The best herbs and supplements are the ones that you can grow in your own backyard. Being able to infuse your diet with homegrown natural goodness is both healthy and fulfilling. One herb that is perfect for backyard gardening is known as rehmannia (also called Rehmannia glutinosa or Chinese foxglove.) Rehmannia is a Chinese herb that has been foundation in natural, Eastern medicine for centuries and can be used to support brain, blood, heart, kidney, digestive, and reproductive system health.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of rehmannia and how you can incorporate it’s beautiful, bell-shaped blossoms into your home gardenscape.
Why Grow Rehmannia?
Rehmannia is considered a multi-purpose tonic and health supportive plant with a rich history of use in holistic medicine. Although the pink, bell-shaped flowers are a lovely addition to your garden, the health benefits of rehmannia are found mainly in the root or rhizome of the plant. Studies have shown that rehmannia is a powerful antioxidant and scavenger of free radicals, meaning it can reduce inflammation and support healthy cells across multiple systems in the body.
Rehmannia has also been shown to support a healthy gut by feeding and boosting the good gut bacteria and improving digestion and elimination. Rehmannia has also been studied for its ability to support female reproductive health, particularly in easing the pain and discomfort of cramping during menstrual cycles. Using rehmannia roots may also help detoxify the liver, removing toxins and improving function. Occasionally, the leaves are also used as a compress to promote healthy looking skin and help with redness and rashes.
How to Grow Rehmannia at Home
If you’re convinced of the wide-reaching benefits of this ancient, Eastern herb you should try growing rehmannia for yourself. This plant grows best in Zones 7-10, but if you live in a cooler zone you can grow rehmannia in containers and move it indoors in the winter months. If you have well-drained soil, rehmannia can tolerate full sun, but it does appreciate a bit of afternoon shade as well. You can expect this rhizome-rich plant to produce beautiful pink blossoms up to 2 inches long in the late spring to early summer. When it comes time to harvest the rehmannia root, it’s best to do so in the late fall for cultivated plants, but if you have wild rehmannia, a springtime harvest is recommended. Dry the roots in the sun for several weeks if you intend to prepare them for long-term use.
Using Rehmannia Root
Once you’ve harvested your rehmannia roots, you have two choices; you can either boil the roots and use them fresh or dry and prepare them for later use. Fresh rehmannia can be cooked and eaten and may help reduce fever and clean blood. One of the most common ways to use rehmannia is to prepare it in a mixture of black beans and wine and then extract it into a powdered form which can be easily taken in water, smoothies or teas.
Do you grow rehmannia at home? Tell us about how you tend and use this powerful plant in the comments section below.
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