March 22, 2017



Natural Standard Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Related Terms

  • Astragalus, Astragalus membranaceus, BaikalChinese herbal formula, Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, Chinese skullcap, Epimedium sagittatum, ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba, fang feng, horny goat weed, Japanese apricot, Ledebouriella divaricata, Prunus mume, schizandra, Schizandra chinensis, Scutellaria baicalensis, wu wei tzu, yin yang huo.


  • Biminne is a Chinese herbal formula that consists of 11 different ingredients. Some of the active ingredients include extracts of Scutellaria baicalensis (Baikal or Chinese skullcap), Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo), Epimedium sagittatum (yin yang huo or horny goat weed), Schizandra chinensis (wu wei tzu or schizandra), pulp of Prunus Mume (Japanese apricot), Ledebouriella divaricata (Fang feng),and Astragalus membranaceus (astragalus).

  • Biminne has been used to treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as sneezing, runny/itchy/blocked nose, and itchy eyes. Biminne capsules are typically taken whenever allergic symptoms occur during the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis. Biminne capsules are typically taken a few weeks before autumn or spring for seasonal allergic rhinitis to reduce seasonal attack of hay fever.

  • Astragalus: Astragalus products are derived from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus or related species, which are native to China. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, astragalus is commonly found in mixtures with other herbs, and is used in the treatment of numerous ailments, including diseases of the heart, liver, kidney, and TCM organ systems. In Western medicine, astragalus is thought to possess properties to ward off cancer, viral infections, and immune system disorders. Western herbalists began using astragalus in the 1800s as an ingredient in various tonics. The use of astragalus became popular in the 1980s based on theories about anti-cancer properties, although these proposed effects have not been clearly demonstrated in reliable human studies.

  • Chinese skullcap: This herb is native to China and Russia. The root is said to possess medicinal properties, and is used in various Asian formulas to treat impaired brain function, headaches, epilepsy, hepatitis, infections, and cancer. Baicalin, one chemical found in Baikal scullcap, is known to be anti-inflammatory. Animal studies have shown that Chinese skullcap may be effective against diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • Fang feng: This herb is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds. It also said to alleviate involuntary muscle spasms.

  • Ginkgo: Ginkgo biloba has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Today, it is one of the top selling herbs in the United States. Ginkgo is used for the treatment of numerous conditions, many which are under scientific investigation. Available evidence demonstrates ginkgo's efficacy in the management of intermittent claudication, Alzheimer's/multi-infarct dementia, and "cerebral insufficiency" (a syndrome thought to be secondary to atherosclerotic disease, characterized by impaired concentration, confusion, decreased physical performance, fatigue, headache, dizziness, depression, and anxiety). Although not definitive, there is promising early evidence favoring use of ginkgo for memory enhancement in healthy subjects, altitude (mountain) sickness, symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and reduction of chemotherapy-induced end-organ vascular damage.

  • Japanese apricot: The fruit of this tree grows in sparsely wooded areas of East China and Korea. The fruit has a very sour taste, but it is rendered palatable when pickled. The fruit is widely known in its native countries to possess strong anti-bacterial qualities. The seeds are very poisonous and should never be consumed.

  • Schizandra: This plant is a creeping vine native to North China. In traditional Chinese medicine, schizandra is used as an astringent to dry runny noses and stop diarrhea. This herb has been the subject of much research in China for its potential to support the liver. This herb does not appear to work in larger doses.

  • Horny goat weed: This herb grows across East Asia. It has been used alone or in combination with rehmannia to treat impotence and frequent urination; as its colloquial name implies, it is also used as an aphrodisiac. It is also used to treat rheumatic conditions, back pain, and muscle spasms. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this herb has a "drying" effect.


  • Biminne may be effective in the management of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) symptoms. In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, 58 people with allergic rhinitis were given either placebo or biminne. Use of biminne produced significant improvements in some symptoms of allergic rhinitis, while other symptoms showed a trend toward improvement that was not statistically significant. A follow-up evaluation suggested that the results persisted for a year after treatment was stopped. More well-designed clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings.

Author Information

  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).


Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Coppes MJ, Anderson RA, Egeler RM, and et al. Alternative therapies for the treatment of childhood cancer. N.Engl.J Med 9-17-1998;339(12):846-847. View Abstract

  2. Hu GR, et al. The Chinese herbal formulation Biminne in management of perennial allergic rhinitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-week clinical trial. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2002; 88: 478-487. View Abstract

  3. Huang KC. The Pharmacology of Chinese Herbs, 2nd ed. New York: CRC Press; 1999.

  4. Ishimaru K, Nishikawa K, Omoto T, et al. Two flavone 2'-glucosides from Scutellaria baicalensis. Phytochemistry 1995;40(1):279-281. View Abstract

  5. Jeong JT, Moon JH, Park KH, et al. Isolation and characterization of a new compound from Prunus mume fruit that inhibits cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Mar 22;54(6):2123-8. View Abstract

  6. Kang BY, Chung SW, Kim SH, et al. Involvement of nuclear factor-kappaB in the inhibition of interleukin-12 production from mouse macrophages by baicalein, a flavonoid in Scutellaria baicalensis. Planta Med 2003;69(8):687-691. View Abstract

  7. Kim HM, Moon EJ, Li E, et al. The nitric oxide-producing activities of Scutellaria baicalensis. Toxicology 7-15-1999;135(2-3):109-115. View Abstract

  8. Kormosh N, Laktionov K, Antoshechkina M. Effect of a combination of extract from several plants on cell-mediated and humoral immunity of patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Phytother Res. 2006 May;20(5):424-5. View Abstract

  9. Li HB, Jiang Y, Chen F. Separation methods used for Scutellaria baicalensis active components. J Chromatogr.B Analyt.Technol.Biomed.Life Sci 12-5-2004;812(1-2):277-290. View Abstract

  10. Martin J, Dusek J. [The Baikal scullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi)--a potential source of new drugs]. Ceska.Slov.Farm. 2002;51(6):277-283. View Abstract

  11. Solomon PR, Adams F, Silver A, et al. Ginkgo for memory enhancement: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 8-21-2002;288(7):835-840. View Abstract

  12. Wang S, Zheng Z, Weng Y, et al. Angiogenesis and anti-angiogenesis activity of Chinese medicinal herbal extracts.Life Sci. 2004 Apr 2;74(20):2467-78. View Abstract

  13. Wheatley D. Triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba in sexual dysfunction due to antidepressant drugs. Hum.Psychopharmacol. 2004;19(8):545-548. View Abstract

Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


March 22, 2017