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Rhubarb has many uses, both medicinally and in the kitchen.

Rhubarb is a very interesting ingredient in the kitchen, both for its pleasant taste, which goes well with different dishes, and for its medicinal properties.

The plant’s popularity in antiquity can be attributed to its applications in medicine. As early as 2700 B.C., the Chinese are thought to have used it. In Europe, however, its history is more recent.

Even though this plant was native to our continent, the Anglo-Saxon populations didn’t eat it until after they started colonising Asia.

For growth, rhubarb requires a continental climate.

Rhubarb is a wild plant that grows across Asia and Europe. It has a hollow stem that can grow up to two metres in height and emerges from the roots every year.

The bisexual flowers are collected in the spring and summer, and the leaves are around 10 cm long. The part that is usually used in cooking is the leaf.

Because there is typically poor quality output in the first cycle, the harvest occurs in the following year. This is the reason transplanting already-mature plants is preferred in industrial farming.

Although most species of the plant prefer a continental region with mild temperatures and little to no sun exposure, some other species can withstand extremely hot summers.

In Italy, the plant grows well in the Sardinia region. It can be used to make jams, savoury pies, or as a salad ingredient.

Rhubarb facilitates digestion and helps the intestines.

Rhubarb, as we stated, has medicinal properties. The rhizome is reduced to powder and can be taken as a decoction.

Pharmaceutical companies use it on a large scale to produce medicines. It is found in liqueurs and herbal bitters in combination with alcohol. The pleasant flavour helps to “cut” excessively sharp aromas.

Rhubarb aids in digestion. Small amounts can support the gut during the pre-digestive phase as well as the post-digestive phase.

Those with intestinal problems can use it in larger quantities as a laxative. However, be careful not to overdo it; given its great effectiveness, excessive consumption can be harmful.

Due to this reason, it is not recommended for pregnant women, children under two, or anyone with gastro-intestinal problems. I’m frequently asked, “Where can I find rhubarb?” I almost always find it at the local market, rarely at the supermarket.

Do you know what the word “rhubarb” means?

Rhubarb brings with it a little curiosity, with which we will conclude this discussion. Before the development of digital technology in the last twenty years in the cinematographic field, the word “rhubarb” was used to create buzz during film scenes.

The movie extras simply had to say “rhubarb” over and over again. Some said it loudly, others softly, some more quickly, and others more calmly. And voila! With this simple expedient, the buzz is created.