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Rhubarb is a perennial herbaceous plant widespread in Asia and Europe. It is native to China and Tibet, whose populations knew and used it as early as 2700 years before Christ. It was introduced in Europe only later with the colonization of the British. The name rhubarb, in fact, means "barbarian root" because it was not consumed in the Western world. Rhubarb belongs to the Rheum genus and the Polygoniaceae family. It has large leaves grouped in a rose at the base, of an intense green color and in some varieties, reddish and with six-petaled yellow, green or red flowers. The fruits are nuts called trigone, that is composed of a calyx and three membranes or wings. The stem of this plant can reach up to two meters in height. This plant prefers temperate climates. Cultivation should be done in autumn or November December in temperate climates, at the end of winter in cold ones. Harvesting must be performed starting from the second year as regards the roots, while from the first year as regards the leaves. Rhubarb can be grown in the garden as an ornamental plant and ripens at the same time as strawberries. It is easily found in the spring, in the month of April. The flowers ripen in summer, when the panicles that contain them open. There are several varieties of rhubarb. Among the most common we remember Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale, known as Chinese rhubarb to which officinal properties are attributed, Rheum undulatum and Rheum rhabarbarum. The one most used in herbal medicine is Chinese rhubarb. The parts used of the plant are the roots or rhizome and the petiolate part (ribs) of the leaves. The latter are toxic.


The properties of rhubarb do not only concern phytotherapy, but also the food industry sector. The leaf ribs are used to flavor foods. Care must be taken that there are no leaves, as they are toxic. You can also make jams with rhubarb stalks. This plant is also used to flavor aperitifs and bitters and also to create liqueurs. The real medicinal properties, however, reside in the rhizome of the rhubarb which contains important active ingredients, such as rein. This substance has digestive properties because in low doses it stimulates gastric and biliary secretion. This substance is also used to combat constipation, as the stimulation of the intestinal secretion also promotes its motility, providing a laxative effect. However, rhubarb root extracts should not be taken in excessive quantities, because by irritating the intestinal wall too much they can cause diarrhea. This is why this plant is not recommended for those suffering from ulcers and colitis. The other active ingredient are tannins which have an astringent effect in case of dysentery and antiseptic in case of intestinal infections. Raw rhubarb stalks also contain potassium, vitamin C and polyphenols which according to some studies would enhance their antioxidant effect when eaten baked in the oven instead of raw. Due to the high oxalate content, the consumption of rhubarb is not recommended for those suffering from gout and kidney problems.

  • Rhubarb

    For the cultivation of rhubarb we can start from the seed or from the division of the tufts. Surely operating starting from the tufts taken from a mother plant is simpler and guarantees a result ...

How to use

Rhubarb can be used for different purposes: food, aesthetic and medicinal. As for its aesthetic use, this plant, indeed the extracts of this plant, are used to prepare hair reflecting lotions. The lotion is made from both fresh and dried pieces of rhubarb. They are left to macerate for a week in white wine and filtered. The lotion obtained must be passed on the hair at the end of the wash. Applying this substance should result in a reddish reflection. Rhubarb is also used as a pesticide for some plants. It has been seen that by burying some parts of rhubarb in the soil where cabbages and savoy cabbage are grown, a parasite that causes the so-called “cabbage hernia”, a disease that leads to the death of the plant, is removed. As a systemic herbal remedy, rhubarb is used in the form of an infusion, herbal tea or decoction. To obtain an infusion with digestive and liver-friendly properties you need 100 grams of boiling water, six grams of dried and pulverized rhubarb stems and roots and two grams of baking soda. After shaking and filtering the infusion, cold water is added to obtain a liter of solution. The recommended dose would be two tablespoons of infusion before meals to combat lack of appetite and stimulate liver function. In any case, the dose must always be prescribed by a doctor, leaving aside the advice handed down only by pure tradition. For the decoction (2 grams of drug and 150 ml of water) the recommended dose is one cup in the evening before bedtime. Rhubarb is also used to make cosmetics and body products. With the flowers of this plant perfumes, bubble baths and creams are produced. Rhubarb is also sold in powder and capsule form containing dry extract. The recommended dose of dry extract is 10, 50 mg for a digestive effect and 150, 200 mg for a laxative effect. Herbalists recommend a 400 mg capsule in a single administration, in the evening, before going to sleep. Rhubarb when used alone could cause intestinal pain, which is why it is associated with mixtures of other plants such as chamomile, fennel, mint and licorice.

