Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa)

Traditional Indications

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).

Pharamcognocy

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)

Sheng Di huang Rehmannia glutinosa is part of a formula called Shi Quan Da Bu Tang, traditionally used to tonify the Blood and Qi to treat anaemia, anorexia, extreme exhaustion, fatigue, kidney and spleen insufficiency and general weakness, particularly after illness and after chemotherapy. It has been found to potentiate (make it work better) chemotherapy and radiotherapy and inhibit malignant recurrences, prolong survival and prevent and ameliorate adverse toxicities in cancer treatment. (8) In Japanese herbal medicine (Kampo) the formula is known Juzen Taiho To and has been shown to increase expression of heavy metal chelating metallothioneins (MTs). (9) Shi Quan Da Bu Tang also increases transcription factor Nrf2 to support phase II detoxification thus regulate the body's detoxification and antioxidant system.  (10)

1. PFAF. Rehmannia glutinosa 2019.
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.
8. Chang I-M. Juzen-taiho-to (Shi-Quan-Da-Bu-Tang): Scientific Evaluation and Clinical Application. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2006;3(3):393-4.
9. Anjiki N, Hoshino R, Ohnishi Y, Hioki K, Irie Y, Ishige A, et al. A kampo formula Juzen-taiho-to induces expression of metallothioneins in mice. 2005;19(10):915-7.
10. Wu Q, Zhang D, Tao N, Zhu QN, Jin T, Shi JS, et al. Induction of Nrf2 and metallothionein as a common mechanism of hepatoprotective medicinal herbs. Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(1):207-21.