Grown in meadows and wetland habitats, skullcap herb has been used in traditional herbal medicine to instill a sense of gentle calm. One of the most versatile herbs, skullcap also is used in holistic practices to help quell anxiety, calm symptoms of neuropathy, decrease inflammation, soothe irritability, and relieve headaches and tension.
There are two forms of skullcap and each is used differently:
The root of Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) has been used in traditional medicine to treat infections, allergies, headaches, IBS, leaky gut, and even some cancers. Scientists are exploring other properties of Chinese Skullcap, including antiviral and antifungal.
The leaves of American Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) are commonly used to address symptoms of neuropathy and nerve pain. Studies show American Skullcap has significant antioxidant effects, and may help protect against neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, and depression. It may be found in dried formulas in a capsule, tea, or prepared as a tincture. It is often combined with other herbs, such as Valerian Root, that help to balance mood and soothe nervous tension.
As with many nutritional and botanical supplements, skullcap can interact with and change the effects of other herbs, supplements, or medications. Many herbs are not indicated to be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Chinese Skullcap should not be taken by persons with diabetes. For these reasons, you should take herbs with great care and while under the supervision of a qualified holistic healthcare provider.
- NeuropathyHelp.com. “9 Scientific Benefits of Skullcap for Neuropathy & Nerve Pain Relief.” Accessed 5 Jan 2022. https://neuropathyhelp.co/skullcap-for-neuropathy-nerve-pain/
- MountSinai.org. “Herb Library: Skullcap.” https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/skullcap