Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa) is a gorgeous plant, making it quite common in many American gardens. Despite its use as a perennial decorative plant for flower gardens, the root is a wonderful medicinal herb for supporting the vitality of female fertility. Rehmannia is used to maintain and/or regulate the menstrual cycle and reduces inflammation and uterine spasm. It works to curb mid-cycle bleeding, as well as excessive bleeding in women with menorrhagia. This root is also used to promote regular menstrual cycles, treat chronic pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, irritable uterus, liver and kidney problems, and iron deficiency.
Rehmannia is a traditional Chinese herb known as di huang. The raw root is known as sheng di huang and the root cooked in red wine (common TCM preparation) is known as shu di huang. In the United States it is also known as Chinese Foxglove.
Reduce Uterine Pain, Spasm and Inflammation
Traditional Chinese Medicine commonly combines White Peony (Paeonia officinalis) with Rehmannia to treat chronic pelvic pain (CPP). Studies using this traditional formula have shown inhibition of prostaglandin production in uterine myometrium via phospholipase A2 inhibition, arachidonic acid inhibition, PAF inhibition, and reduction in free radical formation; this results in relaxation of the smooth muscles of the uterus.
The myometrium is the middle and thickest layer of the uterus. Within this myometrium are three layers of smooth muscle arranged in spiral, circular and longitudinal muscle patterns. Many studies have shown that women with painful menstruation and/or chronic pelvic pain have higher levels of prostaglandins, which cause the uterus to spasm, becoming inflamed, causing pain. The action of Rehmannia and White Peony on the myometrium helps to reduce pelvic pain by reducing inflammation and uterine muscle spasm.
Liver Support for Hormonal Balance
According to TCM, this root is protective of the liver. Chinese research has shown it to protect the health of the liver and prevent liver damage due to medications and environmental pollution. The liver is our chemical processing plant, so you can imagine what must go on in there. The liver removes hormones, drugs, and other biologically active molecules from the blood. If the liver is overwhelmed with toxins and excess xenohormones (chemicals that mimic the body’s endogenous hormones) it may contribute to hormonal imbalance, thus affecting fertility.
Kidney Support to Restore Fertility Vitality
According to TCM, infertility is associated with kidney yang deficiency. Basically, this means that the warmth and outgoing energy of the kidneys (holder of fire energy) is gone. Rehmannia is often use to help restore kidney and adrenal yang, since they are associated with one another.
Curb Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
The prepared root known as shu di huang is traditionally used to treat heavy blood loss that may lead to iron deficiency, known as anemia. Rehmannia is astringent and supportive of the uterine muscles, gently nourishing the blood for a healthy uterine lining, yet it actively helps to curb heavy menstrual flow. The raw root may slightly increase blood pressure. This increase in blood pressure would provide healthy circulation to the reproductive organs, helping to move pelvic stagnation.
Benefits of Rehmannia:
- Supports kidney function; the kidneys are considered vital to fertility in TCM
- Protects and restores liver health, vital to hormonal balance
- Reduces pelvic congestion and pain
- Cooling of excess heat, reducing inflammation
- Curbs heavy menstrual bleeding
- Iron rich, supports proper blood formation for a healthy uterine lining
- Shown to be supportive of heart health
- Supports normal function of the entire reproductive system
- Supports fertility longevity, helpful for couples 40+
Studies Show Positive Benefits of TCM Formulas Including Rehmannia for Infertility
TCM practitioners almost always use traditional formulas passed down through generations to treat their patients. They rarely rely on single herbs alone. Rehmannia is often combined with other herbs to treat infertility, depending on the traditional diagnosis of the patient. A variety of studies, including case studies, have shown positive benefits of this herb in combination with other TCM herbs, for treating a variety of serious fertility problems. TCM practitioners have reported success with the use of Rehmannia in traditional Chinese formulas to treat the following conditions:
- Premature ovarian failure
- Uterine Fibroids
- Elevated FSH levels
- Recurrent miscarriage
Herbs that Rehmannia are commonly combined with in TCM formulas for infertility include Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis), Wolfberry also known as Goji berry (Lycium barbarum, L. chinensis), Epimedium (Epimedium grandiflorum), Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis), Chinese Wild Yam (Dioscorea opposita), and White Peony (Paeonia officinalis). This herb works best in combination with other herbs and combines very well with most other herbs for fertility.
Traditional Suggested Dosage
Tincture of the root: 4-12 mL a day total. 1 mL = 30 drops. 30-60 drops, 3 times a day.
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