Robust and Versatile Rhubarb

Rhubarb is 95 percent water and contains a fair source of potassium, contributes minor amounts of vitamins, and is low in sodium.

One cup diced Rhubarb contains about 26 calories.

Rhubarb’s crisp sour stalks are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber and calcium, although the calcium is combined with oxalic acid and so is not easily absorbed by the body.

Rhubarb is somewhat acidic but in most recipes this is normally offset by sugar.

Wash and remove any blemished areas. Cut off the pulpy ends. Cut into 1/2-inch strips or 1/2-inch cubes. To decrease some of the acidity in the Rhubarb (and reduce the amount of sugar needed to sweeten), pour boiling water over the pieces and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. A characteristic of the dried product will be brittle.

Rhubarb nutritional information per 2/3 cup (85g):

  • Calories 20
  • Calories from fat 0 %
  • Total Fat 0
  • Saturated Fat 0 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 4 g
  • Dietary Fiber 2 g
  • Sugars 1 g
  • Protein 1 g

Rhubarb Medicinal Uses

Believe it or not, the most common use of rhubarb is medicinal. Rhubarb has been used in medicines and folk healing for centuries.

Among the most common medicinal uses are a laxative, antiphlogistic, homeostatic in the treatment of constipation, diarrhea, jaundice, gastro-intestinal hemorrhage, menstrual disorders, conjunctivitis, traumatic injuries, superficial suppurative sores and ulcers. It is also applied externally for thermal burns.

Wichtl (2004) indicated rhubarb’s value as a laxative, anti-inflammatory, and astringent. Modern science has found that rhubarb does serve as a laxative (Peirce 1999). Folk practitioners reported the use of rhubarb to treat foot swelling and treatment of children with worms. Rhubarb’s laxative effect may have helped to expel worms.

Rhubarb Root

Rhubarb Root has a purgative action for use in the treatment of constipation, but also has an astringent effect following this. It therefore has a truly cleansing action in the gut, removing debris and then astringing with antiseptic properties. Note: Rhubarb Root may color the urine yellow or red.

Preparation and Dosage Decoction: put 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful of rhubarb root in a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes.This should be drunk morning and evening. Tincture: take 1 to 2ml of the tincture three times a day.

Rhubarb when raw is so tough
And its leaves contain poisonous stuff,
But when cleaned and de-soiled
Dipped in sugar and boiled
Then the stalks are quite tasty enough.

Rhubarb Pudding

  • 2 cups rhubarb, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Baking powder biscut crust

Beat egg slightly, add sugar and rhubarb; pour this mixture into buttered baking dish. Cover with Baking Powder Biscuit dough, and bake in hot oven until brown.

Super Summer Treat

Strawberry Rhubarb Milkshake: Simmer 1-1/2 cups sliced rhubarb, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and 1/4 teaspoon orange zest until soft; cool. Blend with 1/2 cup milk and 1 pint strawberry ice cream.

Honorable mention: National Rhubarb Pie Day is January 23rd.

Read More: Food Facts