China was one of the first countries to have a medical culture. Compared to Western medicine, the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) takes a holistic approach. TCM offers an approach to health that covers all angles of your life—herbal medicine, diet, acupuncture, exercise, and massage.
In the West, it’s clear that traditional Chinese medicine has burst in popularity. Why? When Western medicine fails to treat people and their conditions, they turn to unconventional remedies. And with great reason — With roots dating back nearly 2,500 years to ancient China, traditional Chinese medicine has really stood the test of time. Although doctors don’t recommend TCM, now proof is stacking up in favor of these ancient remedies.
Let’s take a look at one TCM remedy: the skullcap.
What is Scutellaria Baicalensis?
The Chinese baikal skullcap, Scutellaria baicalensis — otherwise known in Chinese medicine as Huang-Qin, is usually used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat infections, allergies, cancer, headaches, inflammation, fever, lung and liver issues.
This perennial grows to a height of 0.3 meters and a width of 0.3 meters. It has narrow, single stems with many 2.5 centimeter bluish-purple flowers. The plant is anchored by a skinless, yellow root.
How the Skullcap Cures Cancer With Its Flavones
A study, led by Professor Cathie Martin of the John Innes Centre, shows that the skullcap has promise in treating fatal conditions. The new research shows that taking the skullcap daily is effective in treating a major killer: cancer.
Previous research on cells cultured have shown that certain compounds found in the roots of the skullcap, called flavones, not only have beneficial antiviral and antioxidant effects, but can also kill human cancers while leaving healthy cells unharmed. In live animal tests, these flavones have also halted tumor growth, offering hope that they may one day lead to effective cancer treatments — or even cures.
Since these findings have come to light researchers have questioned whether they’ve come across the next big breakthrough in cancer treatment.
Until recently, they’ve struggled to fully understand what gives the skullcap its cancer-killing components, because they’re so distinct. The answer might be their flavones: As a group of compounds, the flavones are relatively well understood. But the beneficial flavones found in Huang-Qin roots, such as wogonin and baicalin, are different. Chemically, they’re missing a hydroxyl group common in flavones, leaving scientists scratching their heads as to how they were made in the plant.
“We believe that this biosynthetic pathway has evolved relatively recently in Scutellaria roots, diverging from the classical pathway that produces flavones in leaves and flowers, specifically to produce chrysin and its derived flavones,” said Professor Martin. The final goal of their research is to produce large quantities of the flavones to continue studying their potential medicinal uses.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been aware of the health-giving properties of the Chinese skullcap for centuries. Now scientists have proven it can cure cancer. If you were iffy about it before, now is the time to add the skullcap to your supplement routine. After all, besides fighting cancer, TCM says the Chinese skullcap helps fight infections, allergies, headaches, inflammation, fever, lung and liver issues too!