Rehmannia glutinosa


PROPERTIES: Tonic (liver, kidney, brain), Blood building, Anti-inflammatory, Sudorific

SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Kidneys, Liver, Cardiovascular, Brain

POSSIBLE USES: fever, blood pressure, blood loss, menstrual bleeding, hepatitis and liver conditions


Rehmannia is a Chinese herbal medicine and the descriptions of its effects are most often given in the terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine—which can be a bit of a foreign language to Western minds. Rehmannia is said to “cool the blood” and is given to help lower fever in acute and chronic illnesses. This “cooling” nature is reflected in its traditional use for problems such as excessive thirst and ailments that manifest with a red tongue.

In all traditions, Rehmannia Root is used specifically to treat hepatitis and other liver conditions and to cleanse the liver. Rehmannia is used to treat high blood pressure. Interestingly, in the Chinese traditions Rehmannia appears to raise low blood pressure when eaten raw and lower high blood pressure when cooked (in wine). Western herbal tradition does not make this distinction but rather concludes that like most herbals, it brings the body to a state of stasis—raising blood pressure when that is needed and lowering it when that is what is required.

The Chinese tradition uses the raw root specifically for blood loss and “blood deficiency” states such as irregular and heavy menstrual bleeding. Rehmannia used raw is considered to be “warming” (rather than cooling like the dryed root) and is considered to be a tonic that is specific to the kidney, liver, cardiovascular system, and to nourish the brain.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Rehmannia Root is considered a valuable tonic for old age. It is considered to help prevent senility and to keep the mind sharp into old age.

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