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.
Chinese foxglove, Digitalis glutinosa, di huang, dihuang, gan dihuang (dried rehmannia), Gesneriaceae (family), glutinous rehmannia, Go-shajinki-gan, Hachimijio-gan, huaiquing dihuang, juku-jio (Chinese or Japanese steamed or processed root), Kan-jio (Korean or Japanese dried root), Liu Wei rehmannia oral liquid, Rehmannia chinensis, Rehmannia glutinosa Liboschitz, Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch Forma hueichingenis Hsiao (Kaikei-jio in Japanese), Rehmannia glutinosa steamed root (RGAE), Rehmannia polysaccharide (PRP), Rehmanniae radix, Rhizoma rehmanniae, saengjihwang (Korean), Scrophulariaceae (family), sheng di huang (raw rehmannia), sho-jio (fresh root), shu di huang (cooked or cured rehmannia), sook-ji-whang, to-byun, Var. pupurea Makino (Akaya-jio in Japanese), xian dihuang (fresh rehmannia).
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
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)
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.