Skullcap was used by Native Americans for rabies and to promote menstruation. SKULLCAP WAS CONSIDERED A SPECIFIC REMEDY FOR SOOTHING NERVOUSNESS, EXCITEMENT AND HYSTERIA BY ECLECTICS. It is characterised by dish-shaped seed pods that grow on only one side of the stem.
Botanical Name: Scutellaria lateriflora
Common name: Skullcap
Parts Used: Aerial parts harvested late in flowering period when seed pods have appeared
- baicalin, baicalein, chrysin and wogonin
- scutellarin, methoxyflavone, and catalpol
- Volatile oils / fixed oils – predominantly sesquiterpenes
- Minerals Fe, S, Ca, Mg P
- Amino Acids – GABA & glutamine
Cool, dry, bitter, slightly astringent
Tall and thin. They may be a ‘walking nervous breakdown’. Life in the fast lane.
Generally are ‘ideas’ people – intellectually bright and NEED TO BE STIMULATED. Will get agitated or irritable if they can’t think of ideas or aren’t stimulated. Need constant ‘new & different’ things going on.
May have shaken hands. Trouble regulating adrenaline & noradrenaline. Eyelid may droop. May get headaches/migraines. EXTREME ADRENAL RESPONSES. May use stimulants and downers to regulate this. (Hall) ‘Too smart for own good’.
Perfect herb for HYPERSENSITIVE individuals – i.e those that are overstimulated easily by the senses. Also those individuals sensitive to foods/allergies/intolerances etc.
Calms neuronal impulses.
“Skullcap is perhaps the most widely relevant nervine available to us in the material media” – David Hoffman, 1983
- Nervine tonic – Relaxing Nervine
- NS trophorestorative
- Sedative (Mild)
- Nervous tension
- Nervous exhaustion and debility
- Neurological conditions, neuralgia, tremor,
- Epilepsy – specific Grand mal seizures
- Nervous headache / migraine / tension headache
- Insomnia and restless sleep
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Teething pain for children
- Possible action of inhibiting histamine responses to food allergies
- EMOTIONAL – When someone has ‘high expectations of themselves — causing anxiety’ — monkey mind. Or ‘internal anxiety’ — someone who puts on a brave face but inside is anxious.
Calming in many Nervous Conditions – have a Tonic effect on central nervous system and indicated for nervous exhaustion. Helpful in cases of pre-menstrual tension and has been useful in epilepsy.
Contraindications: None known
Cautions: None known
3-6ml 1:2LE / day 20-40ml 1:2 LE / week
Dried Herb Equivalent
3-6g / day dried aerial parts (infusion)
- Passionflower, damiana and oats in nervous exhaustion
- Valerian for sleep
- Lemon Balm for nervous stress/depression
- INFUSION: Use herb fresh if possible. For insomnia – combine with wild lettuce or passionflower & take at night
- TINCTURE: Best made from fresh herb – this is a potent remedy for calming the nerves. Take %ml or combine with Lemon Balm for nervous stress or depression
References & Links to Articles:
Ody, Penelope (1998). The Herb Society’s Complete Medicinal Herbal. Milan: Dorling Kindersley
Hoffman, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons