Baical Skullcap: Snapshot

In Chinese medicine, Baical Skullcap is prescribed for hot and thirsty conditions such as high fevers, coughs with thick yellow phlegm, and gastrointestinal infections that cause diarrhoea, such as dysentery. It is now used for allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever, eczema, and nettle rash, although its anti-inflammatory action is most useful for digestive infections. It is a valuable herb for the circulation and liver disorders like Hepatitis. In combination with other herbs, it’s used to treat high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, varicose veins and easy bruising.

Applied to the skin, it treats sores, swelling and boils. It appears to be useful for circulatory problems that arise from diabetes.

Botanical Name

Scutellaria baicalensis

Part Used


Common Names

Huang quin, golden root, helmet flower

Brief History

Scutellaria baicalensis

From at least the 2nd century, Baical skullcap has had a central place in Chinese herbal medicine and is one of the main remedies for “hot and damp” conditions, such as dysentery and diarrhea.


Native to China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Russia. It thrives on sunny grassy slopes in open areas between 350 and 8,000 feet above sea level. It is propagated from seed sown in autumn. The root of 3-4 year old plants is harvested to autumn or spring. It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.


flavonoids, chiefly baicalin (up to 14%), baicalein (up to 5%), wogonin (0.7%) and wogonin-7-O- glucuronide (wogonoside, 4.0%)

Therapeutic Properties

Antiinflammatory. antiallergic. antibacterial

Vitalist Properties

Temperature: Cold

Moisture: Dry

Primary Uses

Allergies/sensitivities (hayfever, rhinitis, asthma, eczema, urticaria) autoimmune disease, inflammation, chronic hepatitis, bacterial infection – respiratory or gastrointestinal tract, nausea and vomiting, cancer – adjunctive therapy during treatment to reduce nausea and immune suppression.

Clinical Research

Allergy, Hepatitis

Baical skullcap extract promoted an increase in the immunoregulation index (increased immunoglobulin A [lgA] at stable IgG levels) of patients with lung cancer who were receiving antineoplastic chemotherapy. Furthermore, Baical skullcap reduced the toxicity of anticancer drugs and decreased cancer cell viability in experimental tumours,

Positive results have been demonstrated in uncontrolled trials for acute bronchitis, the common cold. bacillary dysentery. scarlet fever, hepatitis (baicalin; route unknown). The daily dose for respiratory disorders ranged from 6 ml to 8 to 10 ml of a 50% decoction depending on the age of the child.

A 70% success rate was shown in chronic hepatitis with improvements in symptoms and liver function tests (route and preparation undefined).

In an uncontrolled trial involving 255 patients in China with allergic rhinitis, Baical skullcap and Paeonia suffruaicosa were added to the TCM herbal prescription for patients with nasal inflammation.

Dosage (Divided Daily)

• Dried Leaf: 2,500 – 7,000mg (as a tea)

Dried Powder: 3,000 – 9,000mg

• Tincture: 4.5 – 8.5 mL (1:2)


Contraindicated in cold conditions in TCM, and during interferon therapy.

Side effects

Rare gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhoea are associated with oral administration.

Do not administer during pregnancy or lactation or to children under 12 years without professional advice.

Interactions with other drugs

None known

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Baical Skullcap Powder

  1. Balch, P. A., & Bell, S. J. (2012). Prescription for herbal healing (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Avery.
  2. Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs : herbal formulations for the individual patient. St. Louis, MI: Churchill Livingstone.
  3. Herbalpedia (2013)
  4. World Health Organization., & Ebrary. (1999). WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants (pp. electronic text.). Retrieved from

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