Chinese Foxglove (Rehmannia glutinosa)

Perennial
R. chinensis.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Chinese Foxglove
Rehmannia glutinosa
Gesneriaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    This plant, called Di Huang in China, is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is one of the most popular tonic herbs and is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs[218, 238]. The root is the main part used and it can be prepared in four different ways – charcoaled, prepared (but no details of the preparation are given) when it is called Shu Di Huang and fresh or dried when it is called Sheng Di Huang[176].

    The roots are antibacterial, antiseptic, cardiac, diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, hypoglycaemic and tonic[61, 176, 178, 218, 238, 279]. They are used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments, including anaemia, cancer, bleeding, constipation, coughs, fever and premature ejaculation[174, 176, 218, 238]. The charcoaled root is used to stop bleeding and tonify the spleen and stomach[176]. The fresh root is used to treat thirst, the rash of infectious diseases and bleeding due to pathological heat[176]. The dried root is used to treat bleeding due to blood deficiency and to nourish the vital essence[176]. The prepared root is used to treat dizziness and palpitations due to anaemia or blood deficiency, chronic tidal fever, night sweats, dry mouth, lumbago and nocturnal emissions[176]. The roots of cultivated plants are harvested in the autumn or early winter, whilst wild plants are harvested in early spring[238]. They can be used fresh or dried[238].

    The root is an ingredient of ‘Four Things Soup’, the most widely used woman’s tonic in China[254]. The other species used are Angelica sinensis, Ligusticum wallichii and Paeonia lactiflora[254].

    The leaves are bruised and used in the treatment of scaly eczema or psoriasis[218].

  • Edible Use

    Leaves[177, 179]. No further details are given.

    Root – cooked[177]. Boiled nine times before it is eaten[179]. This suggests that the root is somewhat toxic, or at least has a very bitter flavour. Having boiled it nine times (and presumably throwing the water away each time), there is going to be very little left in the way of vitamins and minerals[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow autumn or spring in a greenhouse[188]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Root cuttings in winter[200]. Division in spring[238]. Basal cuttings in late spring or early summer[200]. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Requires a light freely-draining humus-rich loam in light shade[200]. Prefers a neutral to acid sandy soil[238]. Requires a warm sunny position[188, 238]. This species is probably hardy to about -25¡c if the plants are dry, but the softly hairy leaves are susceptible to rot in warm damp winters and so the plants are often grown in the greenhouse[187]. The plants are prone to fungal infections, especially when grown in damp conditions[238]. The Chinese foxglove is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China[238].
E. Asia – N. China, Korea.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.