Rheum officinale (scientific name: Rheum officinale Baill; also known as Chinese rhubarb or Tibetan rhubarb, Chinese: Da Huang, 大黄, 马蹄大黄, 黄良, 火参), a species of perennial flowering herb in genus Rheum (Polygonaceae family). Native to China (Shaanxi, Sichuan, Hubei, Guizhou, Yunnan, Henan), the plant can grow up to 2 meters tall. The roots of rheum officinale acts as a bitter tonic, aperitive, detoxicant, analgesic, antiphlogistic and discutient in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) used in treating diseases including amenorrhea, sore throats, jaundice and dysentery.
2. Odour, Properties And Channels:
The root of rheum officinale is considered to have bitter, cold and non-toxic properties and to be associated with the spleen, stomach, large intestine, heart and liver meridians.
3. Uses, Health Benefits of Rheum Officinale & Medical Formulas:
3.1 Cold, Flu, Fever And Coughing
A decoction of rheum officinale root and rhizomes of coptis chinensis is used in treating typhoid fever with severe abdominal fullness.
3.2 Reducing Inflammation And Relieving Pain
Powder soapstone, gedanite (赤石脂) and rheum officinale (大黄) can be applied externally to heal swelling at wounds.
Proper dosage of sodium sulfate, garlic and rheum officinale (大黄) can be pounded and applied externally to treat a lump in the abdomen.
Medicine pills made with chlorite schist, saltpeter (焰消), rheum officinale (steamed with wine) and the root of large-flowered skullcap (wine-quenched) can be taken help clear mucus in chest / mucus in lungs (damp-heat type).
A decoction of scirpus yagara rhizome, rheum officinale and vinegar is taken with ginger soup to relieve sharp pain in hypochondriac region.
A decoction of rheum officinale root, licorice root and fine wine is used externally to treat acute mastitis.
3.3 Bleeding Stopping
A decoction of rheum officinale root, rhizomes of coptis chinensis and root of scutellaria baicalensis is taken orally to stop nosebleed.
Stem of equisetum hyemale, bitter orange, dried ginger and rheum officinale are fried and pounded for internal taking to stop bleeding caused by internal hemorrhoids.
3.4 Skin Health
Ointment made with rheum officinale root, almond and lard oil is used externally to heal sores inside nose.
Powdered rheum officinale root mixed with water is applied externally to treat chilblain.
Powdered rhaponticum uniflorum root, fructus forsythiae, fresh astragalus propinquus, agilawood and rheum officinale are taken with ginger soup to treat carbuncles on the back.
3.5 Clearing Away Heat
A decoction of rheum officinale root and urine of boys under ten is taken orally to treat tuberculosis (an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it generally affects the lungs).
A decoction of rheum officinale root (soaked in wine) is taken to treat dysentery caused by internal heat.
3.6 The Excretory System
Eggs cooked with rheum officinale root powder is taken to treat stranguria with turbid urine.
Powdered rheum officinale root and pharbitis seed is taken orally with wine to treat constipation.
3.7 Gynecologic Diseases and Disorders
Pills made with rheum officinale root and vinegar is used in treating postpartum hemorrhage with blood stasis.
3.8 The Digestive System
A decoction of rheum officinale root and licorice root is taken orally to treat severe postcibal vomitting.
3.9 Epilepsy And Paralysis
A decoction of amethyst, gypsum rubrum (寒水石), gypsum, soapstone, white gedanite, red gedanite, rheum officinale, dried ginger, fossil fragments, cassia twig, licorice root and concha ostreae can be a treatment for epilepsy and paralysis.
3.10 Blood Path Disorders
Powdered tree peony root bark (6g), Angelica sinensis (6g), rheum officinale (4.5g), crocus sativus (2g) and dried waterlily leaf (6g) is taken orally with warm water to treat postpartum abdominal pain caused by blood stasis.
4. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions:
Administration with caution for pregnant women.
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.