Baicalin vs Baicalein – What’s the Difference? - LiftMode

Chinese Skullcap is a Traditional Chinese Medicine with a centuries-long history of use. [1] Recently, it has gained interest in the West due to its powerful relaxation and health-promoting properties. The key active compound in Skullcap is Baicalin, which is metabolized in your stomach into Baicalein.[2] This compound acts as a mild GABA-agonist and reduces signals from the central nervous system to assist with stress and calm.[3] It is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory with several secondary health benefits. Here, we discuss the difference between Baicalin and Baicalein to help you decide which is best!

Baicalin vs Baicalein Benefits

Reduces stress and promotes relaxation

First and foremost, the most important benefit of both Baicalin and Baicalein is their remarkable ability to reduce stress and to promote relaxation.[4] Both of these compounds bind to GABA receptors in your brain to reduce signals from the central nervous system – in a similar way to many other anti-stress compounds that are available over the counter or by prescription.[5] Most people who use Baicalin or Baicalein do so because they’re looking for a natural alternative to commercially available stress-relief or sleep aid compounds. The best thing about Baicalin and Baicalein is that, although they are highly effective in their benefits, their side effects and potential for abuse are way lower than for almost any other stress-reducing compound!    

Health-Promoting Benefits

Apart from their stress-reducing and relaxation-promoting benefits, Baicalin and Baicalein have a number of benefits for health, vitality, and well-being. When you take a Baicalin or Baicalein supplement, you will definitely notice that they produce the same benefits, overall. These benefits include: ★ Neuroprotection – protects nerve cells from stress and toxins.[6] ★ Learning capacity – may improve the ability to focus and learn.[7] ★ Protects the heart – supports a healthy circulatory system and supports healthy blood sugar levels.[8] [9] ★ Helps to reduce inflammation – both compounds are powerful anti-inflammatories [10] ★ Antioxidant – destroys dangerous ‘free-radical’ chemicals in the body [11] For a full description of these benefits, check out our Top Baicalin Benefits blog post.

Chemical Differences

Both compounds are flavones – a class of chemicals found in foods, and often with active effects in the human body.[12] Both are extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis plant – a herb with many uses in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Baicalin and Baicalein are chemically very similar – Baicalin is a flavone glycoside with an added chemical group (the glucuronide version of Baicalein).[13] When taken as a supplement or plant extract,  Baicalin is broken down into Baicalein in your stomach. Many people claim that Baicalein’s effects are stronger and more pronounced than those of Baicalin. These claims are not without their merit – Baicalein offers a more readily available version of the compound (it doesn’t need to be metabolized in your gut to become active). The drawback is that the production process to obtain pure Baicalein is more difficult than extracting Baicalin, so the former is a little heavier on the wallet. Another difference between the two is that Baicalein is soluble in lipids (fats) while Baicalin is mildly soluble in water.[14] The image below shows the structural differences between these two compounds.  

Differences in Effects - Baicalin vs Baicalein

As we mentioned before, both of these compounds create the same effects on the human body. However, Baicalein is said to have better bioavailability than Baicalin, and its effects are often said to be more pronounced (although this hasn’t been proven in clinical studies). 

Here’s what people are saying about Baicalin (reviews of LiftMode products):

★ “I take this product 2 times a day on my work days, I feel like it smooths out my coffee jitters and keeps the stress from working in customer service from even manifesting; Highly recommend it and its cheap.” – David.
★ “I find that Baicalin is a very good option for when cycling off of stronger gabaergics. There is research available about its effects as a positive allosteric modulator on Gaba A receptors. I find it to be helpful toward anxiety in a mild kind of way. In my opinion, it is worth having a jar around.”- Dustin.
★ “I purchased this as something to use when I was cycling off of Phenibut FAA and was not disappointed. It’s not the same but it’s very close in its ability to offer a calm relaxed mind set. Also is like half the price of FAA and so far doesn’t seem to have any of the negative side effects.” – Zachary
★ “I discerned a clear perceptibly elevated mood, perhaps owing to the GABA-A action. It was certainly not what I'd call stimulating, but it's possible that the mild disinhibiting effects lend themselves to greater energy expenditure. Because it is mild in its effect, in my experience, I find it to be a useful adjunct to caffeine as part of a pre-workout supplement regimen.” – Brendon

Here's what people are saying about Baicalein (reviews of LiftMode products):

★ “Baicalin was an old favourite of mine, though I haven’t had it in a few years. I saw this, read its description and decided to give it a shot. This stuff is STRONG. Be careful with it. The serving size was 300mg but that resulted in too much difficulty waking up the next morning. A lighter dose, anywhere from 150-225mg, is far more useful to me, especially when taking it during the day. The very first time I took it, I recall thinking as it set in that, wow... “this appears to be nature’s [removed]. Great stuff, will order again without question.” – James.
★ “This product is definitely stronger than baicalin. I've used both sublingually and baicalein is stronger mg for mg. I find it gives a relaxing effect as well as some mild pain relief. The only drawback for myself is that it sometimes gives me headaches.” – Djones.

