Traditional Chinese medicine relies heavily on herbs, shrubs, mushrooms, as well as animal based medicine, etc. to cure various ailments. One of the well-known herbs used in Chinese medicine is Rehmannia, or what is known as Di-Huang in Chinese. Technically speaking, Rehmannia is an herb, more along the lines of foxglove, and has yellow hued flowers. However, the part of the Rehmannia which is more medicinal is the root.
The root of the Rehmani herb is the most useful part of the plant. The botanical name of this plant is Rehmannia Glutinosa. The second half of the name is indicative of the kind of root it actually is, which is sticky and cloying when cooked. Studies on the Rehmannia have revealed that it is largely comprised of simple sugars which give it its sweet taste.
The Rehmannia can be used raw or cooked (steamed) based on one’s requirement. Ancient Chinese texts describe it as a cure for broken bones by replenishing bone marrow and helping the growth of muscles. The herb was also believed to treat yin deficiency. Eventually, Rehmannia became well known for treating fevers and bleeding and even for helping those who had irregular menstrual cycles. Here’s a list of some of the benefits provided by Rehmannia:
The Rehmannia herb is pretty much a wonder medicine because of the numerous ways in which it can help us. For instance:
- Rehmannia is used widely to treat renal disorders and disorders of the adrenal glands. It is also one of the few herbs used to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiplesclerosis. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis noticed a vast improvement in joint pain and swelling after taking Rehmannia.
- Rehmannia is known to have anti-inflammatory properties which make it highly useful in treating asthma and skin diseases.
- Hormone deficiencies cause irregularities in the body such as menopause, impotence, and alopecia which can be regulated and controlled with the help of Rehmannia.
- Some of the applications of Rehmannia are centered on traditional Chinese beliefs which focus on correcting the internal heat and other related disorders. Rehmannia is often prescribed to rejuvenate the yin in the body and bring it to the correct balance.
- Rehmannia is also considered to be a general restorative for overall good health, and it promotes the production of body fluid and marrow.
- Rehmannia protects the liver and lowers blood sugar. It also promotes blood clotting and reduces high blood pressure.
- It is a great tonic for the blood and also acts as a diuretic while rejuvenating the overall health.
- Fevers caused by heating in the body, hot flashes during menopause, and extreme thirst can be cured with the help of Rehmannia. Some health practitioners consider it to be a refrigerant, which means that it helps the body cool down especially in the aftermath of a fever.
- One of the problems that occur due to menopause is osteoporosis, where women progressively lose bone strength. Studies have shown that the intake of Rehmannia controls bone loss to a great extent. It is also considered to enhance fertility.
No medicines are without side effects, and while herbal medicines are usually free from adverse side effects, it doesn’t mean that they are not without their own set of pitfalls. In the case of Rehmannia, there are the pitfalls you have to be aware of, though it goes without saying that you should not take any herbal medicine without consulting a doctor if you have a serious medical condition.
Some of the side effects that could possibly emerge as a result of Rehmannia use could be bloating and diarrhea. In some rare cases, there could also be nausea and abdominal pain. Some others may experience dizziness and heart palpitations as well. Furthermore, it is advised that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume Rehmannia.
Typically, Rehmannia can be found in China, Korea, and Japan, although it is also grown as an ornamental plant in the United States as well. The medicinal part of Rehmannia is the root, and there are three ways in which it can be used.
The first is the fresh root which is harvested and cleaned. The second method involves baking the freshly harvested root until it is dry, after which it is kneaded into balls. Lastly, the third method involves a process in which Rehmannia roots are dried, steamed till they are black, and then dried again.
The Rehmannia root can also be prepared as a decoction, with cardamom and ginger added to prevent indigestion. The dosage depends on the kind of Rehmannia preparation you are taking, so it’s better to consult a health practitioner before you consume it. If you are taking it in the form of dried powder, it is recommended to start with 9 to 30 grams a day.
Although many studies have been conducted with Rehmannia, it has not yet been certified by the FDA. Of course, most herbal supplements and medicines are perfectly safe, but it is still advisable to contact your health practitioner before you opt for it.