The positive effects of the Skullcap herb have been well-known for a long time and in fact, many herbal medicine practitioners in China have been using the extracts from the skullcap to treat various ailments for at least 2,000 years.
Skullcap refers to any of the dozens of species (Scutellaria) and is related to the mint family Labiatae. The skullcap plant has ridged leaves and tiny flowers with colors ranging from blue to pink, growing 1 to 4 feet high. Various species of skullcap are important in Traditional Chinese Medicine as herbs that clear heat and dry dampness.
The skullcap species scutellaria lateriflora is native to North America and cultivated in Europe. Meanwhile, the specie scutellaria baicalensis is native to Eastern Asia. The leaves, flowers, and stems of the skullcap are used as herbal remedies.
Skullcap Tea is usually prepared by pouring 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 grams) of dried skullcap leaves. The infusion is then covered and steeped for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the beneficial properties of the herbs to transfer to the tea. From two to three cups of skullcap tea may be consumed daily.
As an alternative, skullcap tincture can also be prepared and it can be taken three times daily. The tincture, ½ to 1 tsp (2-4 ml) of skullcap herb/alcohol solution (usually 1:5 ratio), is added to an 8 oz (250 ml) glass of warm water.
Some of Skullcap’s health Benefits are the following:
- May help in lowering blood pressure.
- Harbors gastrointestinal effects that slow down intestinal movement.
- Could help to lower fever.
- Known as an effective antibacterial agent.
- Often used as remedy for exhaustion, fatigue and hangovers.
- May be useful in treating withdrawal symptoms from alcohol or tobacco.
- May be used to help treat anxiety, nervous tension, pre-menstrual syndrome, as well as insomnia and stress headaches.
- May be helpful in treatment for epilepsy, seizures, and muscle spasms.