Skullcap is the name of a flowering perennial plant from
the mint family, Lamiaceae.
With the scientific name Scutellaria
plant can be found in North America�s wet habitats.
There are a few names for skullcap, including mad dog
and blue skullcap. The range of health benefits enjoyed
by frequent users of skullcap is due to the presence of
various phenolic compounds and flavones that impact the
body in many different ways. The plant was traditionally
used by native Americans for
Skullcap tea is a popular method to balance the hormones
in your body, as it stimulates the release of endorphins and
generally balances your mood. If you are feeling worked
up for no reason, and constantly feel tense, then
perhaps what you need is a simple cup of this tea.
Phenolic compounds can have a wide range of effect on
our hormonal balance, as they happen to be rich in antioxidant compounds. There
are many herbs such as saw palmetto that can provide
relief from stress and anxiety.
Skullcap possesses certain analgesic properties,
meaning that consuming it can help to relieve pain
throughout the body, partially through a reduction in
inflammation. However, you can form a paste of
the dried one and apply it directly to the areas that
are experiencing pain. This can be a major boost for the
healing of wounds or if you are recovering from an
injury. Also, small scrapes and bruises can be healed
more rapidly by applying it topically, as the rich
phenolic compounds and flavones stimulate blood flow to
the skin and help prevent infection.
Soothes Nervous System
If you suffer from a nervous disorder, you may have
experienced seizures or other spasmodic side effects
that result from a problem in your nervous system.
Skullcap tea can soothe the nervous system and prevent
these episodes. It has been traditionally used to reduce
seizure frequency and severity in those patients. Adding
skullcap to drinking water once a day has also been
associated with this positive benefit.
This plant is also a
nervine with sedative qualities and is helpful in the
treatment of many nervous conditions such as epilepsy,
hysteria, anxiety, delirium tremens and as a remedy
for panic attacks. It
has also been found useful in treating symptoms of
withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquilizers.
If you are looking for a way to detoxify your body and
boost your overall health, skullcap tea may be just the
thing. Skullcap has been associated with increased
antioxidant activity in the liver, which is one of the
slowest-recovering organs, and this effect can
significantly boost the efficiency of your liver. This
reduces toxin levels in the body and blood, thereby
improving overall health and wellness.
Insulin and glucose regulation is essential and it
appears that skullcap is able to increase the production
of insulin by the pancreas and helps to regulate the
insulin levels in the body. Furthermore, it has been
linked to lower cholesterol levels, which is an
exacerbating factor in diabetes.
By reducing the level of cholesterol in
the heart, skullcap is able to lower the chances of
atherosclerosis, heart attacks, coronary heart diseases,
and strokes that often accompany the build-up of plaque
in the arteries.
Although research on this particular aspect of skullcap
is still unclear, it appears that the reduction of triglycerides stimulated
by this herb can help with rapid weight loss when
combined with a proper diet. This research is ongoing
but presents an option for those looking for new ways to
According to the International Journal of Molecular
Medicine, Chinese skullcap has been known to induce apoptosis (sudden
cell death), in cancerous cells
and is used for the treatment of cancer. This action
is found to be caused by a compound called scutellarein
in the herb.
The Medicines Research Group, School of Health and
Bioscience, University of East London, Stratford, UK
found that skullcap has been used as an herbal remedy
for the treatment of lung cancer in the Chinese
medicine. Although no sufficient evidence is available,
there is a chance of apoptosis induced by skullcap and
it also acts as a toxin to lung cancer cells. This is
surely a great finding in the world of medicine.
Adrienne Scheck, Ph.D., a member of the American
Association for Cancer Research, in his research on the
effects of skullcap on the brain tumor cells, found that
it helps to inhibit the cancer cell growth and is also a
potential adjuvant treatment to current chemotherapeutic
agents used in cancer treatment.
One 2007 study by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine,
New York University also suggests that skullcap can be a
very effective anticancer agent
in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Word of Caution:
Avoid excess intake of this herb as it may cause
giddiness, nausea, and lightheadedness,
as well as seizures in extreme cases. Always get it from
a trusted, certified source, and don�t combine it with
other medicines, unless you specifically discuss the
choice with your doctor.
Take one capsule three times a day. With
or without food.