Botanical Name: Rehmannia glutinosa
- English: Rehmannia Root
- Also, known as: Akayajio, Di-Huang, Cu Sinh Dja, Dihuang, Dihuang, Dja Hoang, Figwort, Jio, Ji-Whang, Rehmannia, Sheng Di Huang, Shu Di Huang, Sheng-Ti-Pien, Shu Di, Sin Dja, Ti Huang, 熟地黄, Shú Dì huáng
Parts Used: Root
Rehmannia glutinosa, or known as Sheng di Huang in Pinyin, is such a common medicine in TCM that it has been considered as one in 50 fundamental Chinese herbs these days. Medicinally it mainly refers to the fresh or dried root of Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch., which is one of the medicinal plants in the family Scrophulariaceae. In China it is primarily produced in provinces of Henan, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, and the Northeast.
Rehmannia glutinosa, is a perennial herb 10-30 cm tall, with a thick, orange tuberous root, about 2-5 cm in diameter. Basal leaves fasciculate, obovate or long elliptic, 2-8 cm long, 1-2 cm wide; apex obtuse; tapering to a short petiole, coarsely dentate, pubescent, the underside often reddish. It is mostly in the shape of irregular lumps or oblong and with swollen middle and slightly small ends. Some are small, elongated, slightly flat and twisted, 6 to 12cm long, and 3 to 6cm in diameter. The surface is dark brown or brownish gray, very wrinkled, and with irregular horizontal curved lines. It is dense, delicate and tough, difficult to get around, and with brown or black section that is bright and sticky. And it is odorless and slightly sweet. Rehmannia is recognized by the bell-shaped flowers of yellowish or reddish-violet color and leaves growing close to the ground. The plant usually grows up to 15-30 cm. In the USA it is cultivated for ornamental uses, while in the Eastern herbal medicine it is used as an herbal remedy. The significance of “Sheng” has a little subtle difference between ancient and modern settings. In ancient time Sheng DI means the fresh herb since back then the prepared Rehmannia didn’t invent yet, especially before the Tang and Song dynasties. Now the “Sheng”, meaning dry, is more an opposite concept of “Shu” (prepared). Hence, today when it is used in the fresh form, the prescription should give a clear indication of “Xian” (fresh).
How to use:
Decoctions are suitable for roots, barks, large seeds & berries, and other dense material. The simple way to make decoction is, in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of water. Bring the water to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal decoctions with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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