Baikal Skullcap Health Benefits
Baikal skullcap health benefits include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and an ability to fight prostate cancer. Traditionally, Baikal skullcap has been taken to treat fever, gastrointestinal disorders, liver problems, and respiratory infections.
Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) is a Chinese herbal medicine valued for centuries for its various healing powers. Today, some of the attention has been focused on its use in prostate cancer.
A New York University study explored the anticancer activity of skullcap in two human prostate cancer cell lines. One cell line was androgen (hormone) dependent and the other one was not. Baikal skullcap inhibited cancer cell growth in both cell lines. In addition, baikal skullcap health benefits were seen in animal studies. In those experiments, use of baikal skullcap demonstrated a 50 percent reduction in tumor volume after 7 weeks of treatment with the herb. The authors concluded that baikal skullcap health benefits may include potential as a new anticancer agent for treating prostate cancer. (Ye 2007)
In a study conducted at the University of Washington in Seattle, the researchers identified four compounds in the herb capable of inhibiting the spread of prostate cancer cells. They also determined that these four factors work by inhibiting the activity of a specific pathway. Based on these findings, the authors concluded that more investigation should be done to determine whether baikal skullcap health benefits may include possible use in treating prostate cancer. (Bonham 2005)
Baikal skullcap supplements may cause drowsiness. People with diabetes may experience changes in blood sugar levels if they take baikal skullcap. (WebMD) If you want to explore baikal skullcap health benefits, consult your healthcare provider before starting supplementation.
Bonham M et al. Characterization of chemical constituents in Scutellaria baicalensis with antiandrogenic and growth-inhibitory activities toward prostate carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res 2005 May 15; 11(10): 3905-12
Ye F et al. Molecular mechanism of anti-prostate cancer activity of Scutellaria baicalensis extract. Nutr Cancer 2007; 57(1): 100-10