Rehmanniae Root

Prepared Rehmannia Root (shu di huang) 

Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata

Other Common Names:

Chinese foxglove, di-huang, shu di-huang, disui.

Plant Parts Used:

The whole plant is used to make herbal medicine.


Sweet in flavour, slightly warm in nature, it has affinity to the heart, liver and kidney channels. Being sweet in flavour, warm, moist and greasy in nature, it can replenish heart-and liver-blood and also can nourish both liver-and kidney-yin, serving as a main herb for warming and enriching essence and blood. It is often used to treat syndromes of blood-deficiency, deficiency of both liver-yin and kidney-yin as well as severe insufficiency of kidney essence. But due to its greasy property which is easy to hinder the digestive function of the stomach, it is usually used with herbs for resolving dampness and appetising as fructus Amonmi, etc.


Replenishing blood and tonifying Yin.


Used to combat the symptoms and progression of these illnesses, anti-inflammatory herbs used include rehmannia, Indian sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus) and bupleurum (Bupleurum chinense).

Rehmannia also hinders the breakdown of cortisone products in the body, which lengthens the effect of this herb.

In one study, patients with rheumatoid arthritis were treated with rehmannia and experienced good results, including a reduction of joint pain, swelling, and increased joint movement.

The herb also improved the general symptoms of asthma and urticaria. Mild edema developed in a small percentage of patients which is a similar reaction to that induced by adreno-cortical hormones.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the unprocessed rehmannia root is used to reduce heat in the blood, to nourish yin and promote the production of body fluid. Indications for TCM use include febrile diseases, skin eruptions, and nosebleed.

In Western herbal medicine, rehmannia root extract is looked upon as an adrenal tonic; and is believed to support the cells of the adrenal cortex and pituitary during times of prolonged stress.

Oral doses (10-500 mg/kg) of rehmannia fluid extract had an immune modulating effect in an experimental model.

Rehmannia root could, therefore, be helpful in addressing autoimmune conditions of the adrenals and thyroid.

Unlike liquorice (also an adrenal tonic), rehmannia root is suitable for use in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure).

The herb’s main active principles are iridoid glycosides. Catalpol was the first of these isolated from the herb, and it appears its main function is to stimulate the production of adrenal cortical hormones.

These hormones are anti-inflammatory and explain the use of the herb in treating asthma, skin diseases, and arthritis. Catapol is also used to increase the production of sex hormones and in TCM.

Rehmannia root is prescribed to treat menopause, impotence, hair loss (alopecia) and other hormone deficiencies.


1.  For blood deficiency syndrome manifested as pale, dizziness, tinitus, palpitation, insomnia, irregular menstruation, it is often used together withRadixAngelicaeSinensis, Rhizome Ligustici Chuanxiong and Radix Paeoniae Alba to enrich blood and regulate menstruation, as in Decoction of FourIngredients(SiwuTang).

2.  For Yin-deficiency of both the liver and kidney marked by lassitude of the loins and legs, dizziness, tinitus, night sweat, spermatorrhea, fever due to Yin-deficiency, itis often used with Rhizoma Dioscorear, Fructus Corni, Cortex Moutan Radicis, Rhizoma Anemarrhenae to nourish Yin, replenish kidney, clearawayheat and reduceministerial fire, as in Bolus of Six Herbs Including Rehmannia (Liuwei Dihuang Wan).

Besides, it can also be used to treat diabetes with internal heat.

Dosage and Administration Ordinary dosage 10-15g, 30g at large dose.  This herb is sticky and greasy in property and can hinder digestion, so it is usually usedwith appetising herbs suchasFructus Amomi Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae, etc. is Copyright © 2000-2023