Huang Qin – Scutellaria baicalensis root – Baical Skullcap root – Scute – (S. amoena or S. viscidula also used)

Nature: bitter, cold

Enters: Lung, Large Intestine, Liver, Gallbladder, Stomach

Actions: Clears heat; dries dampness; reduces fire; eliminates toxicity; stops bleeding; calms the fetus; sedates liver Yang rising.

• Heat patterns (especially of the upper Jiao, but also of the middle and lower): high fever, irritability, thirst, cough, expectoration of thick, yellow sputum, hot sores and swellings (internal or topical). This herb is particularly useful for clearing Lung (and liver) heat. Also (as with Chai hu) can be used for Shaoyang syndrome.
• Damp-heat: jaundice, diarrhea, dysentery, carbuncles, boils, high fever, restlessness, thirst, rapid pulse.
• Damp warm-febrile disease: fever, stifling sensation in the chest, thirst but inability to drink. Also for Qi level heat.
• Damp heat in the lower Jiao: painful urinary dysfunction.
• Disturbance of fetus by heat (especially excess liver heat): restlessness or excessive kicking of the fetus, threat of miscarriage.
• Heat in the blood: bleeding problems such as hemoptysis, hemafecia, epistaxis, hematemesis, uterine bleeding.
• Liver Yang rising: headache, irritability, red eyes, flushed face, bitter taste in the mouth.
• Among the three “huang” herbs in this category, Huang qin is often thought of as being generally useful for upper Jiao (damp-) heat.
• This is a major herb for damp-heat in the stomach and intestines.
• Doctrine of signatures: the herb’s resemblance to lung tissue conveys its affinity for the Lungs.
• Dry-fry it to make it less cool and to help it enter the blood. This form is used for heat in the lower Jiao and restlessness of the fetus.
• Wine-fry it (Jiu huang qin) to enhance its ascending properties. This form is more effective for treating damp-heat in the upper Jiao, including lung heat, makes it easier on the spleen, and also conducts it to the blood.
• Char it to enhance its hemostatic properties.
• Beneficial in bacillary dysentery; inhibits intestinal movement.
• Broad spectrum antibiotic, antifungal.
• Antihypertensive, probably due to vasodilation; diuretic; cholagogue.
• Anti-allergic action: the component baicalein inhibits the release of enzymes from mast cells, probably by inhibiting receptors. Baicalein and baicalin have been shown to have a bronchodilatory effect in animal studies.
• The constituent baicalin is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It is a COX-2 inhibitor, it inhibits TNF-α, and reduces PGE2. Baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin act synergistically as anti-inflammatories and are strong antioxidants.
• The constituent wogonin has been shown in one study to have anti-anxiety (though non-sedating) effects on mice.
MLT: Also has antiviral properties.
Hsu: Prevents (antigen/antibody) allergic response – for dermatitis, asthma, tracheal constriction.
DY: During pregnancy, Yang becomes stronger and easily produces heat because the creation of the fetus is a warm transformation and because the child’s Qi is added to the mother’s. As a result, it is frequent to see a restlessly stirring fetus due to Qi stagnation, Qi and/or blood deficiency, or kidney deficiency associated with heat – Huang qin can almost always be prescribed for this type of problem.
• Downbears turbid Yin.
• With Bai zhu to clear heat stirring the fetus, dry dampness, and fortify the spleen to contain the blood and the fetus. For uterine bleeding during pregnancy, threatened miscarriage, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy caused by heat or damp-heat associated with spleen deficiency which is incapable of containing the blood within the vessels. For these indications, the Bai zhu should be bran stir-fried, and the Huang qin should be stir-fried until scorched.
• With Ban xia to harmonize and re-establish the interaction between Yin and Yang, to effectively clear heat, drain fire, harmonize the stomach, stop vomiting, and scatter nodulation. For such indications as:
– 1. Vomiting and nausea due to a Shaoyang pattern. (Xiao Chai Hu Tang) Use ginger-processed Ban xia. When Huang qin is removed from Xiao Chai Hu Tang, the pain and distention of the chest and lateral costal regions disappear, but the alternating fever and chills persist. When Chai hu is used alone, the fever does not abate, but if Huang qin is added, the fever recedes efficiently.
– 2. Phlegm-heat. (Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan) Use lime-processed Ban xia and wine mix-fried Huang qin.
– 3. Lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and distention and sensation of fullness in the stomach, diaphragm, and chest caused by a pattern of mixed cold and heat. (Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang) Use ginger-processed Ban xia and bran stir-fried, ginger mix-fried or stir-fried-until-scorched Huang qin.• With Chai hu to harmonize the interior with the exterior, the Shaoyang, and liver and gallbladder. Together, they also clear the liver and resolve depression as well as clear and eliminate dampness and heat, particularly in the liver and gallbladder. Chai hu dispels evils (heat) limited to the superficial part of the Shaoyang. Huang qin drains evil heat limited to the internal part of the Shaoyang. For indications such as:
– 1. Alternating fever and chills, a bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat, pain and fullness in the chest and lateral costal regions, nausea, and lack of appetite due to a Shaoyang pattern. (Xiao Chai Hu Tang)
– 2. Malaria due to a Shaoyang pattern.
– 3. Liver depression transforming into fire.
– This combination is remarkably effective for hepato-biliary disorders, such as acute or chronic hepatitis, biliary lithiasis, cholecystitis, and hepatomegaly due to liver-gallbladder heat.
• With Huang lian to effectively clear heat and dry dampness, drain fire, and resolve toxins from the upper, middle, and lower burners. For specific indications of this combination, see Huang lian in this category.
• There are two kinds of Huang qin:
– Ku Qin (“Withered Scutellaria”): light weight, hollow body, dark color, floating, tropism to the Lung channel, drains Lung fire, clears the upper Jiao, drains heat from the muscles and the exterior.
Zi Qin (“Young Scutellaria”) / Tiao Qin (“Scutellaria Sticks”): dense, full, hard body, yellow and slightly green, sinking, tropism to the large intestine channel, drains large intestine fire, clears the lower Jiao, treats hot dysentery.

Dose: 3-15g

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