Chinese Skullcap

  • Baicalin
  • Baicalein


Principal Proposed Uses

  • None

Other Proposed Uses

  • Enhancing Antibiotic Activity

Scutellaria baicalensis , also called Chinese skullcap, is a member of the mint family and has long been used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine . Chinese skullcap has been incorporated in herbal formulas designed to treat such widely varying conditions as cancer, liver disease, allergies, skin conditions, and epilepsy. The root is the part used medicinally. Note: Chinese skullcap is substantially different from American skullcap ( Scutellaria lateriflora ).

What is Chinese Skullcap Used for Today?

The root of Chinese scullcap contains the flavonoids baicalin, wogonin, and baicalein, and most studies have involved these substances rather than the whole herb. Highly preliminary evidence suggest that baicalin can enhance the activity of antibiotics against antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. 1-3 Other highly preliminary evidence suggests that baicalin, wogonin, and baicalein may have anti-cancer , 4-8 anti-inflammatory, 9,10liver-protective , 11anti-anxiety , 12 and antihypertensive effects . 13 However, for none of these uses does the evidence approach the level necessary to truly establish a treatment as effective. Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) combined with Acacia catechu was found to provide short-term relief of pain, stiffness, and range of motion similar to naproxen. The 79 participants of the trial were overweight or obese, aged 40-90 years old, and were randomized to either the herbal supplement or naproxen. No placebo group was tested.16 Research involving combination herbal therapies containing Chinese skullcap are discussed in the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine article.

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