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Scutellaria pekinensis Yamatatsunamisou in Ibukiyama 2002-6-9.jpg
Scutellaria pekinensis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Scutellarioideae
Genus: Scutellaria
Synonyms [1]
  • Anaspis Rech.f.
  • Cruzia Phil.
  • Harlanlewisia Epling
  • Perilomia Kunth
  • Salazaria Torr.
  • Theresa Clos

Scutellaria is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. They are known commonly as skullcaps.[2] The generic name is derived from the Latin scutella, meaning "a small dish, tray or platter",[3] or "little dish",[4] referring to the shape of the calyx.[4] The common name alludes to the resemblance of the same structure to "miniature medieval helmets".[4] The genus has a subcosmopolitan distribution,[5] with species occurring nearly worldwide, mainly in temperate regions.[6]


Most Scutellaria are annual or perennial herbaceous plants from 5 to 100 cm (2 to 39 in) tall, however a few are subshrubs. Some Scutellaria are aquatic. Scutellaria have four-angled stems and opposite leaves, and flowers with upper and lower lips. The genus is most easily recognized by the typical shield on the calyx that has also prompted its common name.

Traditional use[edit]

Skullcaps are common herbal remedies in systems of traditional medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine they are utilized to "clear away the heat-evil and expel superficial evils".[7] Scutellaria baicalensis in particular is a common component of many preparations.[8] Its root, known as Radix Scutellariae, is the source of the Chinese medicine Huang Qin. It is still in demand today, and marketed in volumes that have led to the overexploitation of the wild plant. Its rarity has led to an increase in price, and encouraged the adulteration of the product with other species of Scutellaria.[9]

In 1773, Scutellaria lateriflora became a common treatment in North America for the hysteria and hydrophobia caused by rabies.[10] Today it is still a popular medicinal herb.[11] It is widely available as a commercial product used in western herbalism to treat anxiety and muscle tension.[12] The plant reportedly commands prices of $16 to $64 per pound dry weight.[13]

Constituents and pharmacology[edit]

The main compounds responsible for the biological activity of skullcap are flavonoids.[9] Baicalein, one of the important Scutellaria flavonoids, was shown to have cardiovascular effects in in vitro.[14] Research also shows that Scutellaria root modulates inflammatory activity in vitro to inhibit nitric oxide (NO), cytokine, chemokine and growth factor production in macrophages.[15] Isolated chemical compounds including wogonin, wogonoside, and 3,5,7,2',6'-pentahydroxyl flavanone found in Scutellaria have been shown to inhibit histamine and leukotriene release.[16] Other active constituents include baicalin, apigenin, oroxylin A, scutellarein, and skullcapflavone.[17]

Some Scutellaria species, including S. baicalensis and S. lateriflora, have demonstrated anxiolytic activity in both animals and humans.[17][18][19] A variety of flavonoids in Scutellaria species have been found to bind to the benzodiazepine site and/or a non-benzodiazepine site of the GABAA receptor, including baicalin, baicalein, wogonin, apigenin, oroxylin A, scutellarein, and skullcapflavone II.[20][21][22] Baicalin and baicalein,[22][23][24][25] wogonin,[26] and apigenin[27] have been confirmed to act as positive allosteric modulators and produce anxiolytic effects in animals, whereas oroxylin A acts as a negative allosteric modulator (and also, notably, as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor).[28][29][30] As such, these compounds and actions, save oroxylin A, are likely to underlie the anxiolytic effects of Scutellaria species.[19]

Scutellaria also contains rosmarinic acid which inhibits GABA transaminase which breaks GABA down, thus making it available longer.[31]

Selected species[edit]

Estimates of the number of species in the genus range from around 300[4][6] to about 350[7][32] or 360[33] to 470.[5][34][2][35][36][37][38]

