Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. (Lamiaceae): a review of its traditional uses, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology

J Pharm Pharmacol. 2019 Sep;71(9):1353-1369. doi: 10.1111/jphp.13129. Epub 2019 Jun 24.


Objectives: Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. (Lamiaceae) is a plant of the genus Lamiaceae, and its root is the main part used as a medicine. In China, Scutellaria baicalensis is still an important traditional Chinese medicine with the functions of clearing away heat and dampness, purging fire and detoxification. This medicinal plant is widely distributed in China, Russia, Mongolia, North Korea and Japan. The purpose of this paper was to provide a systematic and comprehensive overview on the traditional usages, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and toxicology of this plant. Furthermore, the possible development trends and perspectives for future research on this medicinal plant are also discussed.

Key findings: So far, over 40 compounds have been isolated and identified from Scutellaria baicalensis, including flavonoids, terpenoids, volatile oils and polysaccharides. The compounds and extracts isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis exhibit a wide range of pharmacological activities, including the effects on the nervous system, effects on the immune system, liver protection, antitumour effects, antibacterial and antiviral effects, antioxidant effects and other pharmacological effects.

Summary: As a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, Scutellaria baicalensis has shown significant effects on the treatment of various diseases, especially hepatitis, diarrhoea, vomiting and high blood pressure. Numerous traditional uses of Scutellaria baicalensis have been confirmed by current investigations. However, it is also necessary to further study the drug-forming properties and pharmacokinetics of the active constituents of Scutellaria baicalensis, as well as to establish quality control standards for different areas of Scutellaria baicalensis, and to carry out the research at the cellular and molecular levels.

Keywords: Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi.; pharmacology; phytochemistry; toxicology; traditional uses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • China
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacokinetics
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Scutellaria baicalensis / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scutellaria baicalensis extract