Baical Skullcap, Huang Qin, 黄芩, Scutellariae baicalensis georgi

Disclaimer    For educational purposes only.  Do not use as medical advice

AboutPlantsChinese MedicineCaution
Health Benefits
For: Restless fetus • Bloody mucus • Rectal bleeding • Scarlet fever • Hepatitis • Encephalitis • Eye infection • Hypertension • Epilepsy
Attributes: Antibiotic • Anti-inflammatory • Antioxidative • AntipyreticCholagogicHepatoprotective • Hypoglycemic • Hypotensive • Neuroprotective • Sedative
Products (online examples)









Research (sample)
Baicalein • Apigenin • Luteolin • Scutellarin • Catalpol • Limonene • Caryophyllene • Terpineol • Wogonin • Galeroside • Beta Humulene • Hispidulin • Campesterol • Beta Sitosterol • Stigmasterol • Wogonoside • Chrysin • Skullcapflavone • Koganebanacin • Oroxylin A Key: Baicalin and baicalein

Photos (Click to enlarge)
Fun Facts
  • Other Names: Baikal Skullcap • Helmet flower • Scutellaria • Hoodwort • Pian Qin • Tiao Qin • Lao Gen Zi Qin • Bei Qin • Scutellaria • Scute • Ogon • Hwanggeum • Dan Huang Qin • Zi Huang Qin • Ku Huang Qin • Chao Huang QinJiu Chao Huang Qin • Quaker Bonnet
  • Plant Family: Labiatae
  • People often confuse Scutellaria Baicalensis with Scutellaria Lateriflora.  S. lateriflora is native to the U.S. and is primarily used to relieve stress, nervousness, and tension.  It is a popular herb used by Native Americans.  
  • The name skullcap came from the blue flowers that looks like the medieval European soldier helmets.  
  • Skullcap is a part of the mint family.  People allergic to mint should also avoid this herb.
There are many species of Scutellaria.  The following are the most popular in plant based medicine and can be confused with each other.

Scutellaria baicalensis (Baical Skullcap, 黄芩) is Huang Qin.  

Scutellaria viscidula Bge. (Chinese Skullcap, 粘毛黄芩 ) is Nian Mao Huang Qin, may be used as substitute.

Scutellaria amoena (Chinese Skullcap, 滇黄芩) is Dian Huang Qin, may be used as substitute.

Scutellaria rehderiana Diels (Chinese Skullcap, 甘肃黄芩) is Gan Su Huang Qin, may be used as substitute.

Scutellaria lateriflora (American Skullcap) is used as a mild relaxant, anxiety, stress, and convulsions and may protect against alzheimer's disease.  This is NOT a substitute for S. baicalensis.   

Scutellaria barbata (Barbat Skullcap, 半枝莲) is Ban Zhi Lian.  It is used to clear heat, reduce inflammation, reduce toxins, and invigorate blood.  This is NOT a substitute for S. baicalensis.

Scutellariae baicalensis georgi is NOT in the USDA Plant Database.  

USA: Scutellariae baicalensis georgi is not available in the wild

USDA Zones: 4 to 8

Native: China, Korea, Mongolia, Japan, Vietnam

Habitats: Shade, moist soil


Properties, Actions, Indications, etc.              Category: Clear Heat Dry Dampness 
English: Baical Skullcap    Pinyin:  Huang Qin      Pharmaceutical: Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis  
Organs: Gall bladder • Large Intestine • Lung • Stomach      Temperature: Cold 
Taste: Bitter        Toxicity:
Patterns: Lung heat • Middle burner heat • Stomach damp heat • Intestine damp heat • Skin lesions • Fever • Bleeding 
Actions:  Clear heat • Dry dampness • Stop bleeding • Calm fetus • Calm liver yang rising • Clear damp heat
Indications: Sore throat • Constipation • Painful urination • Tooth ache • Dysentery
Contraindications: Pregnancy • Children • Breast feeding • Deficiency heat in lungs • Middle burner cold • Restless fetus from cold • Edema • Blood deficiecy abdominal pain • Spleen deficiency • Kidney deficiency diarrhea • Poor appetite • Blood deficiency • High risk pregnancy • Fetal heat
Typical Dosage: 6g-15g, Max 30g          Guidelines
Parts Used: Root          Substitutes:   
Combine With  Purpose
Zhi Zi + Yin Chen + Da Huang Damp heat jaundice 21,22
Huang Lian + Bai Shao Damp heat dysentery with fever and tenesmus3,21
Gua Lou + Sang Bai Pi + Xing Ren Lung heat cough21
Ban Xia + Zhi Tian + Nan Xing Phlegm heat cough21
Huang Lian + Lian Qiao + Pu Gong Ying Internal and external abscess and sores21
Bai Mao Gen + Shen Di Huang Chaotic blood movement from excess internal heat21
Di Yu Bloody stool from intestinal abscess21
Dang Gui + Bai Zhu Restless fetus from excess heat3,21,22
Xia Ku Cao + Mu Li Infection of lymph nodes21
Chuan Lian Zi + Cao Dou Kou + Lai Fu Zi + Hong Hua + Qian Cao + Bai Ji Li + Zao Jiao Ci + Bing Lang + Charred Shen Qu + Charred Shan Zha + Charred Mai Ya Infections hepatitis without jaundice22
Da Huang Constipation from heat in middle burner3,22
Deng Xian Cao Tooth ache or oral ulcers from middle burner heat22
Chuan Mu Tong + Che Qian Zi Burning painful urination 3,22
Shi Gao + Zhi Mu + Mu Dan Pi High fever from excess heat 3,22
San Qi + Huai Hua + Bai Mao Gen Bloody vomit and nosebleed 22
Huang Lian + Fang Feng Gastrointestinal bleeding 3,22
Yin Chen Hao + Huang Bai + Zhi Zi + Da Huang + Che Qian Zi + Bing Lang + Shen Qu + Shan Zha + Mai Ya Infectious hepatitis with jaundice 3,22
Ban Lan Gen + Bo He + Xuan Shen Sore throat and other exterior symptoms3,21
Wu Wei Zi + Chong Lou + Mu Li Infertility3
Formulas with Huang Qin
An Gong Niu Huang WanBan Xia Xie Xin Tang • Chai Ge Jie Ji Tang • Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li TangDa Chai Hu TangDa Huang Zhe Chong Wan • Da Yuan Yin • Dang Gui Liu Huang Tang • Ding Chuan Tang • Fang Feng Tong Sheng San • Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan • Ge Gen Huang Lian Huang Qin Tang • Gu Jing Wan • Gun Tan Wan • Hao Qin Qing Dan Tang • Huang Lian e Jiao TangHuang Lian Jie Du Tang • Huang Tu Tang • Jiu Wei Qiang Huo Tang • Liang Ge San • Long Dan Xie Gan Tang • Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin • Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan • Qing Re Zhi Beng Tang • Qing Wen Bai Du Yin • Shao Yao Tang • Shi Gao Tang • Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin • Xiao Chai Hu Tang • Xiao Xu Ming Tang • Xie Xin Tang • Zhong Man Fen Xiao Wan
Variations for Huang Qin

