Skullcap herb, scutellaria lateriflora, a perennial plant native to North America, can be found growing in moist shady thickets and open meadows in the South, along the East Coast to New York and west as far as Missouri. It is the lavender blue flowers, which bloom all summer that have many herbal benefits, which Native American tribes used to treat amenorrhea, breast pain and to induce uterine contractions, aiding in the expulsion of the placenta.
Rich in minerals, Skullcap is an astringent, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, emmenagogue, nervine, sedative and tonic. Its antispasmodic properties help maintain a healthy nervous system, and have been used to treat:
- Twitching Muscles
- Heart Palpitations
- Delerium Tremens
Its remedial effects extend to allay nervous tension, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, agitation, exhaustion and depression. The organic compounds in this plant also reduce symptoms of withdrawal related to tranquilizers and barbiturates.
Medicinal benefits of Skullcap also include relieving pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and throat infection, reducing PMS symptoms, aiding digestion and stimulating liver function. Other historical uses include the treatment of rabies and venomous insect and snakebites.
Skullcap can be taken as a tea or tincture.
Pregnant women should avoid this herb because its ability to cause uterine contractions may result in miscarriage.
Skullcap should be taken in moderation; symptoms of overdose include confusion, disorientation and euphoria, as well as stupor, giddiness and twitching.