Aerial parts, root.
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. These days, skullcap is predominantly consumed as a stimulant for the nervous system and its ability to heal the 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 indigenous to North America and still breeds uncultivated in most parts of the United States as well as Canada. This herb grows better in humid circumstances and is mainly found along the riverbanks. In order to flourish, skullcap requires adequate sunlight. Cultivation of skullcap can be done in two ways - it can be germinated from seeds and even by root division. While the herb is cultivated in spring, the above ground parts of 3 to 4-year-old skullcap plants are cropped during summer, when the plants are flowering.
Despite the fact that the plant has long been use as a herbal medicine both in North America as well as in Britain, so far little or no scientific study has been conducted on this class of Scutellaria. Scientists are of the opinion that skullcap endorses ingredients that are found in other members of the Scutellaria species. It has similarity with Baical skullcap (S. baicalensis) that has been studied intensely and has robust anti-seditious properties.
Although it has been in use as a herbal medicine for long, there is no standard healing dosage of skullcap either in the United States or Europe. On the contrary, in China physicians use baicalin in 250 mg tablet form and prescribe two tablets thrice in a day as a remedy for viral hepatitis. It may be mentioned here that if taken in high dosage, skullcap may prove to be injurious to health.
Although gulping standard measures of skullcap does not lead to any serious adverse effects in the body, when a person is administered an injection containing ingredients of S. baicalensis it may cause aches in the muscles and also raise the body temperature. While it may also lead to reduced count of leukocyte in the body, many people have even complained of liver damage after being administered the injection. Since, skullcap is known to damage the liver, it is advised that people should not intake the herb casually.
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. Possibly owing to the presence of Scutellaria lateriflora straits, some skullcap is also known to have anti-allergic as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists are, however, not yet certain about these functions of skullcap advocate further research on this. Incidentally, although there have been complaints of liver damage owing to the use of skullcap, a variety of the herb found in China is used to heal liver-related ailments like hepatitis. This skullcap is believed to help in the betterment of liver activities. Skullcap is also beneficial for women as it can be used to reduce ovarian or menstrual pains.