SKULLCAP Overview Information
Skullcap is a plant. The above ground parts are used to make medicine.
Skullcap is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.
Skullcap is used for trouble sleeping (insomnia), anxiety, stroke, and paralysis caused by stroke. It is also used for fever, high cholesterol, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), rabies, epilepsy, nervous tension, allergies, skin infections, inflammation, and spasms.
Skullcap products are not always what the labels claim. The plants germander and teucrium are often unwanted and unlabeled ingredients in skullcap products. Secondly, you may think you are buying Scuttelaria lateriflora, the species of skullcap that has been studied for medicinal use, but the product may contain a different species of skullcap instead. The most often substituted species are Western Skullcap (Scuttelaria canescens), Southern Skullcap (Scutellaria cordifolia), or Marsh Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulatum). These species contain different chemicals, so they are not considered interchangeable.
How does it work?
The chemicals in skullcap might work by preventing swelling (inflammation). Other chemicals in skullcap are thought to cause sedation (drowsiness).
- Anxiety. Limited evidence suggests that healthy people who take a single dose of skullcap extract might feel more relaxed than tense. This effect appears to last for about 2 hours. But it is not known if taking skullcap is effective for anxiety disorders or if extended use is beneficial.
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
- Other conditions.
The appropriate dose of skullcap depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for skullcap. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.