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

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

  1. Peter Borten says:

    Scutellaria Baicalensis Georgi : A Rising Paradigm Of Herbal Remedies
    There is a growing interest in the use of natural products like herbs, spices and plant extracts in the human food and animal feed industries. Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi from the Labiatae family is one of the fifty fundamental herbs of traditional Chinese medicine is thus used to treat a number of health disorders for over two thousand years. It is also called baical or chinese scutellaria or skullcap. The genus of scutellaria includes approximately 300 species. The New York university medical center reports that baicalin can enhance the activity of antibiotics against antibiotic resistant staph bacteria. Other highly preliminary evidence suggests that skullcap have anti diabetic, anti inflammatory, antiviral, antitumor, antioxidative and hepatoprotective properties, anti anxiety, and anti hypertensive effects. The present paper is an overview on scientifically established and published phytopharmacological properties of the plant.

    Sonoda M et al(2004)5 investigated effects of 17 flavonoids, isolated from two flavonoid-rich Scutellaria species (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi and Scutellaria rivularis Wall) used in traditional Chinese medicine, on HL-60 cells were assessed by WST-8. Ten of the flavonoids inhibited the proliferation of HL-60, as shown by IC50 values used as indexes of the inhibition. 2?,3?,5,7-tetrahydroxy flavone (IC50=9.5 ?M), apigenin (15.0 ?M), viscidulin III (17.4 ?M), wogonin (17.4 ?M) and luteolin (18.4 ?M) were more effective than baicalein (23.0 ?M) which reportedly inhibits the proliferation of some cancer cell lines. Others were less effective, and oroxylin A stimulated the proliferation. Scutellaria rivularis, used for the treatment of tumors in the clinic, contained flavonoids that were more inhibitive than those in Scutellaria baicalensis. These results are demonstrative of some reasons for the use of Scutellaria rivularis as a crude antitumor drug.

    Mode of action of the anti-influenza virus activity of plant flavonoid, 5, 7, 4?-trihydroxy-8-methoxyflavone, from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis
    Nagai T et al (1995)6 reported thatwhen mouse-adapted influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (A/PR8) (10 PFU/cell) was adsorbed to madin-darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells at 4°C for 1 h and incubated at 37°C, release of the virus from the cells was detected in the medium from 4 h after incubation and reached to plateau at 8 h. However, 5,7,4?-trihydroxy-8-methoxyflavone (F36) from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis significantly reduced this single-cycle replication of A/PR8 from 4 h to 12 h after incubation by dose-dependent manner and the dose which decrease the virus titer one tenth was 11 ?M. F36 (50 ?M) did not inhibit the adsorption of A/PR8 to MDCK cells, but reduced release of the virus in the medium, when it was added at 0 or 2 h after the incubation. The cell-associated virus determined by sialidase activity was also reduced by F36 treatment at 0 or 2 h. F36 also inhibited the fusion of A/PR8 with liposomes containing bovine brain mixed gangliosides at pH 5.0. However, F36 little affected on the elongation activity of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in vitro. These results suggest that F36 reduces the replication of A/PR8 by inhibiting the fusion of the virus with endosome/lysosome membrane which occurs at early stage of virus infection cycle. Whereas, when F36 was added to the MDCK cells infected with A/PR8 at 3 or 4 h after incubation, release of the virus in the medium was reduced but the cell-associated virus was increased in comparison with control. Scanning and transmission immunoelectron microscopic studies revealed that F36 inhibited the budding of progeny A/PR8 from the MDCK cell surface and microvilli, when it was added at 3 h after incubation. The accumulation of the A/PR8 antigen was observed on the cell surface by immunofluorescence and transmission immunoelectron microscopies by the addition of F36. These results suggest that F36 also shows anti-influenza virus activity against A/PR8 by inhibiting the budding of the progeny virus from the cell surface, when it was added at budding stage of virus infection cycle.

    Antiviral activity of plant flavonoid, 5,7,4′-trihydroxy-8-methoxyflavone, from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis against influenza A (H3N2) and B viruses
    Nagai T et al (1995)8 investigated effects of isoscutellarein-8-methylether (5,7,4′-trihydroxy-8-methoxyflavone, F36) from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis on the single-cycle replication of mouse-adapted influenza viruses A/Guizhou/54/89 (H3N2 subtype) and B/Ibaraki/2/85 in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. The agent suppressed replication of these viruses from 6 to 12 h after incubation in a dose-dependent manner by 50% at 20 ?M and 90% at 40 ?M, respectively. F36 (50 ?M) reduced the release of B/Ibaraki virus in the medium by 90-93% when it was added to the MDCK cells at 0 to 4 h after incubation. The cell-associated virus determined by sialidase activity was also reduced by the treatment at 0 to 4 h. F36 (120 ?M) inhibited the low pH-dependent membrane fusion of both the viruses with the liposome containing mixed gangliosides from bovine brain. However, the agent little affected the hemagglutination and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activities of these viruses in vitro. These results suggest that F36 inhibits the replication of A/Guizhou and B/Ibaraki viruses at least partly by inhibiting the fusion of viral envelopes with the endosome/lysosome membrane which occurs at the early stage of the virus infection cycle. F36 (0.5 mg/kg) showed no antiviral activity against A/Guizhou and B/Ibaraki viruses in mice when administered intranasally 5 min prior to virus inoculation, whereas it significantly inhibited their proliferation in the mouse lung when administered intranasally 7 times (total 3.5 mg/kg) from 18 h before to 54 h after viruses infection.