Selected species include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Scutellaria L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2006-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  2. ^ a b "Scutellaria". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  3. ^ Scutellaria parvula var. missouriensis. Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium. University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
  4. ^ a b c d Joshee, Nirmal; Patrick, Thomas S.; Mentreddy, Rao S.; Yadav, Anand K (2002). "Skullcap: Potential medicinal crop". In Janick, J.; Whipkey, A. (eds.). Trends in New Crops and New Uses. Alexandria, Virginia: ASHS Press. pp. 580–6.
  5. ^ a b Ulloa, C. U. and P. M. Jørgensen. Scutellaria. Árboles y arbustos de los Andes del Ecuador. eFloras.
  6. ^ a b Scutellaria. The Jepson eFlora 2013.
  7. ^ a b Shang, Xiaofei; He, Xirui; He, Xiaoying; Li, Maoxing; Zhang, Ruxue; Fan, Pengcheng; Zhang, Quanlong; Jia, Zhengping (2010). "The genus Scutellaria an ethnopharmacological and phytochemical review". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 128 (2): 279–313. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.006. PMID 20064593.
  8. ^ Cole, Ian; Cao, Jin; Alan, Ali; Saxena, Praveen; Murch, Susan (2008). "Comparisons of Scutellaria baicalensis, Scutellaria lateriflora and Scutellaria racemosa: Genome Size, Antioxidant Potential and Phytochemistry". Planta Medica. 74 (4): 474–81. doi:10.1055/s-2008-1034358. PMID 18484546.
  9. ^ a b Guo, Xiaorong; Wang, Xiaoguo; Su, Wenhua; Zhang, Guangfei; Zhou, Rui (2011). "DNA Barcodes for Discriminating the Medicinal Plant Scutellaria baicalensis (Lamiaceae) and Its Adulterants". Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 34 (8): 1198–203. doi:10.1248/bpb.34.1198. PMID 21804206.
  10. ^ Scutellaria lateriflora. Southern Cross Plant Science. Southern Cross University.
  11. ^ Li, Jing; Wang, Yan-Hong; Smillie, Troy J.; Khan, Ikhlas A. (2012). "Identification of phenolic compounds from Scutellaria lateriflora by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet photodiode array and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry". Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 63: 120–7. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2012.01.027. PMID 22342658.
  12. ^ Gao, Jiayu; Sanchez-Medina, Alberto; Pendry, Barbara A.; Hughes, Michael J.; Webb, Geoffrey P.; Corcoran, Olivia (2008). "Validation of a HPLC method for flavonoid biomarkers in skullcap (Scutellaria) and its use to illustrate wide variability in the quality of commercial tinctures". Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. 11 (1): 77–87. doi:10.18433/J39G6V. PMID 18445366.
  13. ^ Janke, R. A Grower's Guide: Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora). MF-2628. Cooperative Extension, Kansas State University. 2004.
  14. ^ Huang, Yu; Tsang, Suk-Ying; Yao, Xiaoqiang; Chen, Zhen-Yu (2005). "Biological Properties of Baicalein in Cardiovascular System". Current Drug Targets. 5 (2): 177–84. doi:10.2174/1568006043586206. PMID 15853750.
  15. ^ Kim, Eun Hye; Shim, Bumsang; Kang, Seunghee; Jeong, Gajin; Lee, Jong-soo; Yu, Young-Beob; Chun, Mison (2009). "Anti-inflammatory effects of Scutellaria baicalensis extract via suppression of immune modulators and MAP kinase signaling molecules". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 126 (2): 320–31. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.027. PMID 19699788.
  16. ^ Lim, Beong Ou (2003). "Effects of wogonin, wogonoside, and 3,5,7,2′,6′-pentahydroxyflavone on chemical mediator production in peritoneal exduate cells and immunoglobulin E of rat mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 84 (1): 23–9. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00257-X. PMID 12499072.
  17. ^ a b Awad R, Arnason JT, Trudeau V, Bergeron C, Budzinski JW, Foster BC, Merali Z (2003). "Phytochemical and biological analysis of skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L.): a medicinal plant with anxiolytic properties". Phytomedicine. 10 (8): 640–9. doi:10.1078/0944-7113-00374. PMID 14692724.
  18. ^ Wolfson P, Hoffmann DL (2003). "An investigation into the efficacy of Scutellaria lateriflora in healthy volunteers". Altern Ther Health Med. 9 (2): 74–8. PMID 12652886.
  19. ^ a b Stefanie Schwartz (9 January 2008). Psychoactive Herbs in Veterinary Behavior Medicine. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-0-470-34434-7.
  20. ^ Wang H, Hui KM, Chen Y, Xu S, Wong JT, Xue H (2002). "Structure-activity relationships of flavonoids, isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis, binding to benzodiazepine site of GABA(A) receptor complex". Planta Med. 68 (12): 1059–62. doi:10.1055/s-2002-36357. PMID 12494329.