Unprocessed root • Dan Huang Qin • 淡黃芩 • Regular Huang Qin3,21

Dried Root • Ku Huang Qin • 枯黃芩 • Drains lung fire, drains exterior heat from the muscles3,21

Wine Fried Root • Jiu Chao Qin • 酒炒黃芩 • Clear damp heat from upper burner3,21

Charred root •Huang Qin Tan • 黃芩炭 • Stop bleeding3,21

Dried fried root • Chao Huang Qin • 炒黃芩 • Clear lower burner heat or balance fetal qi, less cold on the spleen and stomach3,21

Young root • Zi Huang Qin • 子黃芩 • Drains large intestine fire and lower burner fire3,21

Be cautious with all medicine.
  • Huang Qin can induce liver injury.  Nineteen Japanese patients reported liver injury from the use of  Huang Qin (Ogon in Kampo medicine) ref
  • Skullcap is a part of the mint family.  People allergic to mint should also avoid this herb.
Potential Drug Interactions

Herbal medicine may interact negatively with pharma drugs and other herbs.  Examples below:

Herbs: Counteract Li Lu and Mu Dan Pi ♦ Sedative medication ♦ Antidiabetic: Mei Gui Hua, Du Zhong, Dang Shen, HuoLong Guo, rougui, Celery, Chamomile, Moringa Tree, Basil, Ku Gua, Hibiscus, Gou Qi Zi, Ju Hua, Xia Ku Cao, Dang Gui, Zhi Mu, Shi gao, Xuan Shen, Cang Zhu, Shan yao, Huang Qi, Artichoke, Gan Cao, Nu Zhen Zi, Ju Hua ♦ Hypotensive: ginseng, goji berry, cinnamon

Pharma Drugs:♦ Sedative medication ♦ Antidiabetic: Acarbose (Precose ) , Albiglutide (Tanzeum) , Alogliptin (Nesina) , Bromocriptine mesylate (Cycloset , Canaglifozin (Invokana) , Chlorpropamide (Diabinese) , Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) , Dulaglutide (Trulicity) , Empagliflozin (Jardiance) , Glimepiride (Amaryl) , glipizide (Glucotrol) , Glyburide (DiaBeta , Glynase) , Insulin , Linagliptin (Tradjenta) , Metformin , Miglitol (Glyset) , Nateglinide (Starlix) , Parlodel) , Pioglitazone (Actos) , Pramlintide , Repaglinide (Prandin) , Rosiglitazone (Avandia) , Saxagliptin (Onglyza) , Sitagliptin (Januvia) , Tol-Tab) , Tolazamide (Tolinase) , Tolbutamide (Orinase) ♦ High blood pressure: captopril (Capoten), benazepril (Lotensin), Perindopril (Aceon), irbesartan (Avapro), telmisartan (Micardis), valsartan (Diovan), acebutolol (Sectral), carvedilol (Coreg), metoprolol (Lopressor), amlodipine (Norvasc), felodipine (Plendil), verapamil (Calan), labetalol (Trandate)


Information in this post came from many sources, including class notes, practitioners, websites, webinars, books, magazines, and editor's personal experience.  While the original source often came from historical Chinese texts,  variations may result from the numerous English translations.   Always consult a doctor prior to using these drugs.  The information here is strictly for educational purposes. 

Go to Bibliography


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.