What is Rehmannia?

What is Rehmannia?

The concept of whole Chinese medicine is to create a fine balance between opposing forces in your body; yin and yang. In case of an imbalance, certain treatments for example treatment with rehmannia may help.

Rehmannia is a Chinese herb that has prime importance in traditional Chinese medicine. It is also famous as Chinese foxglove. The reason behind its fame is its ability to “balance the yin.”

This herb naturally grows in northern and northeastern China. The usage of rehmannia is more than two thousand years. Its root a thick brownish-black in color and its harvest season starts in fall.

Rehmannia can treat all conditions that arise due to yin deficiency. Some of these medical conditions include seasonal allergies, anemia, constipation, bloating, diabetes, fever, eczema, high blood pressure, bacterial and fungal infections, arthritis, osteoporosis, sleeping disorder, pain, stress, and even cancer.

The scientific evidence of benefits

As mentioned before, traditional Chinese medicine is based on a concept of two opposing forces, energy flow in and around a person, and the five elements of earth, fire, metal, wood, and water. Despite rehmannia to be at such high place in Chinese medicine, the research on it is limited.

There is no such study that determines its efficacy or explains what makes rehmannia such a miraculous herb. So there is no scientific proof of any of the benefit that Chinese medicine practitioners tell about rehmannia.

A common thing in Chinese medicine is using a blend of herbs. This combination can be in the form of a capsule, liquid, powder, or tea. There are chances that rehmannia is just a good common ingredient. And it is not easy to say it yet that which specific herb in combination with rehmannia brings these medicinal results.

Another factor here to consider is that Chinese medicine is prepared for every individual as per his requirements and needs. The classic Chinese remedies are not meant for the public at large, they vary for every person.

Additionally, the study of individual Chinese herbs most of the research is at the primary stage. These early effects are only studied on animals for now. Anything without a human clinical sample may not give answers on rehmannia working.

But one thing is clear that there are researches going on various Chinese herbs. One 2013 study revealed that catalpol, a chemical in rehmannia is capable of preventing cell death caused by neurodegenerative disorders.  This is just one effect and perhaps more extensive research can explain it better.

The downside of using rehmannia

It would be a lie to say that rehmannia is 100% side effect free. Anything that has such benefits for health definitely works the other side when used improperly or used in too high quantity.

So far, minor side effects such as nausea, gas, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, allergies, and fatigue are known. It is not suitable for people with liver and digestive diseases. It is also not recommended for immuno-compromised individuals, pregnant or nursing mothers.

Chinese herbal medicines are available in the USA in the form of supplements. But note that not all these supplements are safe for health. Moreover, they are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and there is no way to set a standard dose without research on them. As for supplements, different manufacturers use different recipes so the standard dosing may vary.

If you are interested in traditional Chinese medicine, it is necessary to know that there are no national regulations or medical support on Chinese herbal supplements in the USA. The laws are different in each state. In order to avail the services of a Chinese treatment practitioner, don’t forget to see licenses, certifications, or credentials that your state approves.

You can also ask in-personal questions to check the practitioner’s skills and training. But, for now, there’s no scientific evidence on rehmannia. It is better to speak to your doctor before using it.



The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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