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Baicalin, wobogin, and baicalein appear to have a low order of toxicity, though comprehensive safety studies have not been performed. There have been case reports of liver injury associated with use of skullcap products, but these may have been due to adulteration by the herb germander.
One animal study found worrisome evidence that baicalin might markedly reduce the absorption of drug cyclosporine , used to prevent organ transplant rejection. 1 Another study found that baicalin might reduce blood levels of drugs in the statin family , used to improve cholesterol profile. 2 Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
- Cyclosporine : Do not use Chinese skullcap or its constituents.
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs in the statin family : Use of Chinese skullcap might reduce its effectiveness.
- Lai MY, Hsiu SL, Hou YC, et al. Significant decrease of cyclosporine bioavailability in rats caused by a decoction of the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis. Planta Med. 2004;70:132-137.
- Fan L, Zhang W, Guo D, Tan ZR, Xu P, Li Q, Liu YZ, Zhang L, He TY, Hu DL, Wang D, Zhou HH. The effect of herbal medicine baicalin on pharmacokinetics of rosuvastatin, substrate of organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 83(3):471-6.
University of Maryland Medical Center. Skullcap. Accessed July 14, 2010 from http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/skullcap-000273.htm