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(S) Amla-vetasa

(C) Da huang

Part Used: root

Energetics: bitter/cooling/ pungent PK- V+

Tissues: plasma, blood, fat

Systems: excretory, digestive

Actions: purgative, alterative, hemostatic, antipyretic, anthelmintic

Indications: constipation (particularly that accompanying fevers, ulcers or infections), diarrhea and dysentery (Pitta-type), jaundice, liver problems, skin inflammations

Precautions: pregnancy, chronic diarrhea, chills, use with caution on hemorrhoids (not good for Vata-type)

Preparation: infusion, powder (1 gm as laxative, 3 gms as purgative)

RHUBARB is one of the best purgative herbs. It is stronger than flax­seeds or triphala but milder than senna. It has an astringent after­effect that protects the tone of the colon. It is good for all manner of constipation and for febrile or damp- heat diarrhea. On weaker or older patients, where there is much dryness in the colon, it can be combined with licorice and sweet, bulk laxatives, like psyllium or flaxseeds. As it tends to cause griping, it should be used with a carminative herb like ginger or fennel seeds in a ratio of about 4 parts rhubarb to 1 part ginger, for example.

Rhubarb purges the body of Pitta, bile, Ama, stagnant food and stagnant blood. It helps reduce weight and remove fat. It is mildly nauseating and so is easier taken in capsules. Rhubarb is a safe and effective remedy for children because it seldom causes irritation in the right dosage. Its action is made stronger by combining it with epsom salts.

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