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Scutellaria baicalensis, Huang Qin, or Chinese Skullcap, is a flowering herb in the mint family that has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The root is used as medicine and has been found to be very rich in fl avinoids including baicalein, baicalin, wogonin, norwogonin,
and oroxylin A [1].

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is classically used to clear damp-heat which encompasses conditions like fever, nausea, dysentery, diarrhea, ulcers, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It was also seen as an agent to clear toxins from the body and stop excessive bleeding as well as calm the fetus during pregnancy. Scutellaria baicalensis has been shown to have a synergistic eff ect when combined with beta-lactam antibiotics, thereby restoring their eff ectiveness against multidrug resistant bacteria like MRSA [2].

Scutellaria baicalensis has been shown in research to be a potent anti-infl ammatory, neuro-protective [3, 4, 5, 6], cardioprotective [7], hepatoprotective [8, 9], kidney-protective [10, 11], anti-allergy, and a broad specture anti-microbial agent [fungus, bacteria, virus, etc.] Scutellaria baicalensis has been shown to increase glutathione, a potent antioxidant [12]. There have been hundreds of studies on this herb. It has been shown to decrease damage after stroke and heart attack, and improve memory and cognition. It has also been shown to be a potent anti-infl ammatory, which can both reduce joint pain [13] as well as allergy symptoms [14]. It has also been shown to be a potent anti-microbial against many bacteria including Salmonella, Typhimurium, Senftenberg, and Enteritidis species [15]. It has also been shown eff ective against candida species [16].

The fl avinoids in Scutellaria baicalensis have been shown to have potent antiinfl ammatory eff ects,blocking TNF-a, COX and Interleukin 6 [17] and exhibiting positive eff ects on conditions like infl ammatory bowel disease [18]. Scutellaria baicalensis has been shown to have potent anti-cancer eff ects for many diff erent types of cancers including colon cancer [19], lung cancer [20, 21], breast cancer [22, 23], leukemias, liver cancer [24], brain cancers [25], stomach cancer [26], and squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck [27].

Scutellaria baicalensis has been shown to decrease infl ammation in the airways and has been shown very useful in treating asthma [28, 29].

Scutellaria baicalensis has protective eff ects on cardiac tissue and increases blood fl ow to the periphery lending itself as a treatment for erectile dysfunction and other circulation issues [30]. Scutellaria baicalensis has been shown to have potent anti-viral eff ects, particularly against H1N1 Flu virus [31] as well as dengue virus [32]. Scutellaria baicalensis has anti-coagulant eff ects and works by inhibiting platelet aggregation [33]. Studies in China suggest Baicalin (in scutellaria) may promote Treg cell differentiation and regulatory activity and may serve as a promising natural product for treating autoimmune infl ammatory diseases [36].

Lastly studies have shown the herb to have a glucose-lowering eff ect, and therefore has implications for treating type II diabetes [34]. When analyzed for active chemical compounds in Scutellaria it was discovered both serotonin and melatonin were present [35]. Serotonin and Melatonin are both neurotransmitters where decreased amounts can cause depression and/or sleep deprivation. Scutellaria can also help with those who have too high of levels of catecholamines. Scutellaria baicalensis is very safe and has been used for thousands of years safely in pregnancy to help overcome acute colds and fl us, however long-term use should be avoided in pregnancy [36].

Typical adult dose is one capsule t.i.d. but can go higher if needed.

References

1. J Chromatogr A. 2005 May 13;1074[1-2]:107-10

2. Chen John, Chen Tina; Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, Art of Medicine Press 2004, p76-77.

3. Neural Regen Res. 2014 Sep 1; 9[17]: 1592–1598.

4. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Nov 1;8[11]:14021-7. eCollection 2015

5. Int J Mol Med. 2016 Mar;37[3]:798-806. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2016.2460. Epub 2016 Jan 20

6. Biomed Sci. 2011 Feb 8;18:14. doi: 10.1186/1423-0127-18-14

7. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2016 Mar 21. pii: S0303-7207[16]30073-9.

8. Am J Chin Med. 2016 Apr 24:1-20

9. Mol Med Rep. 2016 Apr;13[4]:3052-62. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2016.4941. Epub 2016 Feb 23

10. Planta Med. 2016 Feb;82[3]:181-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1558114. Epub 2015 Nov 9

11. Neural Regen Res. 2013 Apr 25;8[12]:1081-90.

12. Rejuvenation Res. 2016 Mar 15

13. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:973524

14. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 May 14;153[3]:667-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.03.018. Epub 2014 Mar 15

15. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Oct 26;59[20]:10934-42. doi: 10.1021/jf202741x. Epub 2011 Sep 30

16. J Med Microbiol. 2012 Dec;61[Pt 12]:1704-8. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.047852-0. Epub 2012 Aug 23

17. Arch Pharm Res. 2015 Jun;38[6]:1127-37. doi: 10.1007/s12272-015-0553-3. Epub 2015 Jan 11

18. Int Immunopharmacol. 2016 Mar 31;35:119-126. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2016.03.030

19. Int J Oncol. 2015 Nov;47[5]:1749-58. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2015.3173. Epub 2015 Sep18

20. Drug Dev Res. 2016 Mar;77[2]:73-86. doi: 10.1002/ddr.21298. Epub 2016 Mar 12

21. Int J Oncol. 2014 May;44[5]:1561-70. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2014.2320. Epub 2014 Mar 5

22. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015 Mar 13;458[3]:707-13. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.02.032. Epub 2015 Feb 14

23. Cell Mol Biol [Noisy-le-grand]. 2015 Nov 30;61[7]:123-7

24. Oncol Lett. 2015 Sep;10[3]:1831-1835. Epub 2015 Jun 22

25. Oncol Rep. 2014 Sep;32[3]:1179-87. doi: 10.3892/or.2014.3294. Epub 2014 Jun 26

26. Oncol Rep. 2015 Feb;33[2]:737-43. doi: 10.3892/or.2014.3669. Epub 2014 Dec 11

27. Am J Chin Med. 2015;43[1]:167-81. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X15500111. Epub 2015 Feb 2

28. Int J Clin Exp Med 2015;8[11]:20532-20539

29. Inflammation. 2016 Apr;39[2]:867-72. doi: 10.1007/s10753-016-0317-3

30. Am J Chin Med. 2016 Apr;44[2]:305-20

31. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Dec 24;176:475-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.11.018. Epub 2015 Nov 11

32. Sci Rep. 2014 Jun 26;4:5452. doi: 10.1038/srep05452

33. Arch Pharm Res. 2015;38[5]:893-903. doi: 10.1007/s12272-014-0410-9. Epub 2014 May 22

34. Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:846742. doi: 10.1155/2014/846742. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

35. Chen John, Chen Tina; Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, Art of Medicine Press 2004, p76-77.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine BMC series 2012 12:64

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