In 1995, an association between lower levels of melatonin and migraine headaches was reported.The researchers who conducted this study wondered if herbal products used for treating insomnia, depression, migraine, and other nervous system conditions might also contain melatonin [Murch et al., 1997].
They began by testing the Canadian fewerfew migraine remedy Tanacet® and leaf samples of what they called „green leaf“ and „gold leaf“ feverfew Tanacetum parthenium [L.] Schultz-Bip., Asteraceae, in addition to flower and leaf samples of St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L., Clusiaceae unidentified plant parts from skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L., Lamiaceae), and unidentified plant parts from the calming Chinese plant Huang-qin (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi., Lamiaceae). No mention was made of the analytical method used to detect melatonin. All of the compounds tested contained melatonin.
Huang-qin yielded the highest concentration of melatonin (7.11m/g), followed by St. John’s wort flowers (4.39 mg/g) and then fresh „green leaf“ feverfew (2.45 m g/g). The product Tanacet® contained little (0.57 mg/g), and the lowest content of all was found in skullcap (0.09 mg/g).
The authors of the review concluded that „Melatonin in plant tissues may explain ancedotal evidence of physiological effects, but also emphasises the need for complete biochemical characterisation of medicinal herbs.“ On the other hand, ethnobotanist James Duke, PhD estimates that „it would take pounds of material to provide an effective dose of 3 mg melatonin“ based on the levels of melatonin reported in this study. According to Duke, in the case of S. baicalensis (the richest reported source of melatonin), more than 60 g of plant material would have to be consumed to achieve a 0.3 mg dose of melatonin.
Lancet. 1997 Nov 29;350(9091):1598-9.Melatonin in feverfew and other medicinal plants.
Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi., Lamiaceae ,PZN 4360681, 100g ca.17 €
Wurzeln, 20 Minuten kochen, 6 to 15 g huang qin 黃芩 by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu
1. effects on digestive system: alcohol extract of huang qin or its ingredient baicalin can promote secretion of bile but another ingredient wogonin does not have this effect. Baicalein can promote movements of extra body intestines of rabbits but wogonin does not have this effect. Huang qin possesses a mild diarrhea effect.
2. anti – histamine effect: alkaloids of huang qin possesses antihistamine effect. It can inhibit edema of rats caused by carrageenin.
3. anti allergenic effect: alcohol extract of huang qin inhibits acute asthma attack and allergenic eczema. Baicalein has anti-toxin effect, inhibits permeability of capillaries and anti acetylcholine and anti anaphylaxis effects.
4. broad spectrum antibiotic effect
5. prevents atherosclerosis
Cautions: Not to use in case of pixu (spleen deficient) with weak digestion. Avoid using huang qin while on blood thinning medication.