Chinese Name : 黃苓
Latin Name : Radix Scutellariae
This herb is the dried root of the Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi of the family Labiatae. It is grown mainly in the Hebei and Shanxi provinces, and Inner Mongolia of China. Collected in the autumn, it is cleaned, sliced, and dried or stir baked with wine, or carbonized to charcoal.
Scute root was prescribed for fevers, jaundice, diarrhea, ulcers, colic, amenorrhea, fluxes, boils, carbuncles, and breast cancer.
Scute root is an important antipyretic and Dampness-dissipating agent. It relieves symptoms such as acute enteritis, dysentery, and urinary tract infections due to Heat-Dampness accumulation in the Lower-Jiao, and is used to treat pyogenic skin infections.
Use of Scute Root in TCM
Bitter in taste and cold, it acts on the gallbladder, lung, stomach, and large intestine meridians
Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations
- Relieves various pathogenic Heat and Dampness syndromes:
- To treat fever or a feeling of fullness in the chest accompanied by a greasy coating on the tongue, scute root is blended with tale and tetrapanax (tong cao)
- It is prescribed with gardenia, rhubarb root, and capillaries to treat jaundice, or combined with dried rehmannia and akebia root for difficult and painful urination, or with trichosanthes root and dahurian angelica root for suppurative infections on the skin.
- Relieves acute febrile disease and detoxifies: to treat acute febrile diseases with high fever, restlessness, yellow tongue coating, and rapid pulse, scute root is combined with phellodendron, coptis root, and gardenia, as in Huang Lian Jie Du Tang (R-72). It is also used with bupleurum root, as in Xiao Chai Hu Tang (R-53), for an alternative of chills and fever.
- Stabilizes the fetus and prevents miscarriage: scute root is dispensed with Chinese angelica, dried rehmannia, processed rehmannia, white atractylodes, ginseng root, and eucommia in a decoction to relieve the Heat in the womb and prevent miscarriage.
- Relieves Heat in the lungs: scute root is mixed with morus bark and ophiopogon root, as in Qing Fei Tang, to clear the Heat in the lungs and to treat a cough with yellow sputum. Scute root with stemona herb is a useful combination in a decoction for bronchitis.
- Stop bleeding: carbonized scute root is used alone internally or with dried rehmannia root and imperata (Imperata cylindrical) for epistaxis, hematuria, hemafecia, and metrorrhagia
In a decoction of 3 to 10 g. Commercially, scute root table (0.26 g) is available as an antimicrobial agent for bacillary dysentery, upper respiratory infections, and detoxification.
People with Cold and deficiency of the stomach and spleen should not use this herb
Side Effects and Toxicity
No adverse side effects or toxicity at the therapeutic dose were recorded, however, rare gastric discomfort and diarrhea were associated with the administration of the decoction or the injection of the active ingredients baicalin and baicalein. A single oral dose of 12 to 15 g/kg of the aqueous decoction elicited no abnormal reaction in dogs during forty-eight hours of observation, except emesis in the high-dose group. Oral administration of 4 to 5 g/kg dose, twice daily, for eight weeks did not produce any significant abnormalities in routine blood profiles and histology of internal organs.
More than fifty flavones derivatives have been isolated and identified from the root of S baicalensis. Baicalin and wagonoside are two major components found in the root. Other ingredients include flavones-O-glycoside (scutellarin), flavones-C-glycoside, and calcones.
Scute root is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiasthmatic, antiallergenic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, hepatoprotective, choleretic, sedative, diuretic, and lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol.
Antimicrobial activity: the herb is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial. Its decoction showed inhibition against hemolytic streptococcus, pneumococcus, meningococcus, S. aureus, B. diphtheriae, B. dysenteriae, B. anthracis, B. typhosus, B.paratypus, B. proteus, E.coli, P. aeruginosa, Bordetella pertussis, and Vibrio comma. Baicalin is the active bacterial-inhibiting ingredient.
The decoction of the herb in vitro was shown to be active against ten types of skin fungi, including Trichopyton violaceum and Microsporum audouini, and the decoction was active against nine types of fungi, including T.violaceum and Microsporum canis.
The crude extract of the herb or baicalin was shown to inhibit HIV antigen expression, and H-9 cell cultures, with 50 percent inhibitory doses of 0.6 ug/ml and 3.3 ug/ml, respectively.