Did you know there is an herb that might have the same UVB-blocking properties as the sunscreen in your medicine cabinet? The scientific name of the ancient plant is Scutellaria, known as Skullcap root in English-speaking nations. Its common name is due to the shape of the base of the flowers that the plant produces, as they resemble medieval helmets, or “skullcaps”. They are also known as mad dog weed, hoodwart, hooded willow herb, and American skullcap, among dozens of others in the United States and other countries.
Skullcap root has been used in traditional medicine all over the world, including China, India, Korea, Japan, European countries, and among the Indigenous populations of North America. Over centuries it has been used in alternative medicine as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent, sedative, fever reducer, and strong tonic. It had also been used to alleviate anxiety, insomnia, and topically for a range of skin ailments.
This last use, skin ailments, has become of great interest to scientists, because it was believed that skullcap root could be used to protect the skin from sunburns.
There are several studies that put this use to the test. One study, carried out by scientists at Changchun University of Traditional Medicine in China, found that it can help to reflect radiation, thus reducing damage of skin cells from UVA and UVB radiation. It also had an anti-inflammatory effect, which helps to alleviate cell aging – a side effect of UVA and UVB over-exposure.
Another study examined the effect of skullcap root immediately after UVA and UVB exposure, and cells were found to preserve their vitality between 8%-38% with treatment with skullcap root.
The antioxidant found in certain strains of skullcap root, called baicalin, is thought to be one of the active elements in the herb. One study examined the specific effect of baicalin on the negative effects of UVA radiation. Skin cultures were exposed to baicalin, and then to UV radiation, and found that the skin cells were effectively protected from radiation, and may help regulate genes related to aging.
At Balance Blends, we have harnessed the power of scientifically-backed, ancient health knowledge, just like the use of skullcap root for skin health. Along with other herbs and nutrients like gardenia, lian qiao, violet, vitamin B5 and L-Carnitine, Balance Blends Acne-Be-Gone natural acne remedy helps to support overall skin health to make you look and feel better about your skin.