What is it good for:
Rhubarb root is a stimulant laxative that helps drain inflammation from the kidneys, liver and large intestine.*
From what I have read, in spite of the contraindications that are common to most laxatives, rhubarb root is one of the best readily available laxatives, so it is a natural component of Cleanse Me. My purpose was to give my colon a good initial cleaning before doing a juice fast. Of course, with simple constipation, it is always better to try basic remedies first, like increasing dietary fiber and fluid intake, or using a small amount of magnesium at bedtime. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) doctors use rhubarb root to treat constipation, high fever, abdominal distension, gall stones, jaundice and, surprisingly, acute dysentery, due to the herb’s anti-bacterial activity. They stir fry rhubarb root with wine to reduce the laxative effect when it is used for diseases other than constipation.
The major concern with herbs like rhubarb root that contain emodin and sennidin is that long-term use can lead to dependence. Emodin helps to stimulate peristalsis (the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine or another canal, creating wavelike movements that push the contents of the canal forward) approximately six to eight hours after ingestion. The effects on the gut are largely topical, and the substances flush out of the system without being absorbed. It seems that rhubarb root has an advantage over other laxatives like the more powerful senna and cascara sagrada in that its higher tannin levels tend to tighten the bowel after 14-18 hours. This somewhat limits the possibility of the flaccid condition that can result from laxative overuse. In fact, the tannins are the reason that small doses of rhubarb (.03 to.3 grams) can actually cause constipation. This is why its usage should be limited to short term.
Here are some research highlights:
I used the dried powder form of rhubarb root in the herbal combination contained in Cleanse Me. The recommended dosage for this form is one to six grams per day.
Do not use during pregnancy or nursing. Do not use with bowel obstruction or gout. Do not use in cases of severe deficiency. Do not use long term. If you have inflammatory bowel disease, use only under supervision. Long-term use can cause hypertrophy of the liver, thyroid and stomach, as well as nausea, griping, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea (reported in Huang, 1999). Short-term or occasional use is safe in appropriate dosage unless otherwise contraindicated.
I recommend Starwest Botanicals as the brand to purchase for your rhubarb root needs.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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