Rehmannia: Snapshot


Traditional Asian medicine draws a distinction between the properties of the root when it is raw and when it is cooked. The raw root is used to quiet inflammation and heat. The cooked root is more of a building tonic to correct deficiency; it is used to strengthen the bones, marrow, and tendons, to nourish the eyes and ears, and as a tonic after birthing.

In TCM, Rehmannia in its uncured form is the dried root of Rehmannia glutinosa. The cured form consists of the clean, fresh root stewed in wine. In this process, the root is washed in wine, steamed, dried, then resteamed, and dried several times. Unless stated otherwise, extracts of Rehmannia usually consist of the uncured form.

Botanical Name

Rehmannia glutinosa

Part Used

Root

Common Names

Chinese foxglove, Rehmannia Root, Di Huang, Sheng Di, Sheng Ti Huang, Shu Ti Huang, Ti Huang Chiu, Ti Huang, Sheng Di Huang

Brief History

Rehmannia in flower

Rehmannia is named after the physician from Leningrad, Joseph Rehmann (1779-1831). Di means earth and huang means yellow, which is the color associated with the earth element in the five elements system; this herb material is the essence of the earth (soil), being very moist; shu, sometimes written shou, means cooked, referring to the processing of the root to make it more nourishing for the blood and distinguishing from the herb that is simply dried without processing, called Sheng Di Huang and commonly referred to as raw Rehmannia.

Constituents

Iridoid compounds (jioglutosides, rehmaglutins, jioglutins), other glycosides

Therapeutic Properties

Uncured: antipyretic, antihaemorrhagic (systemic), anti-inflammatory, adaptogen, adrenal restorative. Cured: immunosuppressant

Vitalist Properties

Temperature: Cold (uncured); Warm (cured).

Moisture: Moistening

Therapeutic Indications

Allergies/sensitivities, Amenorrhoea, Anaemia, Autoimmune disease, Blood in the Urine, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Convalescence, Exhaustion, Menstrual irregularity, Metrorrhagia.

Primary Uses

Hepatitis.

Chinese research has shown Rehmannia to be a very important liver- protective herb, preventing poisoning and liver damage. Clinical trials in China have demonstrated that it is effective in treating hepatitis.

High Blood-pressure, Cholesterol.

Trials have indicated that rehmannia lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition, its ability to reduce fevers may make it useful for rheumatoid arthritis.

Longevity.

Rehmannia is a traditional and valuable tonic for old age. It is considered to help prevent senility.

Clinical Research

  • Uncontrolled trials using uncured Rehmannia produced therapeutic effects in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and urticaria.
  • Oral administration of a herbal preparation that included Rehmannia and Astragalus demonstrated therapeutic effects in patients with chronic nephritis. Significant improvement was observed in 91% of the treatment group compared with 67% of the control group. The preparation also demonstrated antiallergic effects and promotion and modulation of immune function. The design of this clinical research was not rigorous and its results should be interpreted with caution.

Dosage (Divided Daily)

Dried Powder: 2,000 – 4,000mg

• Ratio Extract 10:1: 1,000 – 2,000mg

• Tincture: 4.5 – 8.5 mL (1:2)

Contraindications

None known

Side effects

High doses may cause digestive upset & Diarrhea

Interactions with other drugs

None known


Dried Rehmannia Root

 Bibliography
  1. Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: herbal formulations for the individual patient. St. Louis, MI: Churchill Livingstone.

  2. Herbalpedia (2013)
  3. Mars, B. (2007). The desktop guide to herbal medicine: the ultimate multidisciplinary reference to the amazing realm of healing plants, in a quick-study, one-stop guide. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub.

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