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.
Research involving combination herbal therapies containing Chinese skullcap are discussed in the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine article.
The optimum doses, if any, of baicalin, wogonin, and baicalein have not been established. Chinese skullcap is typically taken at a dose of 3-9 grams daily as part of an herbal combination.
Baicalin, wobogin, and baicalein appear to have a low order of toxicity, though comprehensive safety studies have not been performed. There have been case reports of liver injury associated with use of skullcap products, but these may have been due to adulteration by the herb germander.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -