A perennial plant of the Phrymaceae or lopseed family, rehmannia is a popular herb in the Traditional Chinese medical system. Sometimes referred to as ‘Chinese Foxglove’, its leaves are low to the ground and it blooms with bell-shaped flowers that can range in color from yellow to burgundy.
Rehmannia Root is a native of China, Korea, and Japan, where it thrives in light, moist, yet well-drained, neutral-to-acid, sandy soil in full sun. The whole plant is used in making Chinese herbal medicine.
The History of Rehmannia
With a history of use over thousands of years old, rehmannia is one of the most popular herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The key to good health in TCM is maintaining the balance between the two opposing forces in your body: yin and yang. Rehmannia is said to “balance the yin” and as such is an important part of many formulas.
First mentioned in Chinese medical literature around 200 B.C., during the Han Dynasty, with a wide and varied list of uses, this root is counted as one of the 50 most important herbs used in Oriental Medicine.
Rehmannia Root is considered to be a longevity tonic that enhances and energizes blood circulation throughout the body, and particularly in the brain, strengthening blood deficiencies and easing symptoms of anemia. This herb is a very effective and popular supplement that will provide your body with support for your brain, heart, nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.
How is Rehmannia used?
Primarily, rehmannia is the one of the most important herbs in the Chinese system for disorders related to the kidneys and adrenal glands. According to TCM, kidney imbalances can cause weakness in the legs and lower back, and also hearing loss. Because rehmannia is used to restore adrenal function and purify the kidneys, it is considered a helpful tonic for these conditions.
Rehmannia is said to ‘cool down internal heat’ and help decrease blood pressure.
In Asia, it is often used as a helpful tonic for the liver, kidney, and heart, and to treat many other ailments, such as anemia, diabetes, constipation, dizziness, urinary incontinence, and for women experiencing menopause, hair loss, irregular menstrual cycles, and other hormone deficiencies.
Another modern day problem—blood sugar balance—can also be helped by regular use of rehmannia.
Rehmannia is part of a small group of herbs that are used to work with autoimmune diseases. With anti-inflammatory qualities, rehmannia hinders the breakdown of cortisone products in the body, prolonging the effect of this drug when used. In studies, arthritic patients who took rehmannia experienced positive results including a reduction of swelling, joint pain, and experienced increased joint movement, and has also been used with patients who have asthma, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and various skin conditions.
Yin deficiency and fire-hyperactivity resulting in fever, bleeding nose, sore throat, swollen and aching gum and teeth, or bad breathe.
Calm surging of internal fire excess, nourish yin, moisturize dryness, enrich blood, and invigorate liver and kidney functions.
Rehmannia Radix (sheng di)
Processed Rehmannia Radix
1. Place herbs in a tea bag and put in a pot with 4 to 5 cups of water. Pour in boiling water and allow to brew for 15-45 minutes.
2. Strain and drink tea.
Take on empty stomach and can be taken regularly. Not suitable for people with weak spleen function and wet stomach condition.
These and other Traditional Chinese practices all form part of TCM, each adding a little to the history and methodology of Acupuncture and Herbs.
Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing from Harley Street, London. Make an appointment for an Acupuncture or Herb treatment and we can discuss how we can help you, to read more about Eca click here.
#rehmannia Excerpts from original articles in Shennong and Nourishu.