Know the basics
What is Chinese rhubarb used for?
Chinese rhubarb is used as a laxative and an antidiarrheal. Rhubarb is used primarily for digestive complaints including constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, stomach pain, gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, and preparation for certain GI diagnostic procedures. Some people use rhubarb so they have to strain less during bowel movements; this reduces pain from hemorrhoids or tears in the skin lining the anal canal (anal fissures). Short-term use is recommended. Chinese rhubarb may be used as part of a detoxifying regimen. Rhubarb is sometimes applied to the skin to treat cold sores.
How does it work?
There are not enough studies about how this herbal supplement works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, there are some studies that show rhubarb has laxative action, which is well documented in pharmacological literature. The use of the herb together with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and captopril, an anti-arrhythmic, produced much better results in slowing down renal failure than did either the drugs or the herb alone.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Chinese rhubarb?
You should monitor blood and urine electrolytes if you use this herb often. , as well as monitor for cramping, nausea, and vomiting; if these symptoms occur, discontinue use of this herb.
You should take Chinese rhubarb with other herbs to prevent griping. For best absorption, this herb should not be taken within 1 hour of other drugs, antacids, or milk.
The regulations for an herbal supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herbal supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.
How safe is Chinese rhubarb?
Do not use Chinese rhubarb if you are:
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding;
- Have diarrhea or constipation;
- Have gastrointestinal (GI) conditions;
- Have kidney disease, kidney stones;
- Have liver problems.
Know the side effects
What kind of side effects may I have from Chinese rhubarb?
Chinese rhubarb can cause several side effects including:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps;
- Urine discoloration, hematuria, albuminuria;
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, fluid and electrolyte imbalances.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.
Know the interactions
What interactions may I have with Chinese rhubarb?
Antacids may decrease the effectiveness of Chinese rhubarb if taken within 1 hour of the herb.
Chronic use of Chinese rhubarb can cause low potassium levels (hypokalemia) and enhance the effects of anti-arrhythmic drugs, cardiac glycosides, corticosteroids.
Hypokalemia can result from the use of Chinese rhubarb with licorice root; avoid concurrent use.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.
What is the usual dose for Chinese rhubarb?
Dried rhubarb extract 20 to 50 mg/kg daily has been used in clinical trials. The dose for this herbal supplement may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Herbal supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.
What form does Chinese rhubarb come in?
This herbal supplement may be available in the following dosage forms: Extract, powder, syrup, tablets, and tincture.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.