Scullcap

Latin:  Scuttelaria lateriflora

Family:  Lamiaceae

Parts Used:  Leaf and flower

Taste/Energetics:  Aromatic, Cooling

Properties:  Anxiolytic, antispasmodic, nervous system tonic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic

Actions:  This is one of the best herbs to offer people who are experiencing anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, muscle cramping with tics.  Skullcap is a fairly gentle herb and is both wonderful for symptomatic relief, but also in tonic formulas for longer term use to strengthen the nervous system.  Scullcap is more subtle in strength compared to stronger herbs like valerian and kava, but its gentle action is not to be underestimated.

For mental health, it is best for those who appear hot, wired, frustrated, intense and wound up with tight musculature.  They may be intensely sensitive to sounds and the people around them and appear jumpy and even paranoid.    Traditionally in the 19th century it was offered by eclectic physicians for everything from epilepsy and convulsions to schizophrenia.

Dosage:  In tea, 1-3 tsp per dose, to 3 x/day.  In tincture 1-3 ml  to 3x/day.

Contraindications:  None

Further Reading:  

Skullcap monograph   by Rosalee de la Foret

The Skullcaps-  A Scutellaria monograph   by 7song

Blisswort/Skullcap   by Kiva Rose