It is proposed that gut-liver-lung axis plays an important role in the pathophysiologic development of the critical illness, and it induces excessive inflammatory response in vivo and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. The mechanisms of therapeutic effects of rhubarb on critical patients are studied based on the theory of Chinese traditional medicine. Researches demonstrate that rhubarb can be used to protect gut barrier, maintain intestinal micro-ecological environment and prevent bacterial translocation. It also can be used to inhibit the release of inflammatory mediators by liver inflammatory-effector cells, reduce inflammatory reaction in the liver and protect hepatic cell functions. Furthermore, rhubarb can be used to reduce pulmonary vascular permeability and extenuate pulmonary edema, inhibit the release of neutrophil myeloperoxidase, and lower the level of inflammatory response and decrease inflammatory mediators in circulation. The above results indicate that rhubarb may interrupt or partly interrupt the gut-liver-lung axis after trauma and reduce the intensity of systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Therefore, rhubarb may obviously lower the incidence of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and be used to prevent and treat systemic inflammatory response syndrome and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome after trauma.