Other nutrients and trace minerals-A single cup of rhubarb provides small amounts of magnesium which plays a role in utilizing calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Potassium in rhubarb helps to balance out fluid and minerals–out with gout. And the phosphorus helps to keep teeth and bones strong. Rhubarb offers some iron, supporting blood health. And trace amounts of copper, selenium, manganese and zinc appear as well.
Now that we’ve fractionalized the poor rhubarb. Let’s look at it from a whole, Asian energetic perspective.
Rhubarb’s energetics–Cold energetically, it drains downward and removes excess heat and damp from the Liver, Stomach, Heart and Intestines and promotes bowel movements. The sour flavor specifically enters the Liver, moving out congestion and dampness. Shall I simplify?
Heat in the Liver- What this looks like is Liver Qi stagnation, anger, frustration, digestive stagnation, pms, ringing in the ears. Patterns like Hep C, mono and high cholesterol are damp heat in the Liver and Gall bladder.
Heat in the Stomach-We see burning sensation in the stomach, acid reflux, GERD, bleeding gums, excessive thirst and bad breath. This can also be a component in constipation caused by heat. Yep, there is more than one pattern that can cause constipation.
Heat in the Heart-Anxiety, palpitations, nervousness, thirst, anxious and excessive speech and dream disturbed sleep. You might actually have a burning sensation on the very tip of your tongue. And the tip of the tongue will be red and dry.
Heat in the Intestine-Heat anywhere will dry up the fluids in the system, creating Yin deficiency (deficiency of fluids), making you thirsty. With lack of fluids in the intestines the body cannot properly move the bowels aka, constipation.
Heat from radiation and chemo–Both radiation treatment and chemotherapy, greatly deplete Yin in the body and create areas of heat. If you’ve ever seen someone who is undergoing radiation, you know how very vicious these burns can be. I often recommend clients undergoing radiation and chemo to use a bit of rhubarb to help counter the heat. Use with caution though, as bodies undergoing such treatment often have greater digestive sensitivities–and rhubarb is very downward draining.
Wonderful– Put this all together and rhubarb is a fantastic food to help purge out excess heat from the system, especially if you indulge in too many animal proteins which are hot! Great for Spring cleaning. But before you go noshing on your plant, there are a few contraindications.
A note of caution–rhubarb is a laxative, avoid use if you are nursing, have diarrhea, loose stools, or are very deficient.
Ways to use rhubarb–
Stew it–just cut and clean it, toss into a pan with just enough water to cover. Add a little syrup for sweetness if desired, stew until the stocks are soft. Serve over hot grain cereal or ice cream.
Make a compote or jelly–Add it to other fruits and veggies to make a compote. It cans beautifully. Rhubarb compote?
Add to pies and crisps–Simply wonderful with strawberries, raspberries and apples.
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