Rhubarb: Cost of products

Rhubarb stalks can be found in specialty organic food stores, where you can also buy jam. Rhubarb-based body products can also be found on e-commerce sites. The "pharmaceutical" forms are bought in herbal medicine, pharmacy and parapharmacy. A 320-gram rhubarb jam costs just about 5 euros. A pack of 60 rhubarb dry extract capsules costs around 8 euros. Body products range from a minimum of six euros (shower bath) to a maximum of 20 euros for perfumes and creams.

L'Erbolario perfumes and colognes

L'Erbolario is an Italian cosmetics company who took their name from the ancient term herbage, which means "to gather herbs in the fields, in order to study their beneficial properties." Franco Bergamaschi founded the company, along with his wife Daniela Villa, who is a biologist and cosmetologist.

Beginning with family recipes for home beauty treatments, the couple tested and improved them by experiments, research and distillation. In 1978, La Premiata Erboristeria Artigiana L’Erbolario was founded, with the goal of manufacturing effective natural and plant-based cosmetics.

In 1984, L’Erbolario moved its production facilities to a larger structure, enabling the use of cutting edge technologies to obtain new and beneficial ingredients from plants. These enhancements improved the performance of L’Erbolario cosmetics and continues to attract new customers to the brand.

The company achieved an important milestone in 1994, with inauguration of the new production plant. From its new plant whose architecture recalls the traditional farmhouses of the Lodi area, surrounded by a natural garden stretching over almost 200,000m² within the Parco Adda Sud, L'Erbolario today offers almost 400 products for care of the face, body and hair.

The company is known for its wide range of perfumed bath products, with accompanying eaux de parfum, focusing on the scents of nature and botanical-based essences.

Designer L'Erbolario has 83 perfumes in our fragrance base. L'Erbolario is a new fragrance brand. The earliest edition was created in 2009 and the newest is from 2020.

Coffee grounds: because they are a precious natural fertilizer for plants

Natural and economical fertilizer: coffee grounds, instead of being thrown and wasted as we usually do, can enrich the soil, becoming a precious natural fertilizer for plants.

But why can coffee help in the care of the garden? The answer is simple: it contains numerous nutrients essential for fertilization: minerals such as calcium, magnesium, nitrogen and potassium. Furthermore, in coffee grounds there are many properties that are indispensable, for example, for those plants that love acid soils, but they are also useful for fertilizing vegetables and fruit trees, possibly adding ash or lime, to have a more business suit.

How to plant rhubarb in containers

Rhubarb is a perennial plant that is normally grown in the ground. It is possible to plant rhubarb in a large container. The long stalks of pink rhubarb are edible and can be used in making desserts and wine. It is enough to cut the stems of the plant with a sharp knife and remove the leaves, which are not edible.


• Find a deep, large container. You need a container that is at least 30cm (12in) wide and 30cm (12in) deep. Make sure the container has drainage holes in the bottom.

• Place pot shards on the drainage holes, and then add a potting mix that drains well. You can buy potting soil or mix your own by combining equal amounts of soil, compost and perlite.

• Center the rhubarb crown in the pot. Cover the rhubarb with more potting soil so that the crown of the plant is 2.5 cm (1 inch) below the soil surface. Tamp the soil with your hands to remove air pockets.

• Set the container in a sunny location. Rhubarb grows well in full sun but can have some partial shade.

• Thoroughly water the rhubarb plant. Keep the sowing container moist, but not soaked wet.

• Protect the rhubarb during the winter months. Move the container to an unheated garage or shed. You can leave the pot out if it is covered with 5-7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) of compost, leaves or hay. This will protect the plant and keep the winds from drying out roots. Water the rhubarb container once a month if you are keeping it in a shed or garage.

• Place the outer container when spring arrives. Water the rhubarb plant and keep the soil moist until winter.

• Feed your rhubarb plant with 10-10-10 fertilizer as new plant growth is just starting.

• Harvest no more than 2 rhubarb stalks from each plant, for the first year. The following year, a third of the stems can be harvested.

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