Rhubarb (rhabarbarum), although is a vegetable, a decision was made in the 1947 in the United States, to be considered as a fruit. Because of its medicinal properties it is quite used inÂ China for thousands of years, and in Europe was presented by Marco Polo itself.
The fruit contains very useful acids like malic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, the minerals calcium, magnesium, manganese, polyphenols and vitamins B and C. It has a positive effect on acting on the digestive tract and have long been used as a laxative for constipation. If used in small doses, it can cure diarrhea. Rhubarb stimulates the metabolism, making it an ideal food for people who want to lose weight.
As for its medicinal use it is aÂ powerful antioxidant, has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, helps in the regulation of cholesterol, improves the circulation and the work of the metabolism, keep the health of the eyes, prevent the development of cancer, and improves the appetite.
As a food it is used only the stem, because the leaves are toxic. The stem has a sweet-sour taste and reminiscent of sour apple. You could prepare soups, salads, sauces and compotes, marmalade’s and jams, and can be used in the preparation of desserts. The taste of Rhubarb is best in combination with strawberries, because exactly this combination is the one most used in recipes. It is especially popular in the US, where it is used for preparing Rhubarb fruit pie as a traditional dessert for Thanksgiving.
Recently has caused a revolution in the treatment of malignant diseases. Scientists from the University of Sheffield found that Rhubarb contains anti-carcinogenic compounds. In their study it is said that, with baking of homegrown Rhubarb for 20 minutes, dramatically increases the anti-cancer compounds in this fruit. Therefore, for the treatment of cancer, it is recommended only baked rhubarb.
The leafs of this fruit contain considerable amounts of oxalic acid, which is very toxic. People diagnosed with arthritis, rheumatism or gout should avoid consumption of large amounts of rhubarb. If you are diagnosed with any of these diseases, before consumption of this fruit, consult a physician.