Rehmannia has been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Although thorough clinical trials are lacking, rehmannia has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, urticaria (hives), and chronic nephritis (kidney inflammation) in Chinese studies. Rehmannia may also be used to prevent the suppressive effects of corticosteroid (steroid) drugs.
Rehmannia looks promising in treating aplastic anemia, mitigating side-effects of chemotherapeutic agents and HIV medications, curing obdurate eczema (dry skin), relieving pain from lung or bone cancer or disc protrusion, and helping ameliorate lupus nephritis (kidney inflammation) and type 2 diabetes with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). However, presently, there are no high-quality, large randomized, controlled trials supporting the efficacy of rehmannia for any of these indications.
Rehmannia is in the Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China. However, it is not on the United Kingdom’s General Sale List, and is not covered by a Commission E monograph in Germany. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not granted generalized recognized as safe (GRAS) status to rehmannia; it is available in the United States as a dietary supplement under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.
Aplastic anemia (adjuvant)
Rehmannia is frequently recommended to mitigate duration and severity of aplastic anemia. Although preliminary results appear promising, additional study is needed to draw a firm recommendation.
Hypopituitarism (Sheehan’s syndrome)
Rehmannia glutinosa has been used in the treatment of Sheehan’s syndrome. However, the magnitude of therapeutic effects of rehmannia on Sheehan’s syndrome remains unclear. More research is necessary in this area.
*Key to grades:
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work);
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
- Adrenal tonic, allergies, amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), anemia, antifungal, antipyretic (fever reducer), anti-inflammatory, asthma, autoimmune diseases, blood clotting disorders, cancer pain (bone cancer), cataracts, central nervous system disorders, chemotherapy adverse effects, cognitive processing, coronary heart disease (postmenopausal symptoms), dementia, diabetes mellitus type 2, diuretic, dizziness, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), eczema (dry skin), fatigue, fever, gastric adenoma (benign tumor), hair tonic (premature graying), hearing damage (gentamicin-induced), hematopoiesis (stimulation of blood cell production), hematuria (blood in the urine), HIV (medication side effects), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure), hypotension (low blood pressure), hypoxia (very low oxygen levels, nocturnal), immunosuppression, laxative, liver protection, lumbar disc herniation (intervertebral disc protrusion), lung cancer, lupus nephritis measles, menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), metrorrhagia (irregular uterine bleeding), nephritis (inflamed kidney, chronic), nosebleeds, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcomas (cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue), skin disorders, thirst, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), tonic, tranquilizer, urticaria (hives), vasoregulator, vasorelaxant, vertigo.
Adults (18 years and older):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for rehmannia. Herbal decoctions used in clinical trials have contained 12-30 grams of rehmannia. For Sheehan’s syndrome, 90 grams of cleaned and finely chopped Rehmannia glutinosa root added to 900 milliliters of water and boiled down to 200 milliliters has been used in three day courses with an intermission of three, six, and 14 days. After a one-month cessation, the second round of treatment commenced. Another dosing regimen used was 45-50 grams of Rehmannia glutinosa daily in five-day courses with an intermission of five days each time for 2-5 months.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for rehmannia in children.
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