Rhubarb


rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is an important forage food in the Koh-Eh- Baba mountain range of Afghanistan. As the winter snow melts away during the spring, the perennial rhubarb rhizomes produce stems which are often plucked and eaten raw while walking in the mountains. The regions various wild growing edibles are vitally important since only one crop per year can be grown due to limitations such as high altitude. During years of drought, rhubarb becomes even more significant.


Rhubarb in Afghanistan was mentioned as far back as 1549, when King Humayuns’ wives, sisters and aunts repeatedly nagged him to take them on a trip to see the flowering rhubarb instead of pursuing military action against the Uzbeks in Balkh.


Rhubarb is a source of vitamin C and K, calcium, manganese and potassium. It is also part of the list of top ten foraging plants based on advice from both locals and botanists from Kabul University. Unfortunately, climate change is affecting the Koh-E-Baba rangelands so much that the UN Environmental Programme advocates its conservation.