Plant and Herbs

Scutellaria baicalensis root extract for Skin, Body, and Hair

S. baicalensis, also known as Chinese skullcap or Huang Qin, is a root extract used in traditional medicine. It is often used in combination with other herbs.

What are the benefits of Scutellaria baicalensis extract for the skin, body, and hair?

  • Promoting hair growth: Scutellaria baicalensis root extract helps in promoting hair growth and may be effective in alopecia treatment. This is because it contains baicalin, a primary active constituent of the Scutellaria baicalensis extract. 
  • Antitumor effects: Many studies have shown that S. baicalensis root extract is cytotoxic to a broad range of cancer cells in humans, including prostate cancer cells, brain tumor cells, and HNSCC (head and neck squamous cell carcinoma) cell lines. The flavones wogonoside, baicalin, and their aglycones baicalein and wogonin are the major bioactive in Scutellaria roots and the major bioactive constituents responsible for anti-cancer effects of S. baicalensis extract. Baicalin inhibits the growth of lymphoma and myeloma cells. Wogonoside has anticancer effects on acute myeloid leukemia cell lines. Baicalein, baicalin, and wogonin have similar effects as S. baicalensis extracts against lung cancer cells. The anti-cancer activities of the Scutellaria-derived flavones have been mainly ascribed to their cell cycle gene expression, COX-2 gene expression, ROS scavenging ability, attenuation of NF-κB activity, and prevention of viral infections.
  • Hepatoprotection: Scutellaria baicalensis root extract is the main component in the herbal remedy SST used for liver problems such as hepatic fibrosis, hepatitis, and carcinoma.
  • Anti-bacterial: amongst 46 herb and spice extracts, S. baicalensis root extracts have shown substantial antibacterial effects against Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella anatum, and Staphylococcus aureus. Aqueous extracts of S. baicalensis roots have antimycotic properties against Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, Geotrichum candidum, and Rhodotorula Rubra.
  • UV protectant activity: the flavonoids present in the Scutellaria baicalensis root extract possess anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory activity, the roots have been used as a traditional remedy for skin inflammation in China. In an animal model study, skullcap flavonoids were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory activity on UVB irradiation-induced skin damage in hairless mice. The results showed that Scutellaria flavonoids were able to reduce the increase in skin thickness and also the MMP -2 and 9 enzymes in the skin (inflammatory enzymes, induced by UVB exposure). The isolated compound Baicalin from the Scutellaria baicalensis was also found to be effective against UVA-induced photo-aging.
  • Anti-viral: Baicalin has very good anti-HIV-1 activity as a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. Baicalin has been adopted as one of the popular lead natural products for preventing HIV infection.
  • Skin Barrier function: Scutellaria biacalensis root extract was found to be promoting the skin cells- keratinocyte differentiation and help in restoring the skin barrier function. It was observed that this effect may be related to PPAR (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors)- Alpha activator effect of Scutellaria biacalensis. It will also help to retain the moisture in the skin by retaining the skin barrier function.
  • Antioxidant Activity: Chinese skullcap is rich in unique flavonoids such as baicalin, wogonin, Oroxylin A, and baicalein, which are potent free radical scavengers. These results suggest a possible role of Scutellaria baicalensis in preventing photoinduced sun damage due to its antioxidant activity.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Another recent study suggest the role of wogonin, a flavonoid present in the Scutellaria root extract as therapeutic agent for IgE and IL-5 mediated allergic disorders such as atopic dermatitis.

Who can use Scutellaria baicalensis root extract?

Scutellaria baicalensis root extract is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin and skin of colour, but do make sure to conduct a test patch to see if you are allergic to this extract.