Rehmannia is said to be the “Kidney’s own food.” It is thus believed to be a Kidney tonic and longevity herb and is found in many common “anti-aging” formulations for longevity, and rejuvenation. It is also considered a premium blood tonic and is said to benefit marital functions in men and women. The steamed variety is said to be warm in nature. The raw variety has a cold energy, and though it acts upon the Kidney, it does not have the tonic qualities associated with the steamed Rehmannia. Steamed Rehmannia used as a tonic should be combined with Chi tonics to improve its assimilation.
Other Common Names
Rehmannia, Prepared ; Steamed Rehmannia
Page Number In Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
Radix Rehmanniae praparatae
Shu Di Huang (Shu Di)
Yin Jing and Blood
Organ Meridian Systems
Kidney, Liver and heart
Part Used and Form
To tonify the Kidneys and nourish yin jing.
Rehmannia is said to be the “Kidney’s own food.” It is a fundamental Kidney tonic in Chinese Tonic herbalism, and is considered to be a primary longevity herb. It is found in a great many common “anti-aging” formulations. It is considered rejuvenating and life lengthening.
Steamed Rehmannia is a fundamental Yin Jing tonic, providing Yin directly to the Kidney. It is quick and effective. Steamed Rehmannia is said to benefit marital functions in men and women and is included in almost every formula that is designed to strengthen reproductive functions, including fertility. It forms the Yin base of many men’s potency formulas. In such formulas, Steamed Rehmannia may be combined with a whole range of tonic herbs, including super tonics such as Deer Antler, Gecko, Ginseng, Astragalus.
Prepared Rehmannia is a major blood tonic. This is of course of special importance to women, who always need to rebuild blood. Steamed Rehmannia, when combined with Dang Gui, Ligusticum and Peony forms the quintessential women’s herbal combination. Prepared Rehmannia is said to be warm in nature and thus warms up the uterus in women. A “cold uterus” will result in painful menstruation and infertility.
Steamed Rehmannia, when used as a tonic, is usually combined with Qi tonics to improve its assimilation. It is routinely combined with Dang Gui to produce blood. It is also commonly combined with Astragalus, Gecko, and Deer Antler, as well as more common tonic herbs in tonic formulations.
Prepared Rehmannia is never used alone. Combine with:
1. Tang Gui and White Peony to build blood and Kidney yin
2. Asparagus root to tonify yin, build blood and calm the heart
3. Ophiopogon to build Kidney yin and to remove heat in the upper warmer
4. Cuscuta to tonify the Kidney and Liver
5. Ophiopogon and Cuscuta to tonify the Heart, Kidney, Jing and blood
Varieties and Grading
There are two fundamental varieties of Rehmannia used in Chinese herbalism: prepared and raw. Raw Rehmannia has simply been dried. It has a cold nature and is not particularly tonic (its tonic nature has not been activated). Raw Rehmannia is used primarily in medicinal herbalism to cool down inflammatory conditions. Prepared Rehmannia is highly tonic. It has been prepared by soaking in a special blend of wine (which itself has been specially prepared with Amomi and Tangerine peel), and then steaming and sun drying. The Rehmannia becomes deep black, soft and sticky. It is sold in slices in most markets for easily handling. Most Prepared Rehmannia sold in America is of high quality. It may be tasted raw. It will be soft, easily chew, fine in texture and very sweet.
Rehmannia is considered to be “greasy” and “slippery,” which means that it can cause loose stool in people with weak digestive systems. That is why it should be combined with Qi tonics. Use cautiously if prone to diarrhea and replace it with Polygonum if loose stools continue to occur.