Chinese Skullcap Root - Side Effects and Benefits

Published: 05th July 2007
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Botanical Name: Scutellaria baicalensis

Other Common Names Chinese Skullcap:Huang qin, baikal, baical skullcap root, scute, scutellaria.

Habitat:Chinese Skullcap is native to Eastern Asia. It thrives on sunny, grassy slopes in higher elevations. This plant grows well in sandy, rocky soils and prefers full sun. This plant prefers dry soils and does well in cultivated planting beds.

Plant Description: This perennial grows to a height of 0.3 meters and a width of 0.3 meters. This plant has narrow, single erect stems with many 2.5 centimeter bluish-purple flowers. This plant is anchored by a skinless, yellow root.

Plant Parts Used: The root of chinese skullcap is used for medicinal purposes.

Therapeutic Uses, Claims and Benefits of Chinese Skullcap

* Chinese skullcap has shown anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful as a herbal arthritis treatment.

* This plant is a potent antioxidant, which may make this herb helpful in preventing heart disease and limiting the damage to the heart following a heart attack.

* Chinese skullcap may even have anti-cancer properties, especially helpful in bladder, liver and other types of cancer.

* This medicinal herbt may prove useful as a treatment for hepatitis.

* It also has antihistamine properties which make it a useful a herb for treating asthma and allergies, such as hay fever.

* In traditional Chinese medicine baical skullcap is used to treat dysentery, irritability, diarrhea, infections accompanied by fever, urinary tract infections, gout, jaundice, nosebleed, vaginal bleed, abdominal pain and redness of the eyes and face.

* This herb is also combined with other herbs to combat high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, allergic diseases, and inflammatory skin diseases

* Chinese skullcap also has shown aspirin-like anti-inflammatory qualities.

Dosage and Administration

This herb usually comes in bulk root form or in capsule form. The capsule form is often packaged with other herbs. Three capsules of the usual dosage may be taken daily. The root may be dried and ground into powder form. 5-15 grams of this powder may be added to 1 cup of boiling water to make a tea. The chinese skullcap root is usually decocted but it may be fried or cooked in wine for various disorders.

Side Effects and Possible Interactions of Chinese Skullcap

Chinese skullcap is considered to be safe at therapeutic doses. This herb should not be used as the sole treatment for cancer, and should not be taken with other anti-cancer medications without consulting a physician.

The safety of this herb in women who are pregnant or nursing and small children has not been established.

Skullcap should also not be used by people with severe liver or kidney disorders. This herb may interact with cyclopsporine (a drug used to prevent organ transplant rejection.)

Alien writes for Medicinal herbs . He also writes for healing herbs and herbal remedies

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