Countries / Territories

Increasing labour costs pushing medicinal rhubarb prices up

  • Increasing labour costs pushing medicinal rhubarb prices up

    by Market Insider

    Tuesday, 07 Jun. 2016

    Medicinal rhubarb, the dried root and rhizome of Rheum palmatum, Rheum tanguticum and/or Rheum officinale is a product of Chinese biodiversity and is widely used in Asian systems of Traditional Medicine (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Vietnamese) as well as being used as a well-established laxative active ingredient in contemporary European medicine.
    Rhubarb is wild harvested (and cultivated to a small extent) mainly in the provinces of Gansu (e.g. in Dangchang, Gangu, Huating, Lixian, and Longxi counties), Sichuan (e.g. in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture), Shanxi (e.g. Xiangfen County) and Qinghai (e.g. Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County).
    It has been reported from sources in Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County, Gansu Province, that labour costs for rhubarb harvesters has been increasing each year causing not only the prices at origin to rise but also less material is being harvested. This is leading to lower quantities available at the Chinese medicinal plant markets.
    Prices being paid at origin in Qinghai province are reported to be about 18 CNY per kg (= about US $2.74 / kg). Current average market prices for rhubarb root wild collected in Sichuan province are reaching to 21 CNY per kg (= about US $3.20 / kg) at the Anguo and Chengdu markets.

    1. 张艳, 青海省大同县大黄价格上涨, 05 June 2016:
    2. 野生马蹄 四川, 07 June 2016:
    3. 大黄, 市场报价, 07 June 2016:
    4. Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission. 2010. Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China. Beijing, China: China Medical Science Press.
    5. ITC. Herb Profile: Rhubarb root and rhizome. Market Insider for Medicinal Plants & Natural Ingredients. September 2015; pp. 32-34. Available at:

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