What Is Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae)

Huang Qin also known as Radix Scutellariae is the root of Scutellaria baicalensis. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine with a medicinal history of over 2000 years.

Scutellaria baicalensis is commonly known as Baikal skullcap or Chinese skullcap, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Lamiaceae. This plant often grows on a sunny grass slope or forest edge at an altitude of 60-1300 meters. It is native to China, Korea, Mongolia, and Russia in the Russian Far East and Siberia.

In spring and autumn each year, people gather the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis, remove their fibrous roots and impurities, dry them to semi-dry, remove their crude skins, steam or boil them thoroughly, cut them into thick pieces, dry them, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Huang Qin contains baicalein, baicalin, wogonoside, wogonin, neobaicalein, acetophenone, palmitic acid, oleic acid, proline, benzoic acid, β-sitosterin, campesterol, and stigmasterol. The bright yellow and strong Huang Qin is the best.

According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Huang Qin is relatively cold, with a bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung, spleen, stomach, gallbladder, large intestine, and small intestine meridians.

The clinical antibacterial properties of Huang Qin are better than Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis), and it does not produce drug resistance. In Chinese medicine, Huang Qin is often used to clear heat and dry dampness, reduce fire and remove toxin, stop bleeding and prevent abortion, treat upper respiratory tract infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, acute inflammatory fever, bacterial dysentery, enteritis, hypertension, and epidemic Meningitis.

About 500 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions contain Huang Qin, such as Niu Huang Jie Du Pian, Angong Niuhuang wan, Fang Feng Tong Sheng Wan, and Shuang Huang Lian.

Health benefits of Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae)

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, and anti-tumor.
  • Inhibiting skin fungi, influenza virus, and hepatitis B virus.
  • Increasing intracellular cAMP levels having antipyretic and sedative effects.
  • Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, protecting the liver and promoting bile secretion.
  • Inhibiting intestinal peristalsis and relieving intestinal spasms.
  • Inhibiting platelet aggregation and preventing atherosclerosis and thrombosis.
  • Inhibiting aldose reductase, treating and preventing galactose cataract.
  • Treating chest tightness, nausea, vomiting, unsurfaced fever and yellow greasy tongue coating caused by damp-heat or summer-dampness.
  • Relieving upper abdominal fullness, nausea, and vomiting caused by the damp-heat obstructing the middle.
  • Clearing heat and drying dampness, treating jaundice and diarrhea caused by damp-heat.
  • Clearing lung heat, eliminating phlegm, and relieving cough and asthma caused by lung heat.
  • Cooling blood and relieving hematemesis, epistaxis, hematochezia, and metrorrhagia caused by blood heat.
  • Reducing fire and removing toxin, treat skin ulcers and abscesses caused by heat toxins.
  • Preventing abortion and treating fetal restlessness due to heat.
  • Inhibiting dysentery bacilli, diphtheria bacilli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, typhoid bacilli, paratyphoid bacilli, Proteus,
  • Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic streptococcus, diplococcus pneumoniae, meningococcus, and vibrio cholerae.
  • The study found that it contains baicalin and baicalein to relieve allergic tracheal contractions and allergic asthma in animals.

Huang Qin is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Huang Qin

Huang Qin has been used clinically for many years, with few side effects. Excessive use of it may cause stomach upset.

A small number of people taking it may cause skin redness and itching, blisters, erythema, penile foreskin edema, bilateral conjunctival mild congestion, lower eyelid flushing, mild edema, and other adverse reactions.

Precautions of Huang Qin

  • The dosage of Huang Qin should be controlled between 3-10g.
  • It can be made into decoction, tea or pills.
  • It should not be used to relieve cough caused by the lung cold.
  • People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • People with poor appetite or loose stools should not take it.
  • People with qi or blood deficiency should not take it.
  • The unprocessed Huang Qin is recommended for clearing heat, the fried Huang Qin is for preventing abortion, the wine-fried Huang Qin is for clearing heat in the upper-jiao, and the carbonized Huang Qin is for hemostasis.
  • Traditionally, the old Huang Qin can better clear lung heat, the young Huang Qin can better clear damp-heat in the large intestine.