Are Rhubarb Leaves Poisonous: Taste, Benefits and Side Effects

Do you know what rhubarb is? Maybe not everyone knows about this plant. Rhubarb is a kind of taro, which is found in many mountainous and temperate regions, such as East Asia, Europe, and North America. Find out more about Are Rhubarb Leaves Poisonous: Taste, Benefits, and Side Effects.

Rhubarb can be consumed because it contains many benefits for the body. However, you should be more careful if you want to consume it because there are parts that contain toxins.


What is rhubarb?

Rhubarb is a type of vegetable fruit with an acidic taste and has celery-like stems. The stalk is reddish and becomes a rhubarb part that can be consumed. Rhubarb has a leaf part. However, rhubarb leaves contain high calcium oxalate so are often avoided.

Rhubarb requires a cold to grow. Therefore, it is found in cold areas of the world, such as northeastern Asia.


Characteristics of Rhubarb

  • Rhubarb is a plant belonging to the family Polygonaceae with the Latin name Rheum rhabarbarum. Rhubarb is a vermicelli plant similar to taro and textured like stem lettuce.
  • Rhubarb plants have parts of the leaves that can not be consumed, but on the stem can be consumed. The rhubarb stem has a red skin color while the flesh of the stem is pale green.
  • Rhubarb has leaves up to 15 cm wide, and up to 30 cm long. In addition, rhubarb stems can also grow upright and have a length of more than 30 cm for adult rhubarb.
  • Rhubarb is widely used as a vegetable or as a medicine around the world.


How does Rhubarb taste?

Rhubarb is the vegetable fruit that tastes the sourest. The sour taste comes from two types of acids contained in it, namely malic acid and oxalic acid. Malic acid itself is the most common acid found in plants.

The sour taste makes rhubarb rarely consumed raw. This vegetable fruit can be cooked first and even added sugar to neutralize its sour taste. Rhubarb is also widely processed into a variety of dishes, including jams and pies. Unsurprisingly, in northern America and the UK, rhubarb pies are a distinctive dessert.

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What are the nutrients contained in rhubarb?

Here is the nutritional content of 100 grams of raw rhubarb:

Calories: 21

Calories From Fat: 1.7

Total Fat: 0.2 g

Saturated Fat: 0.1 g

Trans Fats: 0

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 4 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 4.5 g

Fiber: 1.8 g

Sugar: 1.1 g

Protein: 0.9 g

Vitamin A: 2.04 %

Vitamin C: 13.34 %

Calcium: 8.6 %

Iron: 1.22 %


Top 10 Nutrition for serving 100 gr

Vitamin K: 29.3 mcg

Vitamin C: 8 mg

Manganese: 0.2 mg

Potassium: 288 mg

Calcium: 86 mg

Dietary fiber: 1.8 g

Magnesium: 12 mg

Vitamin A: 102 IU

Iron: 0.2 mg

Phosphorus: 14 mg


Rhubarb has a very high content of vitamin K. Vitamin K in the body plays a role in the process of blood clotting when one part is injured. In addition, rhubarb is also high in calcium content which is beneficial for muscle function and maintaining bone health.


Compound Content In Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a plant that has a high content of vitamin C, useful as an immunity enhancer. Vitamin C also plays a role in preventing and overcoming canker sores. In addition, rhubarb has a high potassium content in it and is beneficial for destroying bad fats.

Not to be outdone by other vegetables, rhubarb has antioxidant compounds that are useful in counteracting the adverse effects caused by free radicals. Rhubarb is one of the vegetables that contain many important nutritional compounds contained in the stem and provides many benefits.

Are Rhubarb Leaves Poisonous: Taste, Benefits and Side Effects

Are Rhubarb Leaves Poisonous?

Although the stem can be consumed because it has a delicious taste, rhubarb leaves contain harmful toxins because in it there is a very high oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is an organic compound in the body of living things. The oxalic acid content in rhubarb leaves can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, kidney damage, and even death if consumed.

Oxalic acid binds to calcium and forms compounds that are insoluble and cannot be consumed. So, it would be better not to consume parts of rhubarb leaves that are famously toxic and harmful to the health of the body.


