Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa)

Traditional Indications

Rehmannia is antiseptic, cardiac, diuretic, febrifuge, heamostatic, hypoglycaemic, and tonic. Rehmannia is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is one of the most popular tonic herbs and is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. They are used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments, including anaemia, bleeding, constipation, coughs, fever and premature ejaculation. The root is an ingredient of 'Four Things Soup', the most widely used woman's tonic in China. (1)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Rehmannia is known as Sheng Di Huang 地黄. Sheng Di Huang is sweet, bitter and cold and enters the Heart, Kidney and Liver channels. Sheng Di Huang clears Heat and cools Blood to treat high fever, thirst and scarlet tongue, nourishes Yin and generate Fluids to treat dry mouth and constipation and sweaty palms, soles, head and night sweats, cools ascending Heart Fire to treat canker sores, irritability, insomnia and malar flush and treats wasting thirst disorder (ie diabetes).

Pharmacognosy

More than 70 compounds including iridoids, saccharides, amino acid, inorganic ions, as well as other trace elements have been found in the herb. Studies show that Rehmannia glutinosa and its active principles possess wide pharmacological actions on the blood system, immune system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system and the nervous system. (2)

A study found dried root of Rehmannia glutinosa prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rats. (3) Rehmannia stimulates the proliferation and activities of osteoblasts, while inhibiting the generation and resorptive activities of osteoclasts. (4)

Rehmannia glutinosa ameliorates the progressive renal failure. (3)

Rehmannia glutinosa suppresses inflammatory responses elicited by advanced glycation end products and can be an alternative therapeutics for diabetes-associated diseases. (5)

Ethanol extract of Rehmannia glutinosa exerts antidepressant-like effects on a rat chronic unpredictable mild stress model. (6)

Rehmannia glutinosa polysaccharide induces toll-like receptor 4 dependent spleen dendritic cell maturation and anti-cancer immunity demonstrating that Rehmannia could be a useful adjuvant molecule for immunotherapy against cancer. (7)

 

1. PFAF. Rehmannia glutinosa 2019 [Available from: https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rehmannia+glutinosa.
2. Zhang R-X, Li M-X, Jia Z-P. Rehmannia glutinosa: Review of botany, chemistry and pharmacology. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2008;117(2):199-214.
3. Lim D, Kim Y. Dried Root of Rehmannia glutinosa Prevents Bone Loss in Ovariectomized Rats. 2013;18(5):5804.
4. Oh K-O, Kim S-W, Kim J-Y, Ko S-Y, Kim H-M, Baek J-H, et al. Effect of Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch extracts on bone metabolism. Clinica Chimica Acta. 2003;334(1):185-95.
5. Baek G-H, Jang Y-S, Jeong S-I, Cha J, Joo M, Shin S-W, et al. Rehmannia glutinosa Suppresses Inflammatory Responses Elicited by Advanced Glycation End Products. Inflammation. 2012;35(4):1232-41.
6. Wang J-M, Pei L-X, Zhang Y-Y, Cheng Y-X, Niu C-L, Cui Y, et al. Ethanol extract of Rehmannia glutinosa exerts antidepressant-like effects on a rat chronic unpredictable mild stress model by involving monoamines and BDNF. Metabolic Brain Disease. 2018;33(3):885-92.
7. Xu L, Kwak M, Zhang W, Zeng L, Lee PC-W, Jin J-O. Rehmannia glutinosa polysaccharide induces toll-like receptor 4 dependent spleen dendritic cell maturation and anti-cancer immunity. OncoImmunology. 2017;6(7):e1325981.