The world is moving fast. Many people have daily lives that demand too much in too little time. Technology and social media have people plugged in day and night. Speed limits on highways are faster, bullet trains speed from city to city in countries across the world, and people rush from one place to another day after day. All of this can burn the yin, deplete the kidney qi, and not only leave one depleted, but also leave one susceptible to deeper immune-based diseases that result from such a depleted state.
If you don’t already know the Scrophulariaceae family plant, Rehmannia glutinosa, commonly known as Chinese foxglove root, perhaps this introduction will open your awareness to an herb with a focus on replenishing kidney deficiency, especially kidney yin. When we speak of kidney deficiency in Chinese medicine, the broader interpretation includes adrenal deficiency, which can influence the immune system and the expression of both allergic and autoimmune pathologies.
Rehmannia and Yin Deficiency
Knowledge and understanding about rehmannia comes from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) materia medica, which includes two preparations: raw rehmannia, called Sheng Di Huang, and prepared rehmannia, called Shu Di Huang. Both raw and prepared rehmannia nourish yin and blood; however, the raw sheng di huang is used more to dissipate heat, allowing the body to generate more fluids, while the prepared shu di huang is used more to nourish the body when deficiencies of yin qualities of cool and moist result in too much heat or dryness in the system.
Raw rehmannia, sheng di huang, is energetically cold, sweet, and bitter. It works in the heart, kidney, and liver channels. Raw rehmannia nourishes the yin and the blood and generates fluids, countering the dry expression of yin deficiency. Dry symptoms indicating yin deficiency are seen in menopause with dry hair, skin and dry vagina, as well as in autoimmune conditions like Sjogrens syndrome with dry mouth, dry eyes, and the sicca complex. Raw rehmannia, with its bitter energy, is antipyretic, clearing heat and cooling the blood. It is useful in high fevers and in cases of bleeding or hemorrhaging when too much heat in the blood drives excessive blood loss. Symptoms of insomnia, irritability, low grade fevers, mouth and tongue sores, and malar rashes can indicate excess heart fire.
Prepared rehmannia, shu di huang, has been cooked in wine, rendering its energy sweet and warming. It also works in the heart, kidney, and liver channels, and is said to tonify the blood and nourish the yin. This is needed when there is deficient blood with symptoms of dizziness, light headedness, palpitations, and insomnia. Prepared rehmannia is used as a tonic during pregnancy and after excess menstrual bleeding or postpartum bleeding.
Clinically, kidney yin deficiency presents as adrenal fatigue and adrenal exhaustion. It is especially prevalent in perimenopausal and menopausal women who have worn out their adrenal glands throughout their lives, and, as they move into menopause, don’t have the support of estrogen production from the adrenals. Fatigue can be the presenting symptom, but beneath that are yin deficiency symptoms, such as insomnia, night sweats, premature gray hair, aching low back pain, joint pain, loss of libido, and skin, hair, and vaginal dryness.
For men, erectile dysfunction and nocturnal emissions can go hand-in-hand with adrenal issues. In these cases, Rehmannia glutinosa, along with adrenal support, will be the most effective treatment. I like to combine rehmannia with licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and add other herbs to this base.
This week, RT aired the first half of a conversation between host Chris Hedges, journalist Max Blumenthal and me about the film The Lobby – USA.
The explosive undercover documentary produced by Al Jazeera’s investigative unit exposes how US lobby groups – including the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Israel on Campus Coalition – work closely with the Israeli government to spy on, smear and sabotage American citizens who speak out for Palestinian rights.
But the four-part film never aired on Al Jazeera. After Israel lobby pressure on Qatar, which funds the news network, the documentary was censored.
Starting in August 2018, The Electronic Intifada and Blumenthal’s Grayzone Project began leaking excerpts from the film.
In November, The Electronic Intifada, along with the French publication Orient XXI and Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar, released the entire leaked film online.
In the interview on Hedges’ show On Contact, Blumenthal and I discuss the background to the film and how and why Qatar caved in to Israel lobby pressure.
Phil Stone says…
Rees Mogg is the new Corbyn – unless Corbyn gets behind leave means leave – deal or no deal.
The clock is ticking – time is short. “They” want as much chaos as possible, “They” can’t have a smooth leave transition, that may encourage other countries to leave the EU.
You know that leave makes sense when Blair is trying to engineer another vote that he and his criminal masters can manipulate and fix.
Oh Corbyn, what a shame – you just didn’t have the balls to see it through. You sold out – afraid of the Zionists were you ? Let the anti-Semitic taunts get to you ? can’t you see that was the idea ? While you were denying and defending – it all went on without you. Such a shame.