North American Scullcap or Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora or Scutellaria laterifolia) is a powerful medicinal herb that is very useful for insomnia, muscle spasms, muscle tremors, anxiety, and withdrawal from drug addictions, like tobacco cigarette smoking, barbituates, and tranquilizers.
It is used in alternative medicine as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, slightly astringent, emmenagogue, febrifuge, nervine, sedative and strongly tonic.
One of the great benefits of the 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 effect, leaving feeling refreshed and revitalized in the morning.
Traditionally, skullcap is known to be an effective stimulant for the nervous system, as the herb contains high value ingredients for a sound nervous system. The herb is particularly effective in helping as well as escalating the nervous system when a person undergoes mental and physical stress and strain. In fact, skullcap is a time tested medicine for any type of disturbed mental state, be it tension, anxiety, insomnia, neurasthenia, panic, headaches, fatigue, depression as well as melancholy.
Skullcap’s ability to heal treat and even heal irregularities like convulsions, jerking muscles, epilepsy, and wobbliness, as well as the tremors of Parkinson’s and heart trembles has been tested over the ages. Many experts have advocated the use of skullcap instead of applying the normal allopathic tranquilizers and medicines to cure anxiety and depression.
Scientific studies are proving this to be a valuable plant in many areas for mental disorders. Skullcap is used in the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions including epilepsy, insomnia, hysteria, anxiety, delerium tremens, and withdrawal from addictions, such as smoking, barbiturates and tranquilizers. Many herbalists also recommend skullcap for use with PMS and menopause to ease the moodiness and severe mood swings that can occur during these times. Scullcap can be used to promote menstruation, but it should not be given to pregnant women since it can induce a miscarriage.
The infusion is given for nervous headaches, neuralgia and in headache arising from incessant coughing, pain, and inducing sleep when necessary, without any unpleasant symptoms following. Skullcap is currently being used as an alternative medicine to treat ADD and a number of nerve disorders.
Scullcap is a well respected herbal tonic that can nourish and revitalize the central nervous system. It contains minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium that are known in research to assist the body in dealing with such things as stress, tension, headaches, anxiety, exhaustion, muscle spasm and depression.
Intake of skullcap generally functions as a tranquilizer both for the body and the mind. While skullcap relaxes the physique and the over-excited muscles, it also helps to soothe the nervous system. Hence, skullcap is generally used to reduce stress and tension in the patients. Skullcap is also known to have anti-allergic as well as anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for throat infections.
Skullcap has numerous uses, and these differ from place to place. For example, the Cherokee applied the herb mainly as a remedy for women’s disorders. It was traditionally used to rouse menstruation, alleviate chest soreness as well as stimulate the placenta eviction from the body. However, it was in the 19th century that the Physimedicalists, the Anglo-Americans who followed herbal medicine in that age, realized the use of the herb in healing nervous disorders. These physicians found that skullcap had a more penetrative action on the nervous system and was effective in healing disorders like epilepsy, spasms, frenzy, rabies as well as the mental infirmities, including schizophrenia.
Today, skullcap is predominantly consumed as a stimulant for the nervous system with its ability to heal that system. As mentioned earlier, skullcap is a herb that is extremely effective in the treatment of the nervous system as it is beneficial in soothing anxiety, stress and worries. In fact, the ability of skullcap to control and rectify nervous irregularities makes it one of the most effective remedies for tension and anxiety that leads to muscular contractions.
Physicians often recommend usage of skullcap individually or in combination with other tranquilizing herbal medicines to cure sleeplessness as well as for respite from menstrual pains. Scientists as well as physicians are of the opinion that there is need for more studies into skullcap as this may bring to the fore other still unknown uses of the herb.
Skullcap is also beneficial in healing diseases like arthritis as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It is especially effective when stress and anxiety worsens arthritis in a patient. Among other uses, the herb is known to be beneficial in lowering high body temperatures, aid in absorption of food as well as rouse the operation of the liver. This is primarily owing to the presence of sour and bitter substances in the herb.
In North America, skullcap has been traditionally used to heal patients suffering from venomous snake and insect stings. In addition, the herb is also conventionally used in this part of the world to treat rabies, alleviate menstrual contractions as well as smoothen sexual over-exhilaration.
Skullcap alone or when blended with roots of another herb known as valerian is an ideal tranquilizer. Individually as well as in combination with valerian roots, skullcap is beneficial in healing disorders like muscular contractions, jerks and common tremors.
Please remember that Skullcap or Scullcap can refer to two herbs: American Scullcap or Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is discussed in this article and is from North America -and- Chinese Scullcap or Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) is from China and other parts of Asia. The two are used to treat some very different conditions and are not interchangeable. Be sure to ask your health food store which version of the herb they have before buying or using it.