  21. ^ Hui KM, Wang XH, Xue H (2000). "Interaction of flavones from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis with the benzodiazepine site". Planta Med. 66 (1): 91–3. doi:10.1055/s-0029-1243121. PMID 10705749.
  22. ^ a b Liao JF, Wang HH, Chen MC, Chen CC, Chen CF (1998). "Benzodiazepine binding site-interactive flavones from Scutellaria baicalensis root". Planta Med. 64 (6): 571–2. doi:10.1055/s-2006-957517. PMID 9776664.
  23. ^ Edwin Lowell Cooper; Nobuo Yamaguchi (1 January 2004). Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Biomedicine. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 188–. ISBN 978-0-306-48288-5.
  24. ^ Wang F, Xu Z, Ren L, Tsang SY, Xue H (2008). "GABA A receptor subtype selectivity underlying selective anxiolytic effect of baicalin". Neuropharmacology. 55 (7): 1231–7. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2008.07.040. PMID 18723037. S2CID 20133964.
  25. ^ Liao JF, Hung WY, Chen CF (2003). "Anxiolytic-like effects of baicalein and baicalin in the Vogel conflict test in mice". Eur. J. Pharmacol. 464 (2–3): 141–6. doi:10.1016/s0014-2999(03)01422-5. PMID 12620506.
  26. ^ Hui KM, Huen MS, Wang HY, Zheng H, Sigel E, Baur R, Ren H, Li ZW, Wong JT, Xue H (2002). "Anxiolytic effect of wogonin, a benzodiazepine receptor ligand isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi". Biochem. Pharmacol. 64 (9): 1415–24. doi:10.1016/s0006-2952(02)01347-3. PMID 12392823.
  27. ^ Viola H, Wasowski C, Levi de Stein M, Wolfman C, Silveira R, Dajas F, Medina JH, Paladini AC (1995). "Apigenin, a component of Matricaria recutita flowers, is a central benzodiazepine receptors-ligand with anxiolytic effects". Planta Med. 61 (3): 213–6. doi:10.1055/s-2006-958058. PMID 7617761.
  28. ^ Huen MS, Leung JW, Ng W, Lui WS, Chan MN, Wong JT, Xue H (2003). "5,7-Dihydroxy-6-methoxyflavone, a benzodiazepine site ligand isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, with selective antagonistic properties". Biochem. Pharmacol. 66 (1): 125–32. doi:10.1016/s0006-2952(03)00233-8. PMID 12818372.
  29. ^ Liu X, Hong SI, Park SJ, Dela Peña JB, Che H, Yoon SY, Kim DH, Kim JM, Cai M, Risbrough V, Geyer MA, Shin CY, Cheong JH, Park H, Lew JH, Ryu JH (2013). "The ameliorating effects of 5,7-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-2(4-phenoxyphenyl)-4H-chromene-4-one, an oroxylin A derivative, against memory impairment and sensorimotor gating deficit in mice". Arch. Pharm. Res. 36 (7): 854–63. doi:10.1007/s12272-013-0106-6. PMID 23543630. S2CID 2554248.
  30. ^ Yoon, Seo Young; dela Peña, Ike; Kim, Sung Mok; Woo, Tae Sun; Shin, Chan Young; Son, Kun Ho; Park, Haeil; Lee, Yong Soo; Ryu, Jong Hoon; Jin, Mingli; Kim, Kyeong-Man; Cheong, Jae Hoon (2013). "Oroxylin A improves attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-like behaviors in the spontaneously hypertensive rat and inhibits reuptake of dopamine in vitro". Archives of Pharmacal Research. 36 (1): 134–140. doi:10.1007/s12272-013-0009-6. ISSN 0253-6269. PMID 23371806. S2CID 23927252.
  31. ^ Kim, Yeon Bok; Uddin, Md Romij; Kim, Yeji; Park, Chun Geon; Park, Sang Un (2014). "Molecular Cloning and Characterization of Tyrosine Aminotransferase and Hydroxyphenylpyruvate Reductase, and Rosmarinic Acid Accumulation in Scutellaria baicalensis". Natural Product Communications. 9 (9): 1311–4. doi:10.1177/1934578X1400900923. PMID 25918800. S2CID 41922840.
  32. ^ Scutellaria. Flora of China.
  33. ^ Pool, Amy (2006). "New Species of Scutellaria (Lamiaceae) from Mesoamerica". Novon. 16 (3): 388–403. doi:10.3417/1055-3177(2006)16[388:NSOSLF]2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 20406083.
  34. ^ Hsu, Tsai-Wen; Kuo, Chia-Chi; Tsai, Chi-Chu; Chiang, Yu-Chung (2009). "Isolation and characterization of 16 microsatellite markers from a rare and endemic species, Scutellaria austrotaiwanensis (Lamiaceae)". Conservation Genetics Resources. 1 (1): 85–8. doi:10.1007/s12686-009-9020-0. S2CID 27063502.
  35. ^ Scutellaria, list of taxa. Flora of China.
  36. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Scutellaria". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  37. ^ Scutellaria, list of taxa. Flora of Pakistan.
  38. ^ Choi, Hakjoon; Kang, Wan Seok; Kim, Jin Seok; Na, Chang-Su; Kim, Sunoh (2021). "De Novo Assembly and Species-Specific Marker Development as a Useful Tool for the Identification of Scutellaria L. Species". Current Issues in Molecular Biology. 43 (3): 2177–2188. doi:10.3390/cimb43030152.
  39. ^ Çiçek, Mehmet; Ketenoğlu, Osman (2011). "Scutellaria anatolica (Lamiaceae), a New Species from Turkey". Annales Botanici Fennici. 48 (3): 276–9. doi:10.5735/085.048.0309. S2CID 83741723.
  40. ^ Turner, Billie L. (2011). "A new species of Scutellaria (Lamiaceae) from Oaxaca, Mexico" (PDF). Phytologia. 93 (2): 241–4.

External links[edit]