Rehmannia  (Prepared- Shu di Huang)

Latin:  Rehmannia glutinosa

Family:  Orobanchancacae (formerly Scrophulariaceae)

Parts Used:  Root

Taste/Energetics:  Sweet, warming

Properties:  Nutritive tonic, circulatory tonic, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive

Actions:   Prepared cooked rehmannia is really noticeable when added to a formula of herbs.  It is overpowering in its sweetness and richness.  This is a deeply nutritive root that is offered to those who appear pale, anemic, deficient and undernourished with “Blood deficient” signs such as irregular and scanty menstruation, infertility, impotence, dry skin, poor memory, dizziness and fatigue.  Western herbalists often perceive this herb as as “adrenal tonic”, meaning that it can help reduce the effects of stress and trauma on the system. Rehmannia contain iridoid glycosides that stimute production of adrenal cortical hormones.   These have an anti-inflammatory effect that have proved useful in the treatment of asthma, arthritis and hives.

Dosage:  This is a fantastic herb that I find works best in decoctions.  Traditionally one uses about 9-15 grams in a formula and sometimes upwards of 30 grams.  In powder or capsule form, 1-2 grams a day.  Because it works best as a nutritive tonic, I don’t recommend taking it in tincture form.

Contraindications:   Avoid in pregnancy, when breast feeding.