Metabolite profiling in combination with multivariate statistics is a sophisticated method for quality assessment of natural products. For the development of a quality control strategy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we have measured the metabolite fingerprints of Rehmannia glutinosa by GC-MS. Plants were grown under different climate and soil conditions in a phytotron and were processed by a variable number of repetitive steps to investigate the effects on both growth conditions and processing for material medica of R. glutinosa. The GC-MS data have been analyzed by principal component analysis (PCA) and the new approach of the ANOVA-simultaneous component analysis (ASCA) which can combine the information from a structured data design with multivariate analysis. The results clearly show the effect of the different factors and indicate directions for process improvement. When plants were grown under various temperatures, humidity and light intensities for a short period (3 weeks), no significant changes on studied metabolites were observed. However, significant changes were found between different processing cycles. The present data clearly indicate the importance of strictly controlling processing in R. glutinosa and illustrate the impact of growth conditions. This is the first report on the metabolite profile of R. glutinosa that provides a base for the establishment of a quality control strategy. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart.