Rehmannia root may have a weird name, but it’s potential benefits certainly make it worth a second look if you’re looking for ways to support your overall health. Read on to find out how this staple of oriental herbal medicine may support healthy aging of the brain and blood.
What is Rehmannia Root?
Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa) is a flowering plant that can be found growing close to the ground throughout many parts of China. And while its sister plant, Rehmannia elata, is sometimes called Chinese foxglove because of its bell-shaped flowers’ resemblance to common foxglove, that’s about where the similarities end. For thousands of years, rehmannia root has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine in a wide range of ways to support various health challenges.
Thought by ancient Chinese herbalists to balance the “yin” of one’s body, rehmannia root was first mentioned in Chinese medical recordings as far back as 200 BCE during the Han Dynasty. It wasn’t until the 18th century that rehmannia was brought to the West, and while its beautiful flowers are often grown for decorative purposes, it’s the root that many consider the most beneficial as it relates to the support of human health.
Rehmannia Root for Brain Health
Many consider rehmannia root as a longevity tonic, which may promote enhanced blood circulation throughout the body and in particularly, the brain.
One of the many potential benefits of rehmannia root is its support of the healthy aging of the brain, as the main ingredient in rehmannia is catalpol, which is known to have antioxidant properties that may help create a protective layer around the neurons needed for cognitive abilities. In fact, as the popularity of rehmannia root has increased over the years, many studies have been conducted around the effects of rehmannia root in the fight against neurodegenerative issues like Alzheimer’s disease. However, more research is needed to support these claims.
When it comes to overall health, some research indicates the possibility that the potential benefits of rehmannia root may extend even beyond the brain and into the kidneys.
Believe it or not, the healthy functioning of the kidneys can have a direct correlation on the healthy functioning of the brain. Decreased kidney function has been associated with a decrease in overall cognitive ability, abstract reasoning skills, and even verbal memory. Luckily, rehmannia root is also a great tool in supporting the health of your kidneys, and therefore also the health of your brain.
According to Chinese medicine, rehmannia root may also provide support for the kidneys’ adrenal glands and promote production and storage of the cerebral marrow that provides nourishment of many of the brain’s physiological functions.
Rehmannia Root for Blood Health
Rehmannia root can also be a positive tool in the promotion of healthy blood and circulation throughout the body. Rich in amino acids and vitamins, the chemical makeup of rehmannia root makes it a popular blood tonic. It also contains natural astringent properties that may make it helpful in the treatment of external and internal bleeding to support blood clotting for things like ulcers, wounds, and even nosebleeds!
Additionally, rehmannia root is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which support a healthy immune system and healthy-looking skin. It is said to help maintain levels of blood pressure and blood sugars already within the normal range. In fact, studies show that rehmannia root may even be useful for individuals with diabetes. For example, one clinical study suggests that rehmannia root may have a positive effect on blood glucose levels, concluding that it decreased hyperglycemia in diabetic rats. However, human trials are necessary to study this possible correlation.
How to Use Rehmannia Root
There are a variety of ways in which rehmannia root can be used to support brain and blood health. If you can get your hands on a whole root in its original form, it can be prepared by simmering the root in water for 30 minutes and then straining the liquid to drink as a tea. Rehmannia root can also be taken as a supplement, which may be easier for the body to digest. Or, purchasing rehmannia root as a powder or a liquid extract that can be mixed into water or taken with food is a popular option and can be found with relative ease.
Where to Buy Rehmannia Root
A great way to start using rehmannia root is with an extract like Rehmannia Extract from Herb Pharm. Try Schisandra Adrenal Complex by Planetary Herbals in tablet form to support brain, liver, and kidney function. Or, if you need support for glucose metabolism and help maintaining blood sugar levels already within the normal range, shop Natural Healthy Concepts for GlucoQuench capsules by Douglas Laboratories.
Remember, while there are many ways that rehmannia root may bring about potential benefits for your brain and blood, your experience will always be unique to you. Buy a bottle and see for yourself how rehmannia root may help support your health!
Have you tried rehmannia root? Tell us about it in the comments section below!