Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.
Preparation: Remove impurities, wash, cut in thick slices and dry.
Dosage: 9 - 30 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Expels Heat by Cooling Blood. Tonifies Yin by promoting Fluid production. Soothes the Heart by calming Blazing Fire. Cools and nourishes.
Contraindications*: This herb should not be used by those with Spleen Qi or Yang Deficiency especially when there is Dampness in conditions such as diarrhea, lack of appetite or Excess Phlegm. It should also be avoided by pregnant women.
Source date: 1573 AD
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Formula key actions: Nourishes Lung and Kidney Yin. Lubricates the Lung and clears phlegm.
Di Huang is a king ingredient in Bai He Gu Jin Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
In Bai He Gu Jin Tang, Di Huang strongly enriches the Yin and tonifies the Kidneys. It also cools the Blood to stop the bleeding since, according to Chinese medicine, excessive Heat in the Blood damages the vessels and leads to bleeding.
Source date: 16th century
Number of ingredients: 14 herbs
Formula key actions: Nutritive tonic: Nourishes Yin, Blood and Vital Essence of the Heart and Kidney. Clears away pathogenic Heat, clears Deficient Heat. Sedative.
Di Huang is a king ingredient in Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
In Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, Di Huang nourishes the Yin and clears Heat. It enriches the Kidney Yin (water), which is then able to control the disturbance of the Mind (Shen) due to Fire. It is also effective in nourishing the Blood.
Source date: 1576 AD
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Formula key actions: Expel Dampness. Relieve pain. Move Qi and Blood.
Di Huang is a king ingredient in Qing Re Tiao Xue Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Di Huang belongs to the 'Herbs that cool the Blood' category. Herbs in this category are used to clear inflammatory and infectious conditions, referred to as 'Internal Heat' in TCM. This is why most of the herbs in this category will have both antibacterial and antiviral properties. In TCM one has too much 'Internal Heat' in their body as a result of a deficiency of 'Yin' (which is Cold in nature, see our explanation on Yin and Yang) or, more commonly, an Excess of Yang (Hot in nature). Herbs that cool the Blood treat the latter and as such tend to be Cold or Neutral in nature.
As suggested by its category Di Huang is Cold in nature. This means that Di Huang typically helps people who have too much 'Heat' in their body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Heat in their body are said to either have a Yang Excess (because Yang is Hot in nature) or a Yin deficiency (Yin is Cold in Nature). Depending on your condition Di Huang can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Di Huang also tastes Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sweet ingredients like Di Huang tends to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such Di Huang is thought to target the Heart, the Kidney and the Liver. In addition to regulating Blood flow, in TCM the Heart is believed to be the store of the 'Mind' which basically refers to someone's vitality. The Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. The Liver is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions.
Shufeng Liangxue Decoction (consisting of rehmannia root) is effective and safe in treating hormone dependence dermatitis.1
Ziyin Tongbi Decoction (consisting of rehmannia root) is effective and safe for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.2
1. Bai YS, Zhou CY, Wang JQ. (2008). Clinical observation on auxiliary treatment of hormone dependence dermatitis by shufeng liangxue decoction. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 28(12):1121-3.
2. Guo J1, Song CS, Han Q. (2008). Clinical observation on ziyin tongbi decoction in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 28(12):1082-5.