Take rhubarb for hot flashes

A pill made from rhubarb may reduce hot flashes in perimenopausal women, German researchers report.

Perimenopause is the period before menopause, when periods become irregular and women may begin to experience symptoms of menopause such as irritability and hot flashes. Women report that these hot flashes can interfere with sleep and disrupt their regular activities.

The study, published in the September/October 2006 issue of Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society, was conducted by German researchers. In the double-blind study, 109 women received either a placebo or a dose of the extract ERr 731, which occurs naturally in rhubarb, daily for 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks the group which received the extract reported a significantly better menopause-specific quality of life. No adverse effects of the treatment were reported.

Although the study is preliminary, and participants took a concentrated version of the special extract ERr 731, it might be time to make rhubarb a part of your diet. Rhubarb contains folate, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and calcium as well.

About rhubarb/strong>
When preparing rhubarb, discard any leaves – they are toxic. When buying rhubarb choose fresh crisp stalks. You can refresh the stalks by standing them in cold water for an hour or so before cooking. Peel off any stringy covering, and trim the ends. Completely peeling rhubarb is unnecessary.

Rhubarb Crisp
4 cups chopped rhubarb
3 tablespoons orange juice mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup quick cooking rolled oats

Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Grease an 8-inch square baking dish, and arrange rhubarb in it. Toss rhubarb with the orange juice and cornstarch mixture, then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Next sift together flour, salt, and baking soda; mix in the oats. Then mix melted butter with brown sugar. Combine flour mixture with the brown sugar and melted butter mixture until well blended. With hands, spread the crumb mixture over rhubarb. Bake for 40 minutes.

Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream.

Easy rhubarb pudding cake
3 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Boxed white cake mix and oil, water or milk, and one fewer eggs than instructions on box state

Arrange rhubarb on the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13-inch pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar.

Prepare the cake batter from the cake mix, using one less egg than the recipe requires. Fold in cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans. Pour the batter over the rhubarb. Bake according to the instructions on the box. Let cool slightly before cutting.

Frozen Rhubarb Daiquiris
(source: http://www.plantea.com/rhubarb.htm)
Refreshing, and definitely rhubarb!

6 cups chopped raw or frozen rhubarb
½ cup water 1- ½ cups sugar
1 2-liter bottle lemon-lime soda
1 12-oz. can limeaid or lemonade concentrate
1 to 1- ½ cups white rum

Combine rhubarb and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in sugar and heat until sugar is dissolved and rhubarb is soft. Remove from heat and strain. Let the liquid come to room temperature. Combine remaining ingredients, add rhubarb juice, and freeze. Stir occasionally while mixture freezes. To serve, simple spoon frozen daiquiris into glasses and top with a sprig of mint.