Advances in bio-active constituents, pharmacology and clinical applications of rhubarb

Chin Med. 2017 Dec 28;12:36. doi: 10.1186/s13020-017-0158-5. eCollection 2017.


Rhubarb is one of the most ancient, commonly used and important herbs in Chinese medicine. The modern researches of rhubarb clarified the efficacies, ingredients and mechanisms in a more scientific and rigorous way. The main chemical compositions of rhubarb include anthraquinones, anthrones, stilbenes, tannins, polysaccharides etc. These compositions show extensive pharmacological activities including regulating gastrointestinal, anticancer, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, protecting cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and so on. This paper reviews the recent studies on the active ingredients, pharmacological effects, clinical application and functional mechanism.

Keywords: Clinical application; Functional mechanism; Ingredients; Pharmacological activities; Rhubarb.

Publication types

  • Review