Grown “from Siberia to China as far back as 2700 BC, where it was used for its healing properties, [rhubarb root] was transported along the Silk Road to Italy in the 13th Century by Marco Polo. It once commanded three times the price of opium and saffron, and was weighed against gold.” [BBC]
First documented in “Shen Nong's Herbal Classic (Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing), the oldest Chinese materia medica” [NCBI] rhubarb root has been used as a fever reducer, bactericidal agent, and to promote circulation. Pharmacological research has also shown potential anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune enhancing properties. [NCBI]
Modern aperitifs and amari trace their history to medieval monasteries. Monks concocted medicinal recipes that were essentially the first potable digestive bitters. Rhubarb root is prized in the aperitif traditions for its digestive supporting properties. Rhubarb root brings a unique earthy, vegetal quality to Eva’s spritz and The Saskatoon. Eva’s spritz owes its unusual, tantalizing aroma to rhubarb root.
“The English vegetable picked by candlelight”
“The Health Benefits of Rhubarb”
“A Systematic Review of Rhubarb (a Traditional Chinese Medicine) Used for the Treatment of Experimental Sepsis”