Scutellaria barbata

Scutellaria barbata

Scutellaria barbata

Common Names

  • Barbat skullcap
  • Ban Zhi Lian
  • Banjiryun

For Patients & Caregivers

Scutellaria barbata has been studied for its anticancer effects. More research is needed.
Scutellaria barbata is an herb found in Korea and southern China. It is used with other herbs in traditional Chinese medicine to treat bacterial infections, hepatitis, and tumors. Laboratory studies have shown S. barbata can limit the growth of cancer cells. It is also effective against some bacteria. Small studies show that S. barbata may benefit patients with advanced breast cancer. Further studies are needed.

  • Hepatitis
    There is no scientific evidence to support this use.
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
    Cell-based studies showed that S. barbata is effective, but data from human studies are lacking.
  • Bacterial Infections
    There is evidence from laboratory studies that supports this use.
  • Cancer treatment
    Several laboratory studies have shown that S. barbata has anticancer properties. Small studies report that it may have benefits in patients with advanced breast cancer.
  • You are allergic to S. barbata
  • You are pregnant

None reported

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For Healthcare Professionals

Scutellaria barbata

Scutellaria barbata is a perennial herb prevalent in Korea and southern China. It is used along with other herbs in traditional Chinese medicine to treat bacterial infections, hepatitis, tumors, and as a diuretic. It should not be confused with Scutellaria baicalensis.

Data from in vitro studies suggest that S. barbata has antibacterial (1), antimutagenic (2), and anticancer (3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(10)(11)(12) properties. The flavonoid components are thought responsible for the anticancer activity. Small studies of S. barbata show that it is safe and may benefit patients with advanced breast cancer (13)(14). Further research is needed.

  • Bacterial Infections
  • Cancer treatment
  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma

In vitro studies have shown that Scutellaria barbata exerts anticancer effects via caspase-dependent apoptosis (6)(7)(8), and by downregulating Bcl-2 protein that is expressed by tumor cells (11). S.barbata also increased macrophage function in a murine carcinoma cell line that resulted in inhibition of tumor growth (3). It was shown to affect the metabolism of mutagenic compounds such as benzopyrene, thereby reducing their ability to bind DNA (2).

  • Sensitivity to Scutellaria barbata
  • Pregnancy

None reported


  1. Chen JK, Chen TT. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, 2nd ed. California: Art of Medicine Press; 2004.

  2. Yu J, Liu H, Lei J, et al. Antitumor activity of chloroform fraction of Scutellaria barbata and its active constituents. Phytother Res. 2007 Sep;21(9):817-22.

  3. Ozmen A, Madlener S, Bauer S, et al. In vitro anti-leukemic activity of the ethno-pharmacological plant Scutellaria orientalis ssp. carica endemic to western Turkey. Phytomedicine. 2009 Jul 1. [Epub ahead of print].

  4. Rugo H, Shtivelman E, Perez A, et al. Phase I trial and antitumor effects of BZL101 for patients with advanced breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007 Sep;105(1):17-28. Epub 2006 Nov 17.

  5. Perez AT, Arun B, Tripathy D, et al. A phase 1B dose escalation trial of Scutellaria barbata (BZL101) for patients with metastatic breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Feb;120(1):111-8.

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