Huang-qin (Chinese Skullcap, S. Baicalensis)

Scutellaria baicalensis

Is a calming Chinese plant, Huang-qin (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi., Lamiaceae).

Excerpt from Melatonin in Medicinal Plants, published on Herb World News Online:

“In the early 1990s, melatonin became a popular supplement for counteracting jet lag, helping people sleep, and for use as an anti-cancer supplement. In 1995, an association between lower levels of melatonin and migraine headaches was reported. The Canadian researchers who conducted this study wondered if herbal products used for treating insomnia, depression, migraine, and other nervous system conditions might also contain melatonin [Murch et al., 1997]….

…All of the compounds tested contained melatonin. Huang-qin yielded the highest concentration of melatonin (7.11 m g/g), followed by St. John’s wort flowers (4.39 m g/g) and then fresh ‘green leaf’ feverfew (2.45 m g/g). The product Tanacet® contained little (0.57 m g/g), and the lowest content of all was found in skullcap (0.09 m g/g).

The authors of the review concluded that “Melatonin in plant tissues may explain anecdotal evidence of physiological effects, but also emphasizes the need for complete biochemical characterization of medicinal herbs.” On the other hand, ethnobotanist James Duke, PhD estimates that “it would take pounds of material to provide an effective dose of 3 mg melatonin” based on the levels of melatonin reported in this study. According to Duke, in the case of S. baicalensis (the richest reported source of melatonin), more than 60 g of plant material would have to be consumed to achieve a 0.3 mg dose of melatonin.”


For Additional Research

Google search “S. baicalensis”


Post: Similar but not the same: Huang Bai vs. Huang Qin. What’s the difference?

Explores the difference between Huang Qin & Huang Bai. How to tell the difference as a dry herb, live plant and more. Write a snippet on my experience with it: go to the market and try to distinguish-look, taste, smell, touch, etc.



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