Historical note Baical skullcap is a TCM herb used to clear 'heat and dry dampness'. Diseases with heat are associated with symptoms such as fever, irritability, thirst, cough and expectoration of thick, yellow sputum. Damp diseases may be associated with diarrhoea, a feeling of heaviness of the chest and painful urination (Bensky & Gamble 1 986). From a modern perspective this suggests that baical may be useful for infection and inflammation of the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems. Scientific investigations have indeed shown that baical skullcap and its constituents have antibacterial, antiviral, antiinflammatory, hepatoprotective and diuretic actions (Zhang etal 2001).
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