In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), two opposing energetic forces within the body–yin and yang–must be in balance in order to maintain good health. When either energy is out of balance, different symptoms of illness manifest based on individual health risks and other factors. Rehmannia, also known as Chinese foxglove, is a traditional medicine that supports the adrenal glands, reduces inflammation, and protects against the negative effects of corticosteroid therapy.

In contemporary herbalism, Rehmannia is known as a “trophrestorative” or “adaptogen” for the adrenals, meaning it literally restores the adrenal glands and gently nourishes them back to health. It is especially indicated in recovery from long lasting illness and nervous system burnout. Adaptogens bring calm in times of stress, help with energy when tiredness threatens to take over and bring clarity of mind in times of confusion. 

Since rehmannia is often prepared in combination with other botanicals, it’s difficult to determine its individual effects. For example, rehmanni may be used in combination with other supplements that support adrenal health, including Licorice Root, Ashwagandha, and vitamin C. Since stress affects the whole body, with the adrenal glands being key organs affected, addressing imbalances through a multi-modal approach allows the practitioner to target both yin and yang energies.

Before taking rehmannia, speak to a holistic doctor to determine proper dosing. Like other adaptogenic supplements, rehmannia may interact with other medications, is not appropriate for young children, and may promote drowsiness.

Resources
RxList.com “Rehmannia”
Bone, K. and S, Mills. “Herbal approaches to pathological states,” as cited in: Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy 2nd Ed. (2014) pp 140-182. Churchill Livingston. Accessed 11 Jan 2021