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Edible uses


Leaves[1][2]. No further details are given. Root - cooked[1]. Boiled nine times before it is eaten[2]. 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].


Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Rehmannia glutinosa.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

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[3][4]. 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[5].

The roots are antibacterial, antiseptic, cardiac, diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, hypoglycaemic and tonic[6][5][7][3][4][8]. They are used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments, including anaemia, cancer, bleeding, constipation, coughs, fever and premature ejaculation[9][5][3][4]. The charcoaled root is used to stop bleeding and tonify the spleen and stomach[5]. The fresh root is used to treat thirst, the rash of infectious diseases and bleeding due to pathological heat[5]. The dried root is used to treat bleeding due to blood deficiency and to nourish the vital essence[5]. 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[5]. The roots of cultivated plants are harvested in the autumn or early winter, whilst wild plants are harvested in early spring[4]. They can be used fresh or dried[4]. The root is an ingredient of 'Four Things Soup', the most widely used woman's tonic in China[10]. The other species used are Angelica sinensis, Ligusticum wallichii and Paeonia lactiflora[10].

The leaves are bruised and used in the treatment of scaly eczema or psoriasis[3].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow autumn or spring in a greenhouse[11]. 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[12]. Division in spring[4].

Basal cuttings in late spring or early summer[12]. 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.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Rehmannia glutinosa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Requires a light freely-draining humus-rich loam in light shade[12]. Prefers a neutral to acid sandy soil[4]. Requires a warm sunny position[11][4].

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[13]. The plants are prone to fungal infections, especially when grown in damp conditions[4].

The Chinese foxglove is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China[4].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Rehmannia glutinosa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Rehmannia glutinosa.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Rehmannia glutinosa
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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    "image:Rehmannia.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Rehmannia.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    "image:Rehmannia.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    1. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    3. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    4. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    5. ? Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    8. ? 8.08.1 Medicinal Plants in the Republic of Korea World Health Organisation, Manila ISBN 92 9061 120 0 (1998-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Kariyone. T. Atlas of Medicinal Plants. ()
    10. ? Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    12. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    13. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    14. ? Wilson. E. H. Plantae Wilsonae. ()
    15. ? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)

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