Scientific Name: Scutellaria laterflora also S baicalensis
Other Names: helmetflower, hoodwort, mad-dog weed
Skullcap is a member of the mint family and a native of North America, where it thrives on moist woodlands. As its name implies, the flower of this plant resembles a cap.
The aboveground parts of skullcap collected during the blooming season (August and September) are dried and used as herb. It is, however, the dried root of that is used medicinally in China.
Active Ingredients: Scutellaria species contains a number of flavonoid glycosides, including scutellarein, isoscutellarein, wogonin, and baicalin.
Health Benefits of Skullcap Herb:
- This herb is famous for its calming effect on the body. It is used to relieve menstrual cramps, insomnia, nervous tension, and muscle pain due to stress.
- Skullcap is a traditional medicine for rabies.
- It said that skullcap soothes excessive sexual desires.
- Help in the treatment of viral hepatitis.
How to Prepare and Use Skullcap Tea and Extract: Use 1 tsp of dried herb in 1 cup hot water for a home brewed tea. Drink 1 cup daily. You can also mix 3 to 12 drops extract in liquid daily.
Recommended Dose: No standard dose of skullcap has been established in the United States and Europe. In China, skullcap is available in 250 mg tablets.
Side Effects of Skullcap:
- Swallowing skullcap at normal doses does not generally result in serious side effects. Injection of skullcap extracts, however, can cause fever, muscle pain, and lowered leukocyte count.
- In several instances, people taking skullcap have experienced liver damage. Experts think that it may be due to adulteration with another herb.
- This herb is said to be dangerous in overdose
- In US market, it is difficult to determine if the supplement you have purchased actually contains the “real skullcap herb”. Apparently adulteration is common, and one plant Teucrium, often substituted for skullcap appears to be harmful to the liver.