Ingredient Name: Rehmannia root, Chinese foxglove root, Sheng di huang, Radix Rehmanniae

Chinese Name: 生地 (Shēng dì)

A very interesting and scary looking Chinese medicine.  My herbalist recommended this to me for my “cooling” tea to rid me of my “fiery” condition of sore throat and heaty body.  I had to ask him a few times what it is and then spell it for me in the simplest of Chinese terms, but I managed to come to a good understanding of this ingredient.  This will make any water, soup, tea, drink BLACK – so beware.  It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes black and dark things aren’t the most pleasant things to drink – well, except for black coffee for some people and cola.  But in Chinese medicine, black is usually associated with bitter.

What is this?
  • The root of the Chinese foxglove plant
  • The root is harvested in the spring or autumn, dried in the sun and sliced into usable portions
  • This plant is most commonly found in China and the root is a common Chinese medicine ingredient
  • It is known as a “cooling” ingredient with sweet and bitter properties
  • The root is almost black in color and will certainly make your soup or tea black
  • Found in various forms such as dried (as picture above) or powdered

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water before usage

Where can I buy this?

  • Most herbalists will carry this ingredient
  • Chinese medicine stores

What is the cost?

  • Relatively affordable
  • As pictured above, 2 pieces I purchase cost me $3 HKD

Any benefits?

  • Helps remove heatiness in the body and cool the blood
  • Relieves sore throats, dry mouths and helps cool the body to eliminate thick, green mucous caused by heatiness
  • Can help reduce a low-grade fever
  • Can help eliminate and reduce cold sores in the mouth and tongue
  • Nourishes the “yin”

Any precautions?

  • As it is cooling, it should be avoided by pregnant women in their first trimester (or even throughout a pregnancy) as it stimulates menstruation (it is also known to be used to prevent or terminate pregnancies)
  • Avoid if you’re lactating (breastfeeding)
  • Avoid using or consuming this ingredient if you have spleen problems, diarrhea or lack of appetite
  • Limit exposure and use for children