made to augment its proliferation to British botanical gardens around 1762.
The conditions treated by rhubarb in ancient times, are the same it is used to treat today.The root (the predominantly medicinal part of the species) is still known for its astringent capabilities (as well as a strong laxative); “the tannins in the root caused an astringent action making it useful in the early stages of diarrhea, dysentery, and other intestinal problems." It also serves antibacterial use in its ability to treat” toothaches, shingles, fevers, hypertension, burns, acute appendicitis, acute infectious hepatitis, conjunctivitis, swelling and pain of gums, and sores of the mouth or tongue."