Definitions

rheum rhaponticum

Rheum palmatum

Rheum palmatum, known as Turkey rhubarb, Chinese rhubarb, and East Indian rhubarb, is a plant in the family Polygonaceae. Closely related to the garden Rhubarb, Rheum rhaponticum, it has a similar purgative effect upon the human body.

Turkey rhubarb is cited in the Yorkshire Fed. of Women's Institutes cookbook Through Yorkshire's kitchen door (31st ed. 3rd impression June 1958) (page 192) as part of a cure for indigestion: full recipe half oz. turkey rhubarb, half oz ground ginger, half oz bicarb. of soda, one oz magnesia: mix well together, dose half teaspoonful in a little water before each meal.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health's Medline lists Rheum palmatum as one of the active ingredients in the controversial (and as yet unproven in clinical trials) cancer treatment Essiac.

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