    Free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities of flavonoids extracted from the radix of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi
    Free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities of baicalein, baicalin, wogonin and wogonoside, the four major flavonoids in the radix of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi were examined in different systems by Gao Z et al (1999)10. Electron spinning resonance results showed that baicalein and baicalin scavenged hydroxyl radical, DPPH radical and alkyl radical in a dose-dependent manner, while wogonin and wogonoside showed subtle or no effect on these radicals. Ten ?mol/l of baicalein and baicalin effectively inhibited lipid peroxidation of rat brain cortex mitochondria induced by Fe2+-ascorbic acid, AAPH or NADPH, while wogonin and wogonoside showed significant effects only on NADPH-induced lipid peroxidation. In a study on cultured human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells system, it was found that 10 ?mol/l of baicalein and baicalin significantly protected cells against H2O2-induced injury. Baicalein was the most effective antioxidant among the four tested compounds in every system due to its o-tri-hydroxyl structure in the A ring. Compared with a well-known flavonoid, quercetin, the antioxidant
    activity of baicalein was lower in DPPH or AAPH system, but a little higher in those systems which might associate with iron ion. These results suggest that flavonoids in the radix of Scutellaria baicalensis with o-di-hydroxyl group in A the ring, such as baicalein and baicalin, could be good free radical scavengers and might be used to cure head injury associated with free radical assault.
    Synergistic effect of Scutellaria baicalensis and grape seed proanthocyanidins on scavenging reactive oxygen species in vitro.
    Using an in vitro model to produce the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation (H2O2/FeSO4 for hydroxyl radicals, xanthine/xanthine oxidase for suproxide). Shao ZH et al (2004)11 observed that Scutellaria baicalensis and grape seed proanthocyanidins acted synergistically to scavenge ROS. They suggested that a combination of these two herbs can potentially enhance their antioxidant efficacy allowing lower dosages of each drug to be used. This has the advantage of avoiding possible side effects that may arise when higher doses of a single herb are used in an attempt to achieve a maximum degree of antioxidant activity.
    Scutellaria baicalensis enhances the anti-diabetic activity of metformin in streptozotocin-induced diabetic wistar rats
    Viduranga Y et al (2008)12 investigated the effect of combining the antidiabetic drug metformin in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats with an ethanolic extract of Scutellaria baicalensis a plant whose root is known for its radical scavenging activity. Three groups of STZ-induced diabetic rats were given the following treatments for 30 days: (1) metformin 500 mg/kg (2) S. baicalensis 400 mg/kg (3) metformin 500 mg/kg + S. baicalensis extract 400 mg/kg. In addition, vehicle-treated diabetic and nondiabetic controls were used in the experiment. The rats treated with S. baicalensis and metformin + S. baicalensis had elevated hepatic activities of the antioxidant enzymes-superoxide dismutase , catalase and glutathione peroxidase compared to the vehicle- and metformin-treated diabetic groups (p < 0.05). Plasma and hepatic lipid peroxide concentrations in the herb-treated and herb + metformin-treated groups were also significantly reduced (p < 0.05). In addition, the combined treatment caused significant elevations of plasma and pancreatic insulin levels and reductions of plasma and hepatic triglycerides and cholesterol levels. The study thus showed that S. baicalensis enhanced the antidiabetic effect of metformin in STZ-induced diabetic rats by improving the antioxidant status. It also increased pancreatic insulin content as well as improved the lipid profile in these rats.
    Anticancer activity of Scutellaria baicalensis and its potential mechanism
    Fei Ye et al (2002)13 were determined its ability to inhibit human cancer cells in vitro because of the inhibition of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production that is derived from arachidonic acid through cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) pathway.
    Baicalein protects rat cardiomyocytes from hypoxia/reoxygenation damage via a prooxidant mechanism
    Anthony Y.H. et al (2005)14 investigated alternative protective mechanisms of baicalein in a cardiomyocyte model. Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes pretreated with the test compound were subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation. The extent of cellular damage was accessed by the amount of released lactate dehydrogenase pretreatment with baicalein up to 10 µm reduced lactate dehydrogenase release significantly (P
    Benzodiazepine binding site-interactive flavones from Scutellaria baicalensis root
    A benzodiazepine binding assay directed separation led to the identification of 3 flavones baicalein, oroxylin A and skullcapflavone II from the water extract of Scutellaria baicalensis root. According to Liao JF et al (1998)15 these three flavones interacted with the benzodiazepine binding site of GABAA receptors with a Ki value of 13.1, 14.6 and 0.36 µm/L respectively.
    Scutellaria baicalensis decreases ritonavir-induced nausea
    Protease inhibitors, particularly ritonavir causes significant gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea even at low doses. This ritonavir-induced nausea could be related to its oxidative stress in the gut. Rats respond to nausea-producing emetic stimuli by increasing consumption of non-nutritive substances like kaolin or clay, a phenomenon known as pica. Aung H et al(2005) 16 used this rat pica model to evaluate the effects of Scutellaria baicalensis a commonly used oriental herbal medicine on ritonavir-induced nausea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *