Chinese Skullcap has been widely used for centuries in Traditional Chinese herbal medicine as an antiviral and antibacterial agent. It is also effective for Inflammation and Respiratory problems.

Introduction

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Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria Baicalensis), is a plant that belongs to the Mint family. It is also called ‘Baical Skullcap’ or ‘Huang Qin’ and used widely in Traditional Chinese medicine (R).

It is used to relieve the symptoms of nervous tension, including headaches, and some epileptics consider it an anti-convulsant. Research also suggests it has anti-cancer properties.

Baical Skullcap is a complex herb containing a number of active antioxidants and beneficial compounds. The most important of these is  baicalin (R).

Recommended Chinese Skullcap

Health Benefits of Chinese Skullcap

1) Chinese Skullcap Reduces Inflammation

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Baicalin found in Baical skullcap has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (R).

Experiments in rats show that baicalin is effective in reducing pain and discomfort (R).

Scutellaria baicalensis and black catechu (Acacia catechu) are effective in the management of chronic inflammatory disease Osteoarthritis (OA) in patients (R).

Mechanism: Anti-inflammatory action is through the dual inhibition of COX and LOX enzymes.

Baicalin may reduce the swelling of arthritis in human knees, but more research needs to be done on this.

2) Chinese Skullcap for the Treatment Of Respiratory Infections

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A randomized single-blind trial in children showed that Baical skullcap (as a component of the herbal mixture Shuang Huang Lian) was effective in the treatment of acute bronchiolitis (R).

Its anti-inflammatory properties may soothe the air passages, helping suffering children feel better more quickly.

3) Chinese Skullcap Prevents Infections

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Flavones isolated from skullcap roots inhibited HIV-1 (Human immunodeficiency virus) and HTLV-1 (human T-cell leukemia virus type 1) viruses (R).

Dried roots are effective against Staphylococci, cholera, dysentery, pneumococci and influenza virus (R).

Baicalin inhibits the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to cause an infection (R).

However, it is best not to rely purely upon Chinese Skullcap for this and to take additional precautions in order to ensure safety from HIV/AIDS.

4) Chinese Skullcap May Prevent Cancer

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The flavones (including baicalin) present within Skullcap root are strongly suspected to be potent anti-cancer agents, and could be hugely beneficial in the fight against cancer (R).

Flavones from skullcap might have growth inhibitory effects on prostate carcinoma (R).

S.baicalensis as a component of the Chinese herb complex (PC-SPES) is potentially active against advanced prostate cancer (R).

5) Chinese Skullcap May Prevent Miscarriage During Early Pregnancy

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A combination of Skullcap root and Largehead Atractylodes rhizome is highly recommended for their benefits and survival of the fetus according to one Chinese study (R).

Cautions

If used in excess, Chinese Skullcap could have adverse effects on the liver (R1, R2).

Baicalin does not interact positively with alcohol, lithium, diabetes medications, benzodiazepines, or statins.

It can cause drowsiness in some users, so is not advisable for people who operate heavy machinery or drive long distances.

Technical

  • The flavones of Chinese skullcap show anti-tumor properties by their ability to scavenge oxidative radicals, reduce NF-kB activity, suppress COX-2 gene expression (R).
  • Flavones of baical skullcap are potent anti-angiogenic compounds that reduce VEGF, bFGF, 12-lipoxygenase activity and MMP (R).

 

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