What are the benefits of Rhubarb?

Here are some benefits of rhubarb for health:

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Has Antioxidant Compounds

Rhubarb is one of the vegetables that have antioxidant content, namely lycopene. Lycopene is a flavonoid compound that gives a red color to stems, fruits, or roots.

Lycopene has a role in keeping the organs of the body from being damaged caused by the effects of free radicals, especially on the eye organs. Lycopene plays an active role in maintaining the eyes to avoid getting macular degeneration disease.


Maintaining Eye Health

The content of vitamin A in rhubarb plays a role in maintaining eye health. Vitamin A serves to stimulate the production of rhodopsin substances found in the retina.

Rhodopsin is a substance that is useful as a light catcher in the eyes. Deficiency of this substance can result in shortsightedness. In addition, rhubarb also contains compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, serving to protect eye tissue from damage caused by sunlight.


Healthy For Cardiovascular Organs

Rhubarb contains potassium compounds that are beneficial for maintaining the health of cardiovascular organs, especially the kidneys. This compound plays a role in the process of removing excess fluid in the body. In addition, anthocyanin compounds owned by rhubarb play a role in maintaining the health of cardiovascular organs by destroying bad fats or LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) attached to blood vessels.


Good For Bones

Calcium and vitamin K compounds are both compounds needed by the body to strengthen bones. The good news is that both of these compounds are found in rhubarb.

Calcium compounds in the body play a role in the process of mineralizing cartilage or compaction by stimulating the formation of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is a non-collagen compound that plays a role in the process of bone formation.


Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Rhubarb can be used as an anti-inflammatory or natural pain medication. This is because rhubarb is known to have a high content of emodin substances that can relieve mild, moderate pain and other symptoms of arthritis.

Please note, that emodin is a natural compound that has anti-inflammatory and laxative properties. Rhubarb has antioxidant compounds, namely lycopene and anthocyanins that are useful to counteract the effects of free radicals and also cure various diseases.


Side Effects On Rhubarb

Here are some of the side effects caused by rhubarb on the body:

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Causes Diarrhea

Rhubarb contains high emodin compounds that have laxative properties. This trait plays an important role in making a person can experience diarrhea if they consume it excessively.

In addition, rhubarb contains a lot of water in its texture which also plays a role in the onset of diarrhea. Also know about Constant Diarrhea But Not Sick.



Liposcopeendermia is a disease caused by the abundance of lycopene substances in the body. Liposcopeendermia presents early symptoms, namely red rashes on the skin and nausea. Likopendermia is rare, but it can attack people who consume too much rhubarb.

As long as rhubarb is consumed proportionally and not excessively, rhubarb will not cause disease or health problems.


Tips for Choosing Rhubarb

The selection of rhubarb is important because it determines whether the rhubarb, especially the stem, is of good quality or not for consumption.

Therefore, here are tips in choosing rhubarb:

  • Do not select stems that are too fat or more than 2 cm. This is because the rhubarb stem that is too fat has a hard and chewy texture.
  • Do not choose rhubarb stems that are too thin, this indicates that rhubarb stems have little nutrients.
  • Choose a rhubarb rod the size of a finger because it is soft textured and not hard.
  • Choose a long rhubarb stem, because the longer the rhubarb stem the more delicious it is to consume.


Rhubarb Saving Tips

The part used for the consumption of rhubarb plants is the stem. But rhubarb stems have a very high water content that allows rhubarb to quickly decay.

Therefore, it is necessary to keep the rhubarb stems from rotting quickly. Here are the steps in storing rhubarb:

  • Wash first rhubarb that will be stored using clean running water
  • Cut the rhubarb leaves and use only the stems
  • Dry the rhubarb stems using a towel or cloth
  • Cut the dried rhubarb into small slices
  • Prepare an airtight ziplock plastic container
  • Put the rhubarb pieces in airtight plastic
  • Seal the filled ziplock plastic
  • Put the packaged rhubarb in the freezer

By freezing rhubarb as above, rhubarb can last up to 1 year. This process is an effective way of stopping the process of decay in rhubarb.

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