Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa)


Rehmannia Overview:

Rehmannia is popular in Asia for conditions defined as "hot". Western medicine could define these conditions as metabolic disorders, involving the endocrine system.

It's considered an adaptogen due to its high level of safety, and ability to modulate the HPA and HPG axis. This has been shown in a variety of animal studies focusing on the effects of Rehmannia and its main active constituent catalpol on the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands (and associated hormones). This same mechanism of action is responsible for the antidiabetic and anti-alzheimer's activity of rehmannia as well.

+ Indications

  • Adrenal Insuffiency
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Asthma
  • Cancer (Various)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Chronic nephritis
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes
  • Fever
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Generalised Adaptive Disorder (GAS)
  • Hemorrhage
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Low libido
  • Male Infertility
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Poor fertility
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin rashes and irritations
  • Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) dominance
  • Urticaria (Rashes)

+ Contraindications

  • Caution advised in combination with corticosteroid use

Herbal Actions:

  • Anti-allergic
  • Antihemmorhagic
  • Antinflammatory
  • Antipyretic
  • Adaptogen
  • Adrenal tonic
  • Laxative (Mild)

Main Uses:

Rehmannia is mainly used for endocrine-related conditions, including diabetes, adrenal fatigue, fevers, asthma, and the suppressive effects of corticosteroid treatment.


Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Roots

Family Name

  • Orobanachaceae


  • Asia
    North America

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Constituents of Interest

  • Iridoid glycosides (Catalpol)
  • Ionine glycosides
  • Terpenoid glycosides

Common Names

  • Rehmannia
  • Chinese Foxglove
  • Di Huang (China)
  • Shojio (Japan)
  • Saengjihwang (Korea)


  • CYP3A4
  • CYP2C9


  • Cold


  • Category B3


  • Sweet

Duration of Use

  • Long term use is acceptable.

Botanical Info:

Rehmannia is currently listed under the family Orobanchaceae, but there has been a lot of confusion in this area. Rehmannia has been included in the families Scrophulariaceae and Gesneriaceae in the past. Many of the Scrophulariacea members were transfered to Plantaginaceae, but not rehmannia.


Level Of Research:


Clinical Applications Of Rehmannia:

Rehmannia is useful for conditions involving the HPA and HPG axis. It has a strong modulating activity on this system, useful for supporting a variety of endocrine-related conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, GAS and adrenal fatigue. It's also useful for dementia and Alzheimer's disease through the same effect profile. Its effects on the HPG axis make it useful for low libido, poor fertility, menstrual irregularities, and erectile dysfunction.

It's also useful as an antinflammatory and immunomodulator.



Caution is advised in combination with corticosteroid use.


Recent Blog Posts:


For a list of references, please visit the full rehmannia monograph.