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Other uses for Rhubarb

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Rhubarb:

Rhubarb has many uses. The most common is medicinal. Rhubarb has been used in medicines and folk healing for centuries.

Cleaning pots and pans

Use Rhubarb to clean your pots and pans (no joke!) If your pots and pans are burnt, fear not! An application of rhubarb over the afflicted area will bring back the shine in next to no time. Environmentally friendly too!

Hair Color

This is a fairly strong dye that can create a more golden hair color for persons whose hair is blond or light brown. Simmer 3 tbsp. of rhubarb root in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, set aside overnight, and strain. Test on a few strands to determine the effect, then pour through the hair for a rinse.

Rhubarb Species

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Rhubarb:

Rhubarb is available in many different species. Here at The Rhubarb Compendium we are primarily concerned with common garden rhubarb, Rheum x cultorum. Below you will find a list of common, and some not so common, rhubarbs. Not all of these are suitable for making pies and tarts. Many are strictly for ornamental use.

Nutritional Information

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Nutritional information

Rhubarb is 95% water and contains a fair source of potassium, contributes minor amounts of vitamins, and is low in sodium. 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 (pH 3.1-3.2) but in most recipes this is normally offset by sugar. One cup diced Rhubarb contains about 26 calories.

Rhubarb Nutritional Information

Medicinal uses of Rhubarb

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Rhubarb has a long history of herbal usage. The primary result of rhubarb root as an herbal medicine is a positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system. Rhubarb is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine. Rhubarb roots are harvested in the fall from plants that are at least six years old. The roots are then dried for later use. The root is used as an anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic.

Culinary uses of Rhubarb

Rhubarb:

Rhubarb or "pie plant" is prized for use in pies, tarts, and sauces. Only the petioles are eaten, although herbal remedies use the leaves and roots. The high levels of oxalic acid and other compounds within the leaves are toxic to humans. The petioles contain lower levels of oxalic acid and, primarily, malic acid.

Forcing Rhubarb

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Forcing Rhubarb In Winter

Rhubarb can be grown year round. You can grow tender stalks out of season by "forcing" rhubarb at home during the late winter and early spring. Forcing is most successful with large diameter roots. Dig up the roots of plants that are to be forced (three-year-old plants are best) keeping excess soil on the roots to prevent damage from subzero freezing. Pot them in large pots and leave them outside exposed to several hard freezes. After the roots are thoroughly chilled, take them indoors to a warm (with a temperature of 50 to 65­ F), dark place (a cellar, hot bed, etc.) and cover them with peat, soil, or sawdust. A wooden bushel basket makes an ideal container for forcing.

Propagating Rhubarb

Rhubarb:

Rhubarb can be propagated by several means: Dividing the root mass, growing rhubarb from seeds, or by Tissue Culture. Of course, you can always purchase rhubarb plants or rhizomes ready to plant in your garden. See the list of sources for a few of the mail order companies that sell rhubarb.

Growing Rhubarb

Rhubarb:

Rhubarb is a cool season, perennial plant that is very winter hardy and resistant to drought. Its crop is produced from crowns consisting of fleshy rhizomes and buds. Following a season of growth the rhubarb crown becomes dormant and temperatures below 40 °F / 5 °C are required to stimulate bud break and subsequent growth. The first shoots to appear in the spring are edible petioles and leaves. These emerge sequentially as long as temperatures remain cool (below 90 °F / 32 °C). As temperatures increase, top growth is suppressed, even appearing dormant in periods of extreme heat. With declining temperatures in later summer, foliage growth resumes.

Rhubarb Sources

Rhubarb:

Rhubarb can be found in many local home and garden centers, or can be purchased mail order. Listed here are a few of the mail order sources of rhubarb.

  I know that this table is way out of date. Some of these companies no longer sell rhubarb and there some new suppliers that I need to add. I will be fixing this sometime in the future. 

Sources of Rhubarb

Rhubarb History

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Rhubarb is a very old plant. Its medicinal uses and horticulture have been recorded in history since ancient China.

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by Dr. Radut