Plum Dragon Herbs

Huang Qin (Skullcap Root)

$2.40

Huang Qin has a very long history in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is one of the oldest herbs in the tradition, dating all the way back to the 2nd Century AD. Chinese Skullcap root is one of the top 50 fundamental herbs used in TCM. 

Huang Qin (Skullcap Root), also known as Scutellaria lateriflora, is a perennial herb native to North America. The root of the plant is used for medicinal purposes and has been traditionally used for centuries by indigenous peoples for a variety of ailments including anxiety, insomnia, and nervous tension. The active compounds in skullcap root include flavonoids, baicalin, and baicalein, which have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, Huang Qin may have potential in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It is important to note that skullcap root should not be used in place of prescribed medication and it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal supplement. It is also suggested that skullcap root should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Huang Qin can help to support the nervous system, promote relaxation, and improve sleep quality. Additionally, it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great herb to support overall health and well-being.

Huang Qin is a popular ingredient in many herb packs and herbal formulas.  One of our most popular extracts is Huang Qin Extract.  Anther is the acute trama injury plaster San Huang San (Three Yellow Powder). 

High Quality Huang Qin: What does it look like?

Huang Qin (Scutellaria baicalensis) should have a yellow and dark brown color and should be firm to the touch. The root should be free from mold, pests, and other contaminants and have consistent size and shape. It should be harvested at the right time, when the root is mature, and it should be properly dried.

The smell of Huang Qin should be slightly woody or earthy and should not have any strong or unpleasant odors. It should be free from any chemical or moldy smell, which can indicate that the herb was not properly harvested or stored.

How is Huang Qin prepared and processed?

Huang Qin (Scutellaria baicalensis) grows in northeastern China and adjacent Russia, and in the mountains of southern China. It is found in dry, sandy soils, in fields, and along roadsides.

Chinese skullcap is a perennial growing 1 to 2 feet tall, with black glandular dots beneath. The blue or violet attractive two-lipped flowers are in pairs on one side of the stem. The species name baicalensis signifies that botanists described it from plants collected in the vicinity of Lake Baikal in Siberia. Both species flower from July through August. 

Chinese skullcap is a drought-tolerant perennial that enjoys full sun in cooler climates and partial shade in warmer regions and likes a well-drained gravelly or sandy soil. It is propagated by seeds. It has showier flowers than S. lateriflora (North American Skullcap) and is more suitable and desirable for the herb garden. In Western horticulture, it has been grown as a specimen plant among rock gardening enthusiasts. 

Shanxi and Hebei provinces in China produce the bulk of the commercial supply of the Chinese Skullcap root, the part that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. The Scutellaria root is harvested in spring after 3 to 4 year's growth, then dried until 50% dry. The bark is then scraped off, and the root fully dried. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Huang Qin is used to clear heat and dry dampness, to calm the spirit and to stop convulsion. It's used in cases of fever, irritability, insomnia, and other conditions related to heat and dampness.

The first step in processing skullcap root is to collect the roots. This is typically done during the fall when the plant's medicinal properties are at their highest. The roots are dug up, cleaned and washed to remove dirt and other impurities.

The next step is to dry the roots. This is typically done by spreading the roots out in the sun or by using a dehydrator. Drying helps to remove any remaining moisture and to preserve the roots for future use. After the roots are dry, they are often cut into small pieces or ground into a powder. This makes it easier to use in decoctions or other preparations.

In TCM, skullcap root is considered to have a bitter and cool nature, and is used to clear heat and dry dampness, to calm the spirit and to stop convulsion. It's used in cases of fever, irritability, insomnia, and other conditions related to heat and dampness. It's often used in combination with other herbs in formulas.

Popular Recipe for Huang Qin

Here are a few ways to use Huang qin:

  1. As a tea: Rinse a small amount of dried Huang qin (1-2 grams) with hot water and steep in a cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. You can also add other herbs like licorice root or ginger to enhance the flavor.

  2. As a decoction: Rinse a moderate amount of dried Huang qin (3-5 grams) and add it to a pot of water (about 500ml) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink the decoction. Other cold, bitter herbs such as Huang Lian or goldenseal can be used to purge heat from the system. Please consult your licensed medical practitioner for individual dosage and/or usage instructions. 

  3. As a tincture: Huang qin is also available in liquid form, and is taken by diluting a small amount of tincture in water or juice.

It's important to note that Huang Qin should be used with caution because it can interact with other medications, and it can cause side effects like dry mouth or drowsiness. It's always recommended consulting with a licensed healthcare practitioner before using it.

Safety Precautions for the use of Huang Qin

When using Huang Qin, it is important to take the following precautions:

  1. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine the appropriate dosage and any potential interactions with other medications or conditions.

  2. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using Huang Qin.

  3. People who are taking medications that are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzymes should be cautious when using Huang Qin as it may interact with these medications and alter their effectiveness.

  4. People with a history of allergies to plants in the Lamiaceae (mint) family should use caution when using Huang Qin as it may cause an allergic reaction.

  5. People with liver disease should be cautious when using Huang Qin as it may cause liver damage.

  6. As with any dietary supplement, it is always recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

It’s important to note that this is a general guideline and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or herbalist to determine the right dosage and usage for you

Additional Information about Huang Qin

Other Names: Huang Qin (Skullcap Root); Scutellaria Baicalensi; Scutellariae Radix, Baikal skullcap, Scutellaria, Chinese Skullcap Root

Properties: Bitter, Cold

Channels Entered: Lung, Gallbladder, Stomach, Large Intestine

Cautions/Contraindications

  • Bitter and cold, Huang Qin should be used with caution as it may damage Stomach Qi and injure Spleen yin.
  • If you are experiencing any health conditions or are pregnant, please consult your licensed medical practitioner before using Scutellaria root.

 

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