Chinese Skullcap and Cancer

There is no known cure for cancer and this is something that needs to be made clear. Just because you read about an herb being used for cancer treatment in a medical tradition does not mean that it will cure cancer.

Instead, information for insight is simply being provided so that one can see how an herb may play a role or offer potential treatments in the future.

What is Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) aims to restore the natural balance of organs and systems in the body in order for the body to heal itself. As it turns out, the body has incredible healing ability it is is just that it will get out of balance and lose this ability.


Mainly through the use of herbs, TCM will help to restore balance and promote healing of a variety of different diseases including cancer. Understand that does not necessarily mean that TCM holds the cure for cancer. It is simply a good way to deal with all diseases.

What is Chinese Skullcap?

The Western variety of this plant, skullcap, is used to treat nervous system problems such as insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety. It has a close relative in China called skullcap also but it usually referred to as “Chinese Skullcap” and it has some different actions.

In Chinese medicine, it is known as “Huang Qin” and it is used to treat fevers, liver, and lung problems. All of these are related to what is referred to in Western medicine as “inflammation.”

It is just that, in the Chinese model, inflammation is seen as a liver and lung problem. It ultimately does not matter how it is seen. The fact of the matter is that Chines Skullcap works.

What is in the Plant?

There are special compounds in Chinese Skullcap and they are termed as “flavones.” These flavones have the ability to stop inflammation caused by a certain enzyme in the body. As it turns out, the start of all cancer is based in inflammation.

The flavones in the plant have the ability to stop an enzyme known now as COX 2 (cyclo-oxygenase 2). This enzyme usually causes inflammation to cascade out of control, damaging many other cell walls in the process. With enough inflammation in an area, you get extensive cell damage and eventually cancer.

How Can Chinese Skullcap Help?

Again, do not try to use one herb to stop cancer. That is not the intention at all. Instead, you will do well to understand that Chinese Skullcap is under research for its flavone content and that those flavones may play a role in fighting cancer.

It is also important for you to understand that the herb is never used alone in Chinese medicine. It is not at all like Western pharmaceuticals. In fact, it is used in combinations with other herbs depending on the constitution and symptoms of the person being treated.

As an overall remedy, Chinese Skullcap is great for abating fevers and helping with joint and bone pain. It acts as an anti-inflammatory much like aspirin does.