Editor's Note
The results of this study show that  Scutellaria barbata D. Don ( S. barbata)  extracts exhibited anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antitumor, and other pharmacological activities. In addition, flavonoids, including wogonin, baicalein, apigenin, naringenin, and scutellarin, were identified as the key to quality control. The heat-clearing effects of  S. barbata  could be attributed to its anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective activities, whereas its detoxifying effects might be due to the anti-microbial functions of neo-clerodane diterpenoids and flavones.  S. barbata may display anti-tumor effects and through active ingredient analysis, neo-clerodane diterpenoids are suggested to be its representative compounds.
Ethnopharmacological relevance

Scutellaria barbata  D. Don ( S. barbata ) is a well-known perennial herb that is used in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine. In China, it is known as  Ban Zhi Lian , while in Korea, it is known as  Banjiryun . In the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) system,  S. barbata  has heat-clearing and detoxifying properties (Qingre Jiedu in Chinese).

Aim of the review

To provide a systematic review on current multifaceted understanding of  S. barbata , with particular emphasis on the correlation between its traditional applications and pharmacological activities.

Materials and methods

All available  S. barbata -related information from internet databases, including PubMed, Science Direct, Elsevier, China National Knowledge Internet, and Google Scholar (up to October 2018) were searched. Additional information was gathered from classical books on Chinese Herbals, Chinese Pharmacopoeia, and so on.

Results

In the TCM system,  S. barbata  is mainly prescribed for its heat-clearing and detoxifying effects. More than 203 compounds have been isolated and identified from this herb, with neo-clerodane diterpenoids and flavonoids as the main compounds. Most neo-clerodanes have been demonstrated to have cytotoxic effects against different cancer cell types  in vitro . The  S. barbata  extracts exhibited anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antitumor, and other pharmacological activities. To add, flavonoids, including wogonin, baicalein, apigenin, naringenin, and scutellarin, were identified as the key to quality control.

Conclusions

The heat-clearing effects of  S. barbata  could be attributed to its anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective activities, whereas its detoxifying effects might be due to the anti-microbial functions of neo-clerodane diterpenoids and flavones.  S. barbata  may display anti-tumor effects and through active ingredient analysis, neo-clerodane diterpenoids are suggested to be its representative compounds. Overall, many pre-clinical studies have been conducted but very little concrete evidences are available on its specific effects, which are of therapeutic relevance.

Graphical abstract
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