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

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

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Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for High Technology Research of TCM Formulae, and National and Local Collaborative Engineering Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization and Formulae Innovative Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023 Jiangsu China.
College of Pharmacy and Shaanxi Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang, 712046 China.


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.


Clinical application; Functional mechanism; Ingredients; Pharmacological activities; Rhubarb

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