Herb latin name: Rumex nepalensis

Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Medicinal use of Rumex nepalensis:

The root is purgative. It is used as a substitute for rhubarb (Rheum spp.). A strong decoction of the root is applied to dislocated bones. A paste of the root is applied to swollen gums. The leaves are used in the treatment of colic. The juice of the leaves is applied externally to relieve headaches. A decoction of the plant is used to wash the body in order to alleviate body pain.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Cultivated areas and grazed ground, 1200 - 4300 metres from Afghanistan to S.W. China.

Edible parts of Rumex nepalensis:

Tender young leaves and shoots - cooked as a vegetable. Root - a rhubarb substitute. We are not sure if this report refers to the medicinal or edible uses of rhubarb.

Other uses of the herb:

The root contains 5 - 13% tannin. Although no specific mention has been made for this species, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots of many species in this genus, They do not need a mordant.

Propagation of Rumex nepalensis:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Cultivated areas and grazed ground, 1200 - 4300 metres from Afghanistan to S.W. China.

Known hazards of Rumex nepalensis:

Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.