Botanical name: Scutellaria lateriflora
Other names: American Skullcap, Blue Pimpernel, Blue Skullcap, Escutelaria, Grande Toque, Helmet Flower, Hoodwort, Mad-Dog Herb, Mad-Dog Skullcap, Mad-Dog Weed, Mad Weed

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There are two types of Skullcap (Chinese and American) and we are referring here to the American Skullcap. Skullcap derives its name from its ability to relieve tension headaches. It is an excellent herb for nervous tension and anxiety, because it both relaxes and tones the whole nervous system; this is particularly useful with menstrual tension and hysteria. It is also used in the treatment of epilepsy and seizures although care needs to be taken when using this herb whilst on anti-convulsant medication. Your health care practitioner should always be included in the process as even though it has been very effective for epilepsy cases, herbs can have interactions with medications that may be undesirable.

In Chinese medicine, Skullcap is considered excellent for cooling the mind, liver and lungs. For this reason it promotes a state of meditation and calms an over-active mind.

Preparation: Pour 1 cup of water just off the boil over 1-2 teaspoons of herb. Steep covered for 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink 3 times daily or as needed. Can be added to other herbs as well for a blended tea infusion.

Precautions / Contraindications: 

Sculllcap can increase the potency of drugs with a sedative effect such as barbituates, benzodiazapenes, drugs for insomnia, anticonvulsants and alcohol. May promote menstruation - NOT TO BE TAKEN BY PREGNANT WOMEN.

David Hoffman (1995), The New Holistic Herbal, p233
Michael Tierra (1998), Planetary Herbology, pp345-355.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Happy Herb Company does not invite reliance upon, nor accept responsibility for, the information provided here. The Happy Herb Company makes every effort to provide a high quality information for educational and entertainment purposes however neither The Happy Herb Company nor any of its affiliates give any guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of the information provided. Users should confirm information and seek medical advice.