My Rhubarb patch is always one of the first edibles each year at Brown Barn's Wisconsin farm. Thick knobs of green leaves sprout in the cool Spring weather, quickly unfurling prehistoric looking giant leaves on long, tart, red stems.
The farm patch was already established when we purchased the farm over twenty years ago. Rhubarb stems can range from brilliant red to a greenish-red. We grow several varieties at the farm, my favorite are the bright red. A well established patch can live for generations!
Rich in Silica and vitamins C and K, Rhubarb is loaded with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory elements that help protect skin against UV damage and fight against damage due to aging. You can reap the skin loving benefits of Rhubarb by eating and by directly applying the nutrient rich red stem portion of the plant.
Unfortunately, the beautiful leaves of Rhubarb are toxic. Do not eat or apply the leaves of Rhubarb as they contain oxalic acid, which can harm kidneys. I always wear gloves when harvesting any plant in our gardens.
Our favorite way to eat Rhubarb is in a dessert. It mixes well with Strawberries! Rhubarb can require quite a bit of sugar if you are not fond of tart flavor profiles. Because Sugar is not a friend to glowing skin, you might want to opt instead to use your rhubarb in an anti-oxidant facial mask.
RHUBARB YOGURT MASK
- 2 Tablespoons chopped stem of fresh Rhubarb
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons plain yogurt (or sub Avocado or Banana)
- Optional: 1 Tablespoon oil, Avocado, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or Sunflower Oil are great options.
- Optional: a drop of essential oil. Rose is especially nice in this mask!
Place all ingredients in a blender. Mix until smooth. Add more or less liquids as needed to form a spreadable paste. Spread onto face and relax for about 5 minutes. Wipe away, follow with facial cleanser and your favorite moisturizers.
This recipe is just a jumping off point, you can mix and match ingredients to your heart's content! Always test any new product on a small portion of your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Don't have a Rhubarb patch? You an purchase fresh Rhubarb at the grocer and it is often readily available at farmer's markets. Or start your own patch by purchasing potted rhubarb plants at your local greenhouse. Plant against the wall on the south side of a structure for early Spring plants that will live for decades.
Christine Untiedt, Owner, Brown Barn Botanicals
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