Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Identification: Scullcap is an erect, widely-branched perennial that grows to thirty inches in height. The stem is slender and four sided. The leaves are thin, one to four inches long, ovate, pointed, coarsely serrated, and opposite.
The flowers are blue, two-lipped, and arranged along spikes in each of the upper leaf axils.
The aerial part of the plant is harvested when it is in bloom from July to September.
Family: Labiatae (Mint family)
Other Names: Hoodwort, Helmet flower, Quaker bonnet, Mad Dog,
Side flowering scullcap
Flowers: July – September
Parts Used: Leaves, stems, and fruit
Habitat: Indigenous to North America, this little herb is very abundant throughout the land, growing in damp places, meadows, ditches and by the sides of ponds, from Connecticut, south to Florida; west to Alabama and Missouri; north to Kentucky and Ohio.
History: In 1722, Scullcap was used as a bitter mint for insomnia and a cure for rabies, hence the name Mad Dog. For a generation or more it continued to be used as a leading antihydrophobic before it was at last proved ineffective.
It was later accepted by physicians of the latter half of the nineteenth century for other purposes, but Lloyd, who has written much on the history of this botanical said that the earlier claims for it were never adequately tested.The Cherokees used a Scullcap decoction mix to promote menstruation; and also for diarrhea, and breast pain.
Scullcap was officially entered into the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1863 to 1916.
Constituents: Flavonoid glycosides (including scutellonin and scutellanein), volatile oil, bitter principles, and tannin.
Medicinal Properties:
Properties: Antispasmodic, Diuretic, Sedative, Tonic.Main Uses: Scullcap is an excellent tonic for the nervous system. It is good for treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, and nervous headache. Its bitter taste is also strengthening and stimulating to the digestion. In former times, Scullcap had a reputation for treating epilepsy and rabies, as one of its names implies (Mad Dog).Scullcap acts as an anticonvulsive, nervine, and sedative. It is useful is cases of epilepsy, chorea (involuntary movement of the face and extremities), hysteria and nervous tension states and stress. Scullcap combines well with Hops and/or Passion Flower. When given with Pennyroyal as a tea, it is successfully used as a female remedy for cramps and severe pain caused by suppressed menstruation due to colds.Harvest the aerial parts (leaves, stalks, and seeds) when it is in bloom from July to September.
Preparation And Dosages:
Tincture: Fresh (1:2), in 50% alcohol. Take 18 to 27 drops up to 3 times a day.
Weakness of the heart:
Tincture of Scullcap, 3 to 15 drops
Tincture of Goldenseal, 7 to 10 drops
Tincture of Cayenne Pepper, 2 to 4 dropsFor irritable and nervous conditions:
Tincture of Lady’s Slipper, 10 to 20 drops
Tincture of Scullcap, 2 to 15 dropsFor insomnia or exhaustion, whether from excessive application to business or due to alcoholism:
Tincture of Scullcap, 2 to 20 drops
Tincture of Passion Flower, 15 to 40 drops
In water every 3 hours, or more frequently depending on age and condition.
Scullcap tincture alone, 9 to 18 drops in water as needed.

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