Little Known Health Benefits of Rhubarb

Updated on December 20th, 2019
rhubarb health benefits

Rhubarb has a striking resemblance to celery but presents itself in reddish stalks with a sour and tangy taste. The roots have a lot of medicinal uses in Asia and have been a part of China’s traditional medicine. For culinary purposes, it is often cooked with sugar or used as a sweetener to skip the sour taste.

The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) has officially classified it as a fruit. The stalks are consumed in the form of jams, sweet soups, pies, crumbles, tarts cocktails, and rhubarb wine. Let’s know more about rhubarb health benefits and the ways to use it.

Nutritional Value of Rhubarb

Rhubarb nutrition offered in A 100 gm serving of cooked rhubarb with sugar as an additive.

Calories 116
Carbohydrates 31.2 grams
Fiber 2 gms
Protein 0.4 gms
Vitamin K1 26% of the DV
Calcium 15 % of the DV
Vitamin C 6 % of the DV
Potassium 3 % of the DV
Folate 1 % of the DV

How Does Eating Rhubarb Benefit Health?

1. Helps in controlling cholesterol levels in the body

A controlled study observed men who consumed around 27 gms of rhubarb stalk fiber each day for one month. It showed that those who consumed daily had a drop in their cholesterol levels by 8 % and a reduction in the bad cholesterol(1) or LDL by 9 %.

The stalks of rhubarb are a steady source of fiber that is linked to causing a decrease in cholesterol levels.

[Read: Natural Remedies for High Cholesterol Levels]

2. Packed With Antioxidants

Rhubarb is known to comprise of anthocyanins that provides numerous health benefits. It has a high amount of condensed tannins or proanthocyanidins(2).

Rhubarb health benefits include its ability to boost immunity as it contains high amounts of antioxidants. The total polyphenol content of rhubarb is said to be higher than kale.

3. Prevents Constipation


Rhubarb works as a natural laxative and is useful in treating constipation. It has a high tannin content that provides anti-diarrheal effects. It also contains sennosides that are compounds that work as laxatives.

Rhubarb benefits health by aiding digestion and helping in smooth bowel movement as its rich in fiber.

4. Maintains Bone Health

To utilize rhubarb health benefits, you must add them to your diet. It contains a high amount of Vitamin K that plays a vital role in strengthening the bones.

A study has mentioned that the right amount of Vitamin K helps in reducing the chances of a fracture. Further, it boosts the metabolism in bones and helps to prevent osteoporosis.

[Read: Magnesium for Bone Health and Strong Teeth]

5. Helps to Lose Weight

The presence of fewer calories in rhubarb and its ability to reduce bad cholesterol helps to lose weight. It is made up of catechins, which are compounds present in Green Tea. It also helps boost the metabolism of the body and helps to burn body fat and aids weight loss.

Rhubarb also has laxative properties which play a prominent role in weight loss.

6. Fights Cancer

cure of cancer
Image: Shutterstock

One significant way rhubarb health benefits are that it helps fight cancer. Animals’ studies state that it contains physcion that help to kill about 50 % of cancer cells within 48 hours.

Baked rhubarb twenty minutes has shown the best results in increasing anti-cancer properties.

7. Reduces Symptoms of PMS

PMS can be quite traumatizing for women, as it includes symptoms of cramps, bloating, abdominal pain, and mood swings that can affect disruptions life.

Rhubarb contains phytoestrogens, which helps in reducing the symptoms of PMS like hot flashes caused during perimenopause.

[Read: Herbs for PMS]

8. Delays Aging of the Skin

The body requires vitamin A – it works as an antioxidant. Rhubarb is a storehouse of Vitamin A. Rhubarb health benefits include its ability to neutralize the free radicals and delay premature aging of the skin.

Rhubarb helps get glowing skin, as it prevents the damage caused by free radicals.

9. Has Antibacterial Properties

Rhubarb is known to be anti-bacterial. Traditional methods included raw rhubarb paste as a topical application to treat numerous skin infections.

It also acts as an antifungal agent and protects the skin from various kinds of infections.

10. It Promotes Kidney Health

Kidney Health

Consuming rhubarb in the form of supplements improves therapeutic effects in treating the advanced stage of kidney diseases.

Always consult a doctor before taking supplements as the oxalic acid could aggravate with smaller leaves state they are a smaller plant. Avoid eating the leaves.

[Read: Herbs and Foods to Maintain Kidney Health]

How to Use it?

  • To utilize rhubarb health benefits, you can have the stalks.
  • You can eat them raw or dip the stalk in sweets like honey, agave nectar, etc..
  • You can make Rhubarb tea by boiling water and allowing the stalk to steep for 20 minutes. Strain and drink it.

How Much to Use?

Dosage for adults – For every 1 kg of weight, you must have 20 to 50 mg of rhubarb.

Precautions Measures

  •  Since children are at a very high risk of oxalic poisoning owing to rhubarb leaves, it is considered harmful to children and must be given only under the supervision of a doctor
  • Avoid overconsumption as it may cause diarrhea or constipation, and/or worsen liver conditions.


1. Is Raw Rhubarb Poisonous?

They are absolutely safe to eat but you must ensure that you don’t consume the leaves. As it is rich in Oxalic acid, consuming it in large quantities can prove to be very fatal.

2. What Is the Best Method to Prepare Rhubarb?

Rhubarb has high amounts of Calcium when compared to a glass of milk but in a manner which the body can’t absorb. Eating the stalks however provides the required vitamin K and C. manganese, potassium along with other minerals and vitamins.

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