Plum Dragon Herbs

Huang Qin (Skullcap Root)


Chinese Herb: Huang Qin (Skullcap Root)

Scutellaria Baicalensi; Scutellariae Radix, Baikal skullcap, Scutellaria, Chinese Skullcap Root

Chinese Skullcap Root, also referred to as "Scute", or Scutellaria root is classified as an herb that clears heat and dries dampness. As with other herbs in this category, Skullcap is a bitter herb of cold nature.  It is also one of the herbs used in the acute trauma injury plaster San Huang San, or Three Yellow Powder. 


Bitter, cold

Channels Entered:

Lung, Gallbladder, Stomach, Large Intestine


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.


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. 

In China, Huang Qin is mainly used to clear heat from the respiratory and digestive systems. 

Applications: Decoction. It can be used in combination with other cold, bitter herbs such as Huang Lian or goldenseal to purge heat from the system. Please consult your licensed medical practitioner for individual dosage and/or usage instructions. 

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. 

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 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. 

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