Herbs & Plants

Scutellaria baicalensis

Botanical Name :Scutellaria baicalensis
Family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae
Genus: Scutellaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: S. baicalensis
Synonyms : S. macrantha. Fisch.
Common Name : Baikal Skullcap,  Scutellaria lateriflora,  Skullcap

Etymology confusion:
It is important to note the Latin name of the Skullcap being used as there are over 200 varieties, some used for various ailments, each with varying degrees of effectiveness. Sometimes Scutellaria lateriflora (North American Skullcap) is mistaken for Scutellaria baicalensis (Baikal Skullcap). This confusion can result in the intake of the lateriflora variety which is often processed and contaminated with other plants with high enough levels of toxicity to be of concern.

Habitat :Native to North America.Grows in E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia. Sandy and rocky places near the sea shore. Sunny, grassy slopes and waste ground from 100 – 2,000 metres above sea level.

Scutellaria baicalensis is a perennial herb ,growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is a  species of flowering plant.
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.

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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Succeeds in a sunny position in any ordinary garden soil that does not dry out during the growing season. Prefers a light well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. This species requires sharp drainage and, once established, is drought tolerant. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation :
Seed – sow outdoors in situ in late spring If there is only a small quantity of seed it is better to sow it in a pot in a cold frame in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring just before new growth begins. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young leaves – cooked as a vegetable. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne;  Antibacterial;  Anticholesterolemic;  Antipyretic;  Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Cholagogue;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  FebrifugeHaemostatic;
Laxative;  Nervine;  Sedative;  Stomachic;  TB;  Tonic.

Baikal skullcap is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs and is used primarily in treating “hot and damp” conditions such as dysentery and diarrhoea. It has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years and recent research has found that the roots contain flavonoids that greatly enhance liver function and also have anti-inflammatory and antiallergenic effects. The root is anodyne, antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, haemostatic, laxative, nervine, mildly sedative, stomachic and tonic (for TB). It reputedly calms the foetus in pregnant women. The root is used internally in the treatment of enteritis, dysentery, diarrhoea, jaundice, chronic hepatitis, urinary tract infections, hypertension, threatened miscarriage, nosebleed and haemorrhage from the lungs or bowel. It is one of the ingredients of the Chinese drug ‘injection of three yellow herbs’. The root is harvested in the autumn or spring from plants 3 – 4 years old and is dried for later use. The seed is used to cleanse the bowels of blood and pus.

Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi contains wogonin, a flavone which was found in one study to have anxiolytic properties in mice at doses of 7.5 to 30 mg/kg, without exhibiting the sedative and muscle-relaxing properties of benzodiazepines.

It also contains baicalin, another flavone.

You may click to see :
Anticancer Activity of Scutellaria baicalensis and Its Potential Mechanism :
What Are the Medical Uses of Scutellaria Baicalensis?

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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