Turkey Rhubarb

Want to know what the Turkey Rhubarb is? Discover the Turkey rhubarb plant and how its roots are used for different purposes…

The Turkey rhubarb is also known as the Chinese rhubarb or the East Indian rhubarb, and belongs to the Dock family with the biological name of Polygonaceae. The most common part of the Turkey rhubarb which is utilized is the root and it is often collected from late October all the way into early winter.

Description of the Turkey Rhubarb

The Turkey Rhubarb is a very tall plant with palm like leaves which are rough to the touch. Its roots are oval shaped and are marked with long and tapering rootlets. The root has a deep and dark yellow color on the interior whereas the exterior is brown. The stem of the Turkey Rhubarb can grow to be from six feet to 10 feet in height.

The plant blossoms into grayish white flowers and yellow buds, it propagates quickly and the roots can be harvested from the age of 4 to 6 years old. Both the stem and the roots are edible for human beings and animals but fascinatingly enough the leaves are extremely poisonous as they have a high quantity of oxalic acid in them, making them dangerous for both man and animal.

Different Uses of the Turkey Rhubarb

Interestingly enough the Turkey rhubarb originated in China and was used profusely in that country. It comes by its current nomenclature due to the trade route which were followed in its export.

The roots of this plant were utilized to control severe diarrhea and when used in small doses it could stimulate the appetite. Apart from this the bitters present in the root along with the tannin were used to treat disease. Larger doses were used to cure constipation whereas the anthraquinones present in the root were utilized to irritate the digestive tract.

It is considered very effective in handling diabetic neuropathy by decreasing the glucose levels in the blood and improving kidney health. To summarize, the main organs and systems affected by the Turkey rhubarbs upon consumption are the urinary tract and digestive system. It is normally soluble in alcohol or water.

It is generally not recommended for young children under 12 years of age. However, it has been regarded as a very beneficial element in curing nonspecific abdominal pain, inflammation of the small and large intestines, kidney stones or gallstones in adults, along with any obstruction in the intestine.

The root has anthraquinones which acts as a powerful laxative and can also bring blood flow to the pelvis and stimulate menses in women who have problems. However, it is contraindicated for nursing or pregnant women due to this effect.

Apart from this since it can aggravate the intestinal tract and stimulate the removal of gallstones, it is not recommended for people who have colitis, ulcers or have had their gallbladders removed surgically. During the use of this root, the urine often turns red and deep yellow as the body excretes the pigments contained in the Turkey rhubarb itself.


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