Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Da Huang)


In sub cylindrical, conical, ovoid or irregular shaped pieces, 3-17 cm long, 3-10 cm in diameter. Externally yellowish-brown to reddish-brown when peeled, sometimes whitish reticulations and scattered star spots (abnormal vascular bundles) visible, occasionally with brownish-black patches of cork, mostly with a hole through which the string passed, and coarse wrinkles. Texture compact, sometimes rather loose and soft in the centre, facture reddish-brown or yellowish-brown, granular. Pith of the rhizome broad, with star spots arranged in a ring or irregularly scattered. Wood of the root well developed, lined radically, cambium ring distinct, without star spots. Odor, delicately aromatic; taste bitter and slightly stringent, sticky and gritty on chewing.


To cause catharsis and purge away heat, to reduce heat in blood and counteract toxicity, and to eliminate blood stasis and stimulate menstrual discharge.
Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (stir-bake with wine) To remove toxic heat from the blood in the upper portion of the body.

Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (prepared) To purge away heat and remove toxic substances, but with less cathartic effect.

Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (carbonized) To reduce heat in blood, remove blood stasis, and arrest bleeding.


Fever with constipation, retention of the feces and abdominal pain; dysentery with inadequate discharge from the bowels; jaundice caused by damp-heat; haematemesis, epistaxis, inflammation of eye and swelling of the throat due to heat in the blood; appendicitis with abdominal pain; boils, sores and abscess; amenorrhea due to blood stasis; traumatic injuries; hemorrhage from the upper gastrointestinal tract. External use for scalds and burns.

Radixet Rhizoma Rhei (stir-baked with wine) Inflammation of the eye, swelling of the throat and painful swelling of the gums.

Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (prepared) Boils, sores and abscess.
Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (carbonized) Hemorrhage with blood stasis due to heat in the blood.


1. Purging away pathogenic heat and relaxing the bowls.
It is used for the treatment of constipation due to heat of excess type, abdominal pain due to indigestion, uncomfortable due to diarrhea and dysentery.

2. Removing pathogenic heat from the blood and toxic material from the body.
It is used for the treatment of hematemesis and epitasis due to blood-heat, and conjunctiva congestion, laryngopharynx and gingival swelling and pain and other symptoms caused by pathogenic fire in the upper part of the body. It is also prescribed for the treatment of skin and external diseases due to noxious heat as well as burn, acute appendicitis and abdominal pains.

3. Removing blood stasis and restoring menstrual flow.
The drug is used for the treatment of amenorrhea due to blood stasis and traumatic injuries.
Besides, it can also be used to treat hemorrhage of the upper digestive tract, jaundice and stranguria.
Raw rhubarb has stronger efficacy in relieving constipation by purgation. Liquor-moistened rhubarb is less stronger but efficacious in clearing away heat of excess type in the upper-jiao. Liquor-stewed rhubarb has a mild laxative effect. It can reduce some side effects such as abdominal pain and increases its function in promoting blood circulation to remove blood stasis. Roasted rhubarb ahs a very weak laxative effect and is effective in arresting bleeding. Therefore it can be applied to treat hemafecia with accumulation in the large intestine.


The powdered herb applied to burns relieves pain and swelling.