Common Name: Chinese Foxglove (Rehmannia glutinosa, Rehmannia radix)
Traditional Chinese medicine. Parts used: roots.
Rehmannia benefits: I was already taking black cohosh and vitex (chasteberry) and having great results when I found this herb. Along with horrible PMS symptoms, I also have anemia, dizziness, and palpitations on occasion. I’ve found the palpitations are (at least in part) due to electrolyte imbalances and take approx. 60mg of magnesium gluconate daily, and try to eat high potassium foods as often as possible (I crave potatoes, which are extremely high potassium, when my potassium is low).
[Update March 2021 – I can only take 10mg of magnesium gluconate when I’m having muscle spasms now, and can’t take it daily or it will cause palpitations.
Update March 2022 – taking chelated calcium stops muscles spasms, so I no longer need magnesium.]
My anemia has been chronic since I was a teenager, and dizziness/palpitations have been an ongoing issue since my late 20s. Lower back pain is also a constant, so when I bought a book on herbs and read about Rehmannia, I knew I needed to try it:
“Therapeutic profile: a blood building and balancing herb, effective in regulation against wasting diseases where there is anemia, dizziness and palpitations; particularly capable for the female system; an effective heart tonic… a regulant to the kidneys when there is chronic back pain and low adrenal function…” 1
Anemia and Dizziness: while I’ve not found an herb strong enough to keep me from being anemic without iron supplementation, this one definitely helps. This is one herb that I can contribute relief from my dizziness issues to, along with Fo-Ti (though I think rehmannia has played a more significant part in this).
Cramps and PMS: peppermint tea coupled with 1/8 tsp of goldenseal is amazing for stopping PMS cramps during my period. However, my daily blend for general hormonal health is a mix of rehmannia and black cohosh – these keep me fairly balanced month-long, and keep break-through periods and spot bleeding away.
Heart Palpitations: my heart palpitation issues seem to be multi-faceted. As of 2022, I found that I do have hypertension. The fact that magnesium supplementation, caffeine, and sports drinks can trigger me suggests that a simple herbal supplement isn’t enough, though exercise seems to really help.
I’ve seen several doctors, who all state I’m the picture of health except for my hormone imbalance – no heart issues, mild anemia, low blood pressure and good blood counts. I have a friend with chronic Lyme that swears I also have it from my symptoms, who’s also had troubles getting help from doctors. Along with the issues mentioned above, “brain fog” is a constant battle since my late 30s.
Adding Rehmannia root to my herbal regimen has stopped the dizziness, I’ve noticed fewer signs of anemia including no dizziness and palpitations (iron deficient anemia comes with rapid heart rate and shortness of breath, which could be mistaken for palpitations). Further, the addition of Panax Ginseng along with this herb has cleared my brain fog and helps significantly with fatigue! Before Rehmannia I was also prone to blood sugar lows – hypoglycemia and shakiness hit me every morning around 10am. Changes in diet were the first part of stopping this, but since starting Rehmannia I have no shakiness, even when I’m not eating as I should.
“[R. glutinosa polysaccharide] can effectively ameliorate hyperglycemia, hyperlipemia, vascular inflammation and oxidative stress in STZ-induced diabetic mice, and thus may be a potential therapeutic option for type 1 diabetes.” 2
I use 715 mg daily. Rehmannia root has not been tested for consistent use over 8 weeks, so it’s good to take breaks from this herb at least once every 2 months. I’ve been on it for about 6 months almost steady (taken a couple breaks for 3-4 days) and the only issues I’ve had are a return of old symptoms (heavy periods with intense sickness, nausea, and vomiting) while off Rehmannia.
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Rehmannia Root Benefits For Horses and Pets:
I’ve not researched this herb for my horses or other pets yet, and I won’t try things on them without a lot of research! If I do research and try this for any of my animals I’ll update this page.
As always, take care when adding herbal supplements to an animal’s ration – they can’t always tell us when something doesn’t agree with them! If you’d like to learn more about my horse with Polysaccharide Muscle Myopathy, or PSSM, see my Jax’s Story site.
Historical and Common Uses:
- Anemia 3
- Anti-aging 4
- Inflammatory and metabolic diseases 5
- Dizziness 6
- Heart palpitations 6
Side effects largely unknown, but possible stomach upset, dizziness, and edema.
Rehmannia can lower blood sugar, and care should be taken if you’re on medication for Diabetes. Use with caution if digestion is weak.
Where To Purchase:
Note: I earn a commission on some links, at no cost to you. Purchasing through these links is a great way to support this site!
I purchase my Rehmannia root powder through two sources, both of which are very fine powder and great for mixing in my morning coffee:
Bulk Supplements’ Rehmannia has no sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, or other additives. This is the company I use for pea protein, and bulk herbs in larger amounts, etc. Some of my herbs, like cissus quadrangularis, can be found here when MRH doesn’t carry them.
Research Articles and Sources:
- How to Be Your Own Herbal Pharmacist by Linda Rector Page, N.D., Ph. D
- Studies of Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch. f. hueichingensis as a blood tonic – We have studied the function of dried and prepared Rehmannia glutinosa f. hueichingensis in treating hemorrhagic anemic mice and in fostering bone marrow hematopoietic cells CFU-S, CFU-E. The results show that Rehmannia glutinosa f. hueichingensis can promote the recovery of blood deficient animals, RBC. Hb expedite the multiplication and differentiation of CFU-S, CFU-E, and thus proves markedly helpful to the generation of blood.
- Rehmannia glutinosa exhibits anti‐aging effect through maintaining the quiescence and decreasing the senescence of hematopoietic stem cells
- Rehmanniae Radix, an Effective Treatment for Patients with Various Inflammatory and Metabolic Diseases: Results from a Review of Korean Publications – Conclusion: The results of this literature review indicate that Rehmanniae Radix is effective in treating patients with various inflammatory and metabolic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Based on these results, we believe that Rehmanniae Radix can be used effectively to treat patients with such diseases.
- Stachyose: One of the Active Fibroblast-proliferating Components in the Root of Rehmanniae Radix (地黃 dì huáng) – The chemical profile of RR changes extensively during processing (Kubo et al., 1996; Wang et al., 2009) and thus different commodities of RR can be used in different clinical applications. For example, fresh root can be used for nose bleeding, sore throat, rashes and skin eruptions; dried root is used in the treatment of hematemesis, nose bleeding, rash and diabetes; while steamed root is used for the treatment of anemia, diabetes, dizziness, tinnitus, nocturnal emission and palpitations (Jiangsu Xinyiyuan, 1979).
More Research Articles About Rehmannia:
Rehmanniae Radix, an Effective Treatment for Patients with Various Inflammatory and Metabolic Diseases: Results from a Review of Korean Publications The results of this literature review indicate that Rehmanniae Radix is effective in treating patients with various inflammatory and metabolic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Based on these results, we believe that Rehmanniae Radix can be used effectively to treat patients with such diseases.
Dried Rehmannia root protects against glutamate-induced cytotoxity to PC12 cells through energy metabolism-related pathways Rehmannia root is effective for treating a variety of nervous system diseases (Jiang et al., 2015), such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral ischemia and Parkinson’s disease (Wei, 2016). Rehmannia root improves endogenous antioxidant enzyme activities, increases free radical scavenging, inhibits the proliferation of microglial cells, reduces the excessive expression of inflammatory factors, and improves neural plasticity (Teng et al., 2014). This formulation has satisfactory clinical efficacy in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (He, 2005; Ge et al., 2012). However, the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of Rehmannia are unclear.
10 Rehmannia Root Benefits + Side Effects More research links and info on Rehmannia’s use on SelfHacked