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Skullcap

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Scutellaria laterifolia!

Names: Scullcap, Hoodwort, Quaker Bonnet, Helmet Flower, European or Greater Skullcap

Habitat: USA

Collection: The whole of the aerial parts should be collected late in the flowering period during August and September.

Part Used: Aerial parts.

Constituents:

  • Scutellarin, a flavonoid glycoside and many other flavones.
  • Iridoids; catalpol is present
  • Volatile oil and waxes, mainly C31, C33 and C35 hydrocarbons
  • Tannins

Actions: Nervine tonic, antispasmodic, hypotensive.

Indications: Skullcap is perhaps the most widely relevant nervine available to us in the materia medica. It relaxes states of nervous tension whilst at the same time renewing and revivifying the central nervous system. It has a specific use in the treatment of seizure and hysterical states as well as epilepsy. It may be used in all exhausted or depressed conditions. It can be used with complete safety in the easing of premenstrual tension.

Priest & Priest tell us that it is a "diffusive, stimulating & relaxing nervine - cerebral vasodilator and tropho restorative. Indicated for nervous irritation of the cerebrospinal nervous system" They give the following specific indications: functional nervous exhaustion, post febrile nervous weakness. Chorea, hysteria, agitation and epileptiform convulsions, insomnia, nightmares, restless sleep.

Ellingwood considered it specific for " two distinct lines of specific phenomena. Firstly irritability of the nervous system with restlessness and nervous excitability; inability to sleep without pain; general irritability with insomnia from local causes. The second is where there is nervous disorder, characterized by irregular muscular action, twitching, tremors and restlessness, with or without incoordination. Its soothing influence continues for a protracted period, after the agent is discontinued." In addition here commends it for the following patholgies: delirium tremens, nervous excitability.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day or when needed. Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Skullcap relaxes states of nervous tension whilst at the same time renewing and revivifying the central nervous system. It has a specific use in the treatment of seizure and hysterical states as well as epilepsy. May be used in all exhausted or depressed conditions. Can be used with complete safety in the easing of premenstrual tension.

Combinations : It combines well with Valerian, Passion Flower, Black Cohosh etc.


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