Scutellaria (Skullcap) is Native to North America where it grows in the wild in much of the US and Canada. It’s a flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae and has a long history of use in western botanical medicine. Like most herbs in the mint family, it is cooling yet has bitter principles and other complex chemicals making it a balanced choice as a gentle nervine. A nervine is a herb that works on the nervous system and an antispasmodic is a remedy that relieves cramp and relaxes the body.
Native Americans have been using Skullcap for hundreds of years in ceremonies and medicinally. In the late 19th century the herb was was recognized as a nerve tonic by Physiomedicalists, followers of Anglo-American school of herbal medicine. They recognized that it had a “deeper” action on the nervous system than any other herb and used it for hysteria, rabies, epilepsy convulsions, and such serious mental illnesses as schizophrenia, earning it the nickname “mad dog weed”. An excerpt from an old herbal encyclopaedia reads, “Skullcap is one of the finest nervines and antispasmodics given to humanity. It should be on every physician’s shelf”
Today Scutellaria remains an important herb for its calming and relaxing effects on the body. Best uses are to support exhausted nerves resulting from mental and physical exhaustion, maintain normal balance in times of muscular tension, and support normal sleep patterns. It is trophorestorative to the nervous system, meaning it restores nutrition uptake to the nerves.
A 2003 double blind study shows Skullcap offers significant anti-anxiety benefits for healthy individuals.
Further studies have shown it exhibits “anxiolytic activity” in animals – meaning it inhibits anxiety. Herbalist Richard Whelan has noticed in his own clinical use of Skullcap that in strong doses, it has quite a strikingly calming effect on agitated individuals.
One of the great benefits of Skullcap is for insomnia and sleep disorders. While many remedies, both traditional and herbal, can lull you to sleep like skullcap, most leave you groggy in the morning. Skullcap promotes sound sleep without the unwanted side effects, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized in the morning.
History and science has proven Skullcap is a must have, you can find it in Vitality Science’s Soothing Solution, and GI Distress.