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Skullcap also known commonly as blue skullcap, mad dog skullcap, and side-flowering skullcap, The generic name is derived from the Latin scutella, meaning “a small dish, tray or platter”, or “little dish”, referring to the shape of the calyx and the species name, lateriflora, means “flowering on the side,”. Skullcap is a hardy perennial herb that grow 1 to 4 feet tall with ridged leaves, a square stem and tiny flowers that can range in color from purple and blue to pink and white. The two-lobed flowers resemble the military helmets worn by early European settlers. Skullcaps thrives in woods and swamplands of eastern North America where it is native to. Skullcap is in the mint family, Lamiaceae which includes Lemon balm, Motherwort and Tulsi.
While one type of skullcap grew wild throughout Europe prior to the colonization of North America, the North American species was the first to be used extensively in herbal medicine. European settlers and folk herbalists learned how to use skullcap medicinally from Indigenous tribes and herbal physicians brought it to Great Britain in the 19th century.
Traditionally, the leaves of this herb were steeped as a tea Utilized by the Cherokee and other tribes of North America to treat menstrual disorders, nervousness, digestive and kidney problems. Skullcap was employed in the ceremonial transition of young girls to womanhood. The Cherokee also used infusions and decoctions of skullcap roots for treating diarrhea, kidney problems and breast pains, and to help expel the afterbirth.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Eclectic physicians prescribed skullcap for nervousness caused by illness, teething, mental or physical exhaustion, nervousness with muscular spasms, heart palpitations from anxiety, irritability and restlessness with nervous excitability and sleeplessness.
The British Herbal Pharmacopeia lists skullcap as a mild sedative and the recognizes the use of skullcap for nervous disorders due to anxiety, tension or stress; headaches, migraine; neurasthenia (a mental disorder characterized by chronic fatigue), panic attacks, restlessness, sleep disorders, premenstrual tension and period pain.
The taste and energetics of Skullcap are bitter, cooling and slightly astringent. Skullcap has an affinity to the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, digestive system, uterus and kidneys. For a herbal tonic for the nervous system combine Skullcap with Oat seed, Lemon balm, Tulsi, Catnip or Lavender. For a stronger sleep tonic combine Skullcap with Valerian, Hops, California poppy or Wild lettuce.
How to use:
Add 1 teaspoon of Skullcap to one cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes, strain, and drink up to 3 cups per day.
Cautions & contraindications:
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.