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di huang 地黄, shu di huang 熟地黄, sheng di huang 生地黄

By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu


See picture of herb here.  按此看地黄飲片圖。

Pharmaceutical name:


Radix Rehmanniae

Biological name:


  • Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch (huai qing di huang 淮慶地黃)var. huaichingens

  • Rehmannia. lutea Max. var. Purpurea Makino {筧橋地黃)

Pron. in Japanese:


shojio (for sheng di huang). jukujio (for shu di huang)

Pron. in Korean:


sukchihwang (for shu di huang)

saengchihwang (for sheng di huang)

Pron. in Cantonese


   dei6  wong4; suk6 dei6  wong4; saang1 dei6 wong4

Common Name:






sweet, bitter. Sheng di huang is cold and shu di huang is warm.

甜﹐苦。生地 黃寒。熟地黃溫。

Channels (meridians) entered:


 heart, kidney, and liver channels.

入心﹐腎﹐肝 經。

Actions & Indications:


It is being used as a blood tonic  usually for the weakness caused by tuberculosis, vomiting blood, nose bleeding,  coughing blood, bleeding in the uterus.

一般作為補血藥。用於肺痨衰弱,吐血,鼻血, 咳血,子宫出血。

Medical Function:


  1.  Medium dosages strengthen the function of the heart. Large doses are toxic for the heart.

  2.  Increases blood pressure.

  3.  Small doses constrict the blood vessels and large doses dilate the blood vessel.

  4.  It possesses the characteristics of diuretics.

  5.  It decreases the blood sugar and  inhibits carbohydrates being converted into blood sugar.

  6. treatment with hot water extracted Lycium barbarum and Rehmannia glutinosa (0.05% and 0.15% for each) for eight weeks protects against necrotic damage, indicated by decreases in plasma ALT and AST activities, and suppresses liver fibrosis by down-regulation of liver inflammation in rats with CCl(4)-induced liver injury.[1]

  7. Treatment of hepatitis: there are clinical reports that di huang and gan cao combined either in intramuscular or oral application,  have shown that it promotes  the recovery of liver function, especially the decrease of ALT were obvious and there were no local or systemic bad effect.

  8. Hot water-extracted crude gou qi zi (2-5 g/L) and di huang (5-10 g/L) inhibit proliferation and stimulate p53-mediated apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.[2]


  1. 中等剤量有强心作用。大剤量對心臟有毒。

  2. 增加血壓。

  3. 小剤量能收缩血管。大剤量能擴張血管。

  4. 有利尿作用。

  5. 降低血糖。能抑制碳水化合物變作血糖。

  6. 以熱水水提取枸杞子,熟地黃0.05%和0.15%,餵給大鼠可防止四氯化碳導致 肝臟壞死,降低血漿中ALT和AST活動,並抑制肝纖維化[1]。

  7. 治療肝炎:臨床報道地黃和甘草合用,無論是肌注或口服對傳染性肝炎都有一定作用, 促進肝功能恢復,尤以ALT下降顯著且無局部及全身不良反應。

  8. 苟杞子(2-5克/升)和地黃(5-10克/升)熱水提取物,能抑制人類肝癌細胞 增殖和促進p53介導的細胞凋亡。[2]

Chemical ingredients:


See chemical ingredients:

按此看化 學成份:


用 量:

10 grams to 30 grams per day, boiled with water. Raw sheng di huang juice can be used on open wounds.

每日量:10~30克,水煎服。生地黃汁可用 於傷口。

Samples of formulae:


shi quan da bu tang, 十全 大補湯,

liu wei di huang wan 六味地黄丸,  

zhi bai di huang wan知柏地黄丸,

Modern Research:


To be loaded



Use caution when using large dosages. Large doses has shown to be toxic for the heart of frogs.

Sheng di huang should not be used in cases of pixu with dampness, or in cases of yangxu, and in pregnant women with blood deficiency of pixu or weixu (stomach deficiency).

 Shu di huang is less toxic and the side effects are mild.

The side effects can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, dizziness, weakness, and palpitations.


生地黃﹕脾 虛濕重陽 虛大便溏瀉者不宜用;中焦濕勝者要慎用為宜。懷孕期間有血 虛脾 胃虛弱不宜用。

熟地黃﹕熟地毒素較弱脾 胃虛弱痰多﹐中焦濕蘊,一般忌用熟地。

副作用包括腹痛眩暈無 力心律不整。


[1] 2011;39(6):1173-91.


[2] World Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.55). 07/2006; 12(28):4478-84.


When di huang has been just prepared by drying, it is called sheng di huang. Sheng means raw.

When di huang has been prepared by steaming together with other herbs, it is called shu di huang. Shu means cooked.


P53 is a protein that is the product of a tumor suppressor gene, regulates cell growth and proliferation, and prevents unrestrained cell division after chromosomal damage, as from ultraviolet or ionizing radiation. The absence of p53 as a result of a gene mutation increases the risk of developing various cancers. (The American HeritageŽ Medical Dictionary)



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Last update: June 8, 2016; 6 p.m. LAH