china scullery

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The Chinese skullcap ( Scutellaria baicalensis ) is a plant widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. A member of the mint family, skullcap is rich in nutrients, including antioxidants known as flavones, which reduce the effects of oxidative stress on various body tissues.

In particular, the Chinese cap contains baicalin and baicalein, two compounds that have been studied for a wide range of medicinal properties.

Commonly known as

  • Chinese skullcap
  • Baikal Cap
  • Huang qin
  • Scutellaria baicalensis

Applications

In alternative medicine, a cap is sometimes recommended in the following cases:

  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Hepatitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety, tension and stress.

Does the Chinese cap have any advantage?

To date, there have been several clinical trials investigating the health effects of skullcaps. However, preliminary research suggests that the herb may be helpful in treating the following conditions:

Memory impairment

In a 2008 study in mice , scientists found that oroxylin A (an antioxidant found in skullcap roots) may help protect against memory impairment caused by beta-amyloid, a plaque-forming substance. brain associated with Alzheimer's disease .

prostate cancer

Compounds found in the cap may help slow the growth of prostate cancer tumors, a 2005 study in mice suggests. The cap was part of the herbal PC-SPES formula, a dietary supplement that was discontinued because prescription drugs were found in some batches.

Although several laboratory and animal studies have shown that PC-SPES can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells, it is not known whether these anticancer effects were caused by herbs or prescription drugs.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia

A 2019 study in rats found that the Chinese cap can suppress the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) by suppressing abnormal androgens and reducing inflammation. More research is needed before recommending the cap to people.

Parkinson's disease

A study published in 2008 in mice showed that baicalein (another antioxidant derived from the skullcap) can help protect nerve cells from damage associated with Parkinson's disease (a chronic condition that causes tremors, stiffness of the limbs and trunk, imbalance and coordination, as well as slowing down).

Possible side effects.

The Chinese skullcap is believed to be safe and well tolerated by adults. Side effects are few and can include drowsiness.

People with diabetes should not take Chinese skullcap without consulting a doctor, as it can lower blood sugar levels and increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

Skullcap should not be used during pregnancy or lactation.

Interactions

Do not use Chinese skullcap with alcohol or the following medications:

  • Anticonvulsants such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproic acid (Depakote)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium)
  • Insomnia medications, such as zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata), esopiclone (Lunesta), and ramelteon (Roserem).
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil)
Get Drug Information / Anastasia Tretyak

Dosage and preparation

Skullcap is available in capsule, tea, extract, and tincture form. There is no RDA for a cap and there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to determine an appropriate dose range.

The Chinese skullcap is often combined with other herbs in the preparation. Follow the dosage recommendations on the label.

What to look for

There are two types of skullcap on the market: the Chinese skullcap ( Scutellaria baicalensis ) and the American skullcap ( Scutellaria lateriflora ). They are different plants with different expected benefits. Look for the Chinese cap, which was studied in the research discussed above.

When choosing a supplement brand, look for products that are certified by Consumer Labs, USP, or NSF International.

Other questions

What does skullcap tea look like?

Although the cap belongs to the mint family, it does not have a mint flavor. Skullcap has a bitter, earthy taste. Many people add sweeteners to it to make it taste better.

Get the word of drug information

Due to the limited amount of research, it is too early to recommend a cap for the treatment of any medical condition. It is also important to note that self-medication for a disease and avoiding or delaying standard treatment can have serious consequences. If you plan to use the cap for any health related purpose, please consult your doctor first.

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