Skullcap- Scutellaria lateriflora


Skullcap is one of these herbs: it so useful and easy to grow! She probably will not like the tropics, but I would definitively give it a try in Sydney.

Skullcap for a Calm Mind and a Sound Sleep

The American Skullcap was used to treat rabies, for women’s complaints and more, but what intrigues me, is that it could safe countless people who suffer from anxiety, panic attacks or depression from taking dangerous and addictive prescription drugs. It also helps people to overcome addictions. American scullcap is regarded as very safe, however commercial preparations and teas were and maybe still are adulterated with other herbs which might be liver toxic.

American Skullcap is an extremely safe and nonaddictive nervine relaxant used for anxiety, panic attacks and sleeplessness.

The Skullcap Family

There are several skullcap species native to North America. Scutellaria lateriflora is a member of a rather big family of around 300 Skullcaps, annual or perennial herbaceaous herbs found in temperate regions of the world. It is member of the mint family, but in the garden it is a well behaved plant.

Some Scullcaps were used in a similar way than Scutellaria lateriflora. One of the improtant scullcaps used in Chinese medicine, the Scutellaria baicalensis however, is used for inflammation, antimicrobial, andticancer and more.

You can use skullcap as a tea or make a tincture, some use it fresh some dried. It made me sleep very sound!

For Native Americans skullcap was as well a herb to promote menstruation and  to help remove the placenta following childbirth, so don’t use it during pregnancy.

Grow your own Skullcap!

Susun Weed writes that” if you can’t find skullcap, you may want to try growing her. She is fussy, and very demanding.” So far, I found her easy to grow, but I tried different locations. Some skullcap plants went in my ‘woodland garden’ and some went in full sun. Those skullcaps planted in the shade don’t do much but the skullcaps I planted in the sun are thriving and un fussy! It is a spreading clump, so far not aggressively, but gives me a nice harvest just some months from planting. Skullcap is a hardy herbaceous perennial. It is rather a useful plant than a showy one, however it looks fairly tidy to me (to me!).

The Fine Print:

Known adulterants: Canada germander (Teucrium canadense, Lamiaceae); germander (T. chamaedrys); Scutellaria spp., e.g., Alpine skullcap (S. alpina), Chinese skullcap (S. baicalensis), hoary skullcap (S. incana), heartleaf skullcap (S. ovata), and marsh skullcap (S. galericulata).Other names:

Mad dog weed, mad-dog skullcap, scullcap, skullcap, helmet flower, hoodwort, quaker bonnet, greater skullcap, blue skullcap, helmet flower, hoodwort, European  skullcap, Virginia skullcap.

French: Scutellaire, scutellaire latériflore, scutellaire de Virginie, toque, toque casquée

German: Helmkraut, seitenblütiges Helmkraut

Italian: Scutellaria

Spanish: Escutelaria, escutelaria de Virginia

Lots and lots of links to really good articles:

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