Describing rhubarb, some might begin with its long, slender pale green and red stalks, accompanied by large, scalloped green leaves. A few may know it’s classified as a vegetable rather than a fruit.

Rhubarb may have gotten its start in Siberia, and is popular throughout Europe and North America. Some might call it excruciatingly sour, which it could be, if not prepared to its greatest advantage.

Rhubarb is compatible with numerous foods, and can be added to a wide array of dishes, making a rhubarb patch a garden essential.

It’s no surprise if you’ve ever had rhubarb that fiber is one of its health hallmarks. That’s one reason why the root is popular in ancient Chinese medicine for soothing stomach ailments and relieving constipation. But rhubarb also makes an effective poultice for relieving fevers and swelling.

A good thing to remember is that rhubarb leaves are toxic, due to high levels of oxalic acid.

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