What is rhubarb and what is it for?

The Rhubarb is a vegetable, although for many it is a vegetable of edible stem, a relative of celery, with pinkish and red tones. It is native to China, where in the times of the first Chinese emperors it was cultivated with
therapeutic purposes.

From there, he migrated to Europe and America, initially, for his medicinal properties, although he found an excellent position in the cake shop. Giving rise to Rhubarb Crumble english and al Rhubarb pie American, famous desserts, which have become traditional in Britain and America.

Although it is mainly used in homeopathic medicine and the herbal medicine
Due to its medicinal qualities, it is the favorite of many when it comes to making desserts. And it is that its characteristic acidity harmonizes very well with the sweet, producing desserts with a great balance of flavors that love adults and children.

Learn more about Rhubarb

It is easy to cultivate, as it grows in fertilized soils, which have good drainage and it does best if the roots are planted instead of the seeds. Partially shaded, it offers a bountiful harvest, requiring little care.

It can be kept in the refrigerator for several days or frozen for months in a tightly sealed bag.

It is a plant of long and thin pale green and red stems, with large green leaves with wavy edges. This plant can reach a height of three meters, being its stems the only edible part, because its roots and leaves are toxic.

Both the leaves and the roots have ethanedioic acid, which is harmful to health, so it is not recommended to consume them. However, its stems are considered an excellent vegetable with impressive healing properties for the entire digestive system.

Although botanically it is considered a vegetable, in the United States it has been considered a fruit since 1947, due to its use in baking. And the fact is that there are many palates that have been captivated around the world, by cakes, cakes, preserves and rhubarb jams.

What is rhubarb for

As we have already seen, the fields where its use stands out the most and where it is illustrated what rhubarb is for are: medicinal and gastronomic.

Medicinal use

Although the fields where it is used for its healing properties are very extensive, it is in the digestive tract where it is most effective. In traditional Chinese medicine, it has been used to combat cases of constipation, problems with digestion and liver ailments, among others.

To achieve this, Chinese rhubarb root powder is used, which in appropriate doses has toning, purgative, laxative or astringent properties. Then allow:

  • Control heartburn, prepared as a tonic, which is bitter and astringent.
  • Fight constipation, because it behaves like a natural laxative.
  • Deworm, due to its purgative property.
  • Relieve diarrhea, for its astringent property.
  • Improve liver dysfunction, toning the liver and helping it purge the body.
  • Increase appetite in tired, anemic, convalescent or anorexic people, by stimulating gastric secretion.
  • Fight stomach atony, since it increases the muscular activity of the stomach, due to its toning property.
  • Cleanse the colon, for its high fiber content and purgative property.
  • Avoid indigestion due to lack of gastric juices, by stimulating gastric secretion.

As you can see, the range of digestive conditions where you can take advantage of the medicinal use of rhubarb is very varied.

Other medicinal uses

Additionally, since one serving of rhubarb contains 45% of the daily requirement of vitamin K, contributes to the growth of healthy bones.

Its high levels of anthraquinones, its extracts are used to counteract the conditions in the oral mucosa that cause thrush.

It is an excellent source of manganese, which is present in 32% in a portion, one of the antioxidants It helps regulate the level of sugar in the blood.

A cup of rhubarb cooked has the same amount of calcium than a cup of milk, so it helps to meet their requirements in a healthy way and without lactose. It is located on the select list of foods high in calcium, along with spinach, salmon and almonds.

Gastronomic use

The gastronomic use of rhubarb is very wide, as it can be consumed raw in salads or as an accompaniment to meat and fish. Although where it is truly a king, it is in the confectionery, where it is used to make desserts, preserves, compotes, jams and cakes.

And it is that its stem provides a beautiful color to sweet and salty cooking, which makes it very appetizing. Its tangy flavor that blends so well with sugar has made it a favorite when it comes to making desserts in both the United States and Great Britain.

The English use it with ginger, oranges, strawberries and other fruits, to achieve a great combination of flavors in their Rhubarb Crumbles.

Americans, for their part, use it with apricots, cherries, plums, strawberries, pears or grapes to make their famous Rhubarb pie.

But its versatility also leads it to savory preparations, where it can be seen:

  • In sauces to dress fish or as an accompaniment to duck or pork meat, in France.
  • In soup it is typical to be prepared in Norway.
  • Cooked with potatoes flavored with herbs in Poland.
  • As a non-alcoholic aperitif, a healthy drink with medicinal qualities in Italy.
  • In a typical Iranian stew, the Khoresh Reevaas.
  • Cooked with spinach in Afghanistan.

Without a doubt, it is a very versatile food, with an outstanding application to improve health and with wonderful benefits to make you enjoy excellent flavors. The Chinese discovered its medicinal properties and the rest of the world discovered a great ingredient for their meals, whether sweet or savory.

Therefore, the invitation is to incorporate this extraordinary food into your daily regimen and thus, take advantage of the benefits of this vegetable or fruit, which will make your life healthier.

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