Skullcap (Scultellaria lateriflora)Shredded, 50 g
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History of Skullcap
Scultellaria Lateriflora, also known as Skullcap or Scullcap, Blue Skullcap, Mad-Dog Skullcap, Side-flowering Skullcap, and Mad Weed is a perennial herb of the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to North America’s wet habitats, however, nowadays it is widely cultivated in Europe and parts of Asia. The plant owes its name Scutella which means little dish or the more commonly used name Skullcap to its small flowers that grow in a small dish or helmet-like shape. In the summer, about a centimeter-long blue flowers appear along the length of side branches growing from the leaf axils.
Skullcap has been used for more than 200 years as a mild relaxant and as a therapy for anxiety, nervous tension, and convulsions. It was well known among the Cherokee and other Native American tribes, as a strong emmenagogue and female medicinal herb and was used in some tribes as a ceremonial plant to introduce young girls into womanhood. Skullcap was used by the Native Americans to treat rabies among other things, hence its name Mad Dog.
Nowadays Skullcap is mostly used for its calming effects to help unwind after a busy day.
Effects of Skullcap
When administered properly, most commonly in the form of tea, Skullcap has a calming effect and can help;
- Promote Sleep
- Improve mood
Skullcap Uses and Dosage
The best way to use Skullcap is in the form of tea or tincture.
Tea – To make Skullcap tea pour a cup (250ml) of boiling water over 5 to 10g of dried leaves and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups spread throughout the day.
Tincture – To make a skullcap tincture, take a ½ pint (236ml) jar and fill it with ½ cup (64g) of dried skullcap leaves. Add 100% proof vodka until the jar is full. Blend it well and put the lid on it. Label the jar with the date and store it in a cool place. During the first week, open the jar and stir daily. Let the herbs soak for another 5 weeks. Simply shake the jar once or twice a day.
Once the six weeks period is over, strain the tincture through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Pour into your choice of jar or preferably a bottle with a dropper. Take 2 to 4ml, 3 times a day.
You can make a bigger batch of Skullcap tincture. Just make sure the ratio of herb to alcohol remains about 1:3.
Keep Scultellaria Lateriflora in its original packaging in a dry and cool place, out of the reach of children. Keep the Skullcap tincture in an airtight bottle and a cool, dark place.
It is best not to use Skullcap if pregnant, breastfeeding, and in children. Avoid exceeding recommended dosage of Skullcap as it may cause giddiness, nausea, and lightheadedness, as well as seizures in extreme cases. Skullcap can increase the effects of medication with sedative effects. It is best to avoid using Skullcap with prescription drugs including Anticonvulsants, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Antidepressants, drugs for insomnia, and Alcohol without consulting your physician.