Oroxylin A: Potent Anti-Cancer Flavonoid from the Skullcap Plant (Scutellariae)

The flavonoids are chemical compounds of the polyphenol family that are widely distributed within the plant kingdom. The flavonoids represent one of the largest classes of bioactive phytochemicals whose activitites have been shown to exhibit clinical benefit in humans with many showing promise as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and/or anti-cancer agents. In the realm of Chinese herbal medicine there are several hundred different plant species that have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Most, if not, all of these plant species have been shown to contain phytochemicals of the flavonoid family. The most common flavonoids are the flavones, flavanones and flavonols. Read more of the details on the antioxidant properties of the flavonoids in my Supplement Science website:


Numerous research papers have been written regarding studies on the potential verifiable health benefits of the consumption of the roots or extracts of the roots of plants of the skullcap family such as Scutellaria baicalensis. The flavonoid, oroxylin A (5′7-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-2phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one), is the major bioactive compound that can be extracted from the dried roots of Scutellaria baicalensis. The dried roots of skullcap is called Scutellaria radix. Other important compounds in skullcaps include baicalein, wogonin, baicalin, wogonoside and oroxyloside A.

There are numerous peer-reviewed reports that attest to the pharmacological benefits of oroxylin A including its potential as an anti-cancer agent which is primarily exerted through the activation the programmed cell death pathway (apoptosis). Oroxylin A has also been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulation, and neuroprotective agent.

A recent review in the journal Phytotherapy Research does an excellent job of highlighting the scientifically verifiable actions of oroxylin A in the anti-cancer arena.

It is clear from the literature that there is great potential for the health benefits of consuming a tea prepared from plants of the skullcap family.


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