Recommended Usage

The recommended serving sizes for these products differ. For Baicalein, the serving size is 250 – 300 mg taken up to three times per day. For Baicalin, the serving size is 200 – 400 mg, taken up to three times per day.   For both products, it is recommended to use a measuring scale with a 10 mg (0.01 gram) accuracy or greater for reliable measurements. Both supplements can be taken in a capsule form by purchasing Pullulan capsules. Do not exceed the recommended serving size for either of these products! Although side effects are rare and generally mild, larger serving sizes increase your chances of experiencing negative effects. For a list of potential side effects, check out our Baicalin side effects post.

Medical Disclaimer

Not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or ailment. Please read and fully understand the potential adverse effects before using this product. These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not written by a medical professional. Please consult your doctor before using any supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions.


B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Researched & written by Tristan and verified by the Research Team

Supporting Citations

[1] Zhao, Q., Chen, X. Y., & Martin, C. (2016). Scutellaria baicalensis, the golden herb from the garden of Chinese medicinal plants. Science bulletin61(18), 1391–1398. doi:10.1007/s11434-016-1136-5 [2] Chen, H., Gao, Y., Wu, J., Chen, Y., Chen, B., Hu, J., & Zhou, J. (2014). Exploring therapeutic potentials of baicalin and its aglycone baicalein for hematological malignancies. Cancer letters354(1), 5–11. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2014.08.003 [3] Wang, F., Xu, Z., Ren, L., Tsang, S. Y., & Xue, H. (2008). GABAA receptor subtype selectivity underlying selective anxiolytic effect of baicalin. Neuropharmacology, 55(7), 1231–1237. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2008.07.040 [4] Xu, Z., Wang, F., Tsang, S., Ho, K., Zheng, H., Yuen, C., … Xue, H. (2006). Anxiolytic-Like Effect of Baicalin and its Additivity with other Anxiolytics. Planta Medica, 72(02), 189–192. doi:10.1055/s-2005-873193 [5] Awad, R., Arnason, J. T., Trudeau, V., Bergeron, C., Budzinski, J. W., Foster, B. C., & Merali, Z. (2003). Phytochemical and biological analysis of Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L.): A medicinal plant with anxiolytic properties. Phytomedicine, 10(8), 640–649. doi:10.1078/0944-7113-00374 [6] Sowndhararajan, K., Deepa, P., Kim, M., Park, S. J., & Kim, S. (2018). Neuroprotective and Cognitive Enhancement Potentials of Baicalin: A Review. Brain sciences8(6), 104. doi:10.3390/brainsci8060104 [7] Duan, D., Wang, K., Zhou, Y., Qin, X., Gao, L., & Du, G. (2017). Baicalein Exerts Beneficial Effects in d-Galactose-Induced Aging Rats Through Attenuation of Inflammation and Metabolic Dysfunction. Rejuvenation Research, 20(6), 506–516. doi:10.1089/rej.2017.1919 [8] Ku, S. K., & Bae, J. S. (2015). Baicalin, baicalein and wogonin inhibits high glucose-induced vascular inflammation in vitro and in vivo. BMB reports48(9), 519–524. doi:10.5483/BMBRep.2015.48.9.017 [9] Fu, Y., Luo, J., Jia, Z., Zhen, W., Zhou, K., Gilbert, E., & Liu, D. (2014). Baicalein Protects against Type 2 Diabetes via Promoting Islet β-Cell Function in Obese Diabetic Mice. International journal of endocrinology2014, 846742. doi:10.1155/2014/846742 [10] Hang, Y., Qin, X., Ren, T., & Cao, J. (2018). Baicalin reduces blood lipids and inflammation in patients with coronary artery disease and rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lipids in Health and Disease, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12944-018-0797-2 [11] Shieh, D. E., Liu, L. T., Lin, C. C. (2000). Antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects of baicalein, baicalin and wogonin. Anticancer Res, 20(5A):2861-5. PubMed PMID: 11062694. [12] Ming, J., Zhuoneng, L., & Guangxun, Z. (2018). Protective role of flavonoid baicalin from Scutellaria baicalensis in periodontal disease pathogenesis: A literature review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 38, 11–18. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.03.010 [13] Akao, T., Kawabata, K., Yanagisawa, E., Ishihara, K., Mizuhara, Y., Wakui, Y., Sakashita, Y., Kobashi, K. (2000). Baicalin, the predominant flavone glucuronide of scutellariae radix, is absorbed from the rat gastrointestinal tract as the aglycone and restored to its original form. J Pharm Pharmacol. 52(12):1563-8. PubMed PMID: 11197087. [14] Chen, H., Gao, Y., Wu, J., Chen, Y., Chen, B., Hu, J., & Zhou, J. (2014). Exploring therapeutic potentials of baicalin and its aglycone baicalein for hematological malignancies. Cancer letters354(1), 5–11. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2014.08.003    

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