A tall, robust, and not unhandsome plant, a native of many parts of the East, and of late got into our gardens, after we had received many others falsely called by its name.
It grows to three feet in height. The stalk is round, thick, striated, and of a greenish colour, frequently stained with purple. The leaves are very large, and of a figure approaching to triangular: they are broad at the base, small at the point, and waved all along the edges. These stand on thick hollowed foot-stalks, which are frequently also reddish. The flowers are whitish, small and inconsiderable: they stand at the tops of the stalks in the manner of dock-flowers, and make little more figure; the seed is triangulated. The root is thick, long, and often divided toward the bottom; of a yellow colour veined with purple, but the purple appears much more plainly in the dry, than in the fresh root.
The root is used: its virtues are sufficiently known; it is a gentle purge, and has an after astringency. It is excellent to strengthen the stomach and bowels, to prevent vomitings, and carry off the cause of colics; in the jaundice also it is extremely useful. Rhubarb and nutmeg toasted together before the fire, make an excellent remedy against purgings. There is scarce any chronic disease in which rhubarb is not serviceable.
The Rhapontic monks rhubarb, and false monks' rhubarb, all approach to the nature of the true rhubarb; they have been described already in their several places.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.