Scute (Radix Scutellariae; Huang Qin)


TCM Herbal Story


Scute (Radix Scutellariae; Huang Qin)


Long ago, Mt. Qiao in Huai Bei was filled with various types of herbs. Each spring, the mountain was filled with trees, herbs, and flowers, creating a pleasant sight.  In autumn, these herbs were ready for harvest, and those went in mountain looking for herbs never left empty handed.


Among all the herbs growing in Mt. Qiao, Pseudostellaria and Scute were the most precious.  According to legend, Pseudostellaria and Scute were once two closely bounded girls that had known each other since childhood.  After they had grown up, both of them started to practice medicine and treat patients.  As Psedostellaria had grown into a beautiful and kind young lady, she was loved by many people, especially the elders.  They usually went to her to seek for medical advices when feeling sick.


Seeing that Psedostellaria had becoming more and more popular among people, Scute began to pull herself away from Pseudostellaria, and even started to hate her.  Although Psedostellaria felt the change of attitude from Scute, she still treated her like a sister, and hoped that their relationship would become the same again someday.


However, as their relationship worsened, Psudostellaria felt very upset and understood that she was the reason that made Scute unhappy.  She decided to move to Ning Xia, thinking there would also have patients that required medical attention.  She told her decision to Scute and asked her to keep it a secret, or they might not able to see each other again.


After Psudostellaria moved to Ning Xia, Scute received an increasing number of patients.  She no longer felt left out and believed that the presence of Psudostellaria was the main cause for her isolation.  Therefore, she started to spread the news of Psudostellaria’s new location, and the words eventually traveled Ning Xia.  In order to prevent Psudostellaria from moving back, people in Ning Xia guarded her everyday.


Although Scute was thrilled to have Psudostellaria gone at first, she began to feel lonely and regret how she treated Psudostellaria after a while.  Her patients were unable to forgive her after knowing what had happened, and eventually, her heart turned into black, filling with sorrow and bitterness.


Scute is the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Gerogi. Its properties are bitter and cold. It enters through the gallbladder, large intestine, lung, and stomach.



Actions & Indications:

  • Clears heat and drains fire, especially from the upper burner
  • Clears heat and dries dampness
  • Clears heat and stops bleeding
  • Clears heat and calms the fetus
  • Sedates ascendant Liver yang


Caution & Contradiction

  • Contraindicated in cases of heat from deficiency in the Lungs, cold diarrhea or any other condition with cold in the middle burner, and restless fetus due to cold in the blood.
  • This herb counteracts Cortex Moutan radicis (mu dan pi) and Rhizoma et Radix Veratri (li lu).


The original article is from Brion Research Institute, translated by Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

For Chinese/original version, please go to:

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