Scutellaria baicalensis Perennial to Zone 4. Beautiful little perennial with myriad small violet monkshood-shaped blooms on a 1–2' subshrub. Looks like a shiny rosemary with slender ovate leaves. A definite candidate for the rock garden, it tolerates drought and grows best in light well-drained soil. Important as the Chinese herb huang qin, 3–4 year roots are dried and used as a bitter cooling sedative that lowers fever, blood pressure and cholesterol levels while stimulating the liver; also used to stop bleeding. To encourage the roots’ optimal medicinal powers, pinch buds and don’t let flowers bloom. About 250 seeds/g. ①BACK!
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neanderthals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
Culture: Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica.
Using herbs: Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year. To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.