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Herb Reference Guide

Chinese Skullcap


This herb is a member of the lamiaceae (mint) family and native to China. Its Pin yin name is Huang Qin and it is sometimes referred to as Baical Skullcap, or Scute. It is very bitter and has a cold energetic nature. In traditional Chinese Medicine this plant was used (almost always in combination with other plants or foods), to clear heat, dry damp, drain fire, and resolve toxins (it is used to support normal immune function). The roots are the preferred part and are collected in the spring and autumn with the outer cork and rootlets removed.


This plant is very chemically complex and is full of antioxidants known as flavones. The flavones of particular interest are Baicalin and Baicalein. These antioxidants appear to downregulate the effects of oxidative stress on various tissues in the body including the liver. It also supports the body in having a healthy inflammatory response and promotes normal cellular growth.

Uses of Chinese Skullcap


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Flavonoids such as baicalin, wogonin, and baicalein,

Parts Used

  • Root

Important precautions

Additional Resources

Liu IX, Durham DG, Richards RM. Baicalin synergy with beta-lactam antibiotics against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other beta-lactam-resistant strains of S. aureus. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2000;52:361-366.

Wang J, Yu Y, Hashimoto F, et al. Baicalein induces apoptosis through ROS-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction pathway in HL-60 cells. Int J Mol Med. 2004;14:627-632.

Yang ZC, Wang BC, Yang XS, et al. The synergistic activity of antibiotics combined with eight traditional Chinese medicines against two different strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2005;41:79-81.

Bonham M, Posakony J, Coleman I, et al. Characterization of chemical constituents in Scutellaria baicalensis with antiandrogenic and growth-inhibitory activities toward prostate carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2005;11:3905-3914.

Liu JJ, Huang TS, Cheng WF, et al. Baicalein and baicalin are potent inhibitors of angiogenesis: inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. Int J Cancer. 2003;106:559-565.

Wozniak D, Lamer-Zarawska E, Matkowski A, et al. Antimutagenic and antiradical properties of flavones from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. Nahrung. 2004;48:9-12.

Ong ES, Len SM, Lee AC, et al. Differential protein expression of the inhibitory effects of a standardized extract from Scutellariae radix in liver cancer cell lines using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. J AgricFood Chem. 2005;53:8-16.

Ikemoto S, Sugimura K, Yoshida N, et al. Antitumor effects of Scutellariae radix and its components baicalein, baicalin, and wogonin on bladder cancer cell lines. Urology. 2000;55:951-5.

Chi YS, Lim H, Park H, et al. Effects of wogonin, a plant flavone from Scutellaria radix, on skin inflammation: in vivo regulation of inflammation-associated gene expression. Biochem Pharmacol. 2003;66:1271-8.

Shen YC, Chiou WF, Chou YC, et al. Mechanisms in mediating the anti-inflammatory effects of baicalin and baicalein in human leukocytes. Eur J Pharmacol. 2003;465:171-81.

Jang SI, Kim HJ, Hwang KM, et al. Hepatoprotective effect of baicalin, a major flavone from Scutellaria radix, on acetaminophen-induced liver injury in mice. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2003;25:585-94.

Liao JF, Hung WY, Chen CF. Anxiolytic-like effects of baicalein and baicalin in the Vogel conflict test in mice. Eur J Pharmacol. 2003;464:141-6.

Huang Y, Tsang SY, Yao X, et al. Biological properties of baicalein in cardiovascular system. Curr Drug Targets Cardiovasc Haematol Disord. 2005;5:177-184.

Lai MY, Hsiu SL, Hou YC, et al. Significant decrease of cyclosporine bioavailability in rats caused by a decoction of the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis. Planta Med. 2004;70:132-137.

Fan L, Zhang W, Guo D, et al. The effect of herbal medicine baicalin on pharmacokinetics of rosuvastatin, substrate of organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Sep 12.