Skullcap is a herb that comes in two different varieties: American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis). Skullcap, also known as blue skullcap or mad dog, is a flowering perennial plant belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae. The plant has blue or purple flowers and leaf bases on the main stem.
Skullcap is made of powerful and essential components such as tannins, flavonoids, iridol, iron, sesquiterpene, wogoni, bitter substances, silicon, essential oil, magnesium, resin, calcium, and lignin. With these rich amounts of constituents, skullcap is effective for ensuring the health of the entire human body.
In fact, studies suggest that American skullcap contains antioxidant properties that may be helpful in protecting the body against depression, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and Parkinson’s disease. Its antioxidant capabilities have also been linked to improved antioxidant activity in the liver. The herb helps to boost the liver’s efficiency, ensuring the decrease of toxin levels in the blood and body, and consequently improving overall well-being.
The Health Benefits of Skullcap
Skullcap is potent for detoxifying the body and improving overall health. It is believed to help increase antioxidant activity in the liver, which is one of the organs in the body that takes a long time to recover. To help the liver significantly improve in efficiency, skullcap extracts lower toxin levels blood and ultimately, in the body.
Combats Cancer Cells
The herb contains antioxidant flavone components that help to inhibit the proliferation of cancerous cells. Also, it slows down the rate tumor growth, induces apoptosis or the sudden death of cancerous cells, and is effective as a natural treatment for cancer. Since skullcap extract is toxic to cancer cells, it is effective as a treatment for brain tumor, prostate cancer, as well as other types of cancers.
Acts as a Sedative
American skullcap is a popular nervine that has the ability to treat panic attacks, epilepsy, delirium tremens, and hysteria. In addition, individuals who suffer sleep problems can use skullcap as it can help to naturally induce sleep, without the side effects common to conventional drugs and sleep aids.
Skullcap helps to calm anxiety as it is a nerve tonic. It is common knowledge that oxidative stress can affect certain brain-related ailments, such as depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Skullcap may also help neutralize and even eliminate toxic free radicals from the body. When they are gotten rid of, oxidative stress is significantly minimized. This means that skullcap may provide major antioxidant effects, making it an excellent option for lowering anxiety.
Did you know that glucose and insulin regulation can be essentially controlled with the use of skullcap? Well, it is possible! This is because the herb appears to be able to improve insulin production by the pancreas and helps to control the insulin levels in the body. Interestingly, skullcap has also been linked to reduced cholesterol levels, which is a causative factor in diabetes.
Possesses Antispasmodic Properties
Skullcap can help reduce headaches caused by stress, throat infections, neuralgia, as well as the after-effects of coughs. As a matter of fact, American skullcap can also be effective for treating withdrawal symptoms from the use of barbiturates and tranquilizers. It may also help people with fibromyalgia, anorexia nervosa, and Tourette’s syndrome. In addition, individuals who suffer from nervous disorders and experience seizures or other spasmodic negative effects that stem from these conditions in the nervous system, can make use of the American skullcap.
Skullcap contains certain very effective anti-inflammatory properties. People who are arthritic and suffer inflammatory bowel diseases can use skullcap as a home remedy. According to some studies, some of the additional benefits of skullcap is the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Skullcap is also very effective in treating fever. In fact, there are studies that revealed that the herb is effective for lowering the body temperature in fevers caused by flu.
Boosts Heart Health
Skullcap has the ability to lower the level of cholesterol in the heart and thus reduce the risks of coronary heart diseases, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, as well as strokes that are as a result of an accumulation of plaque in the arteries.
Skullcap can help soothe muscle spasms, muscle twitching and may treat conditions that are characterized by involuntary limb movement, such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
Aids in Weight Loss
Are you looking at losing some pounds without obsessing over the scale? Skullcap helps with the reduction of triglycerides and so can help with the rapid loss of weight.
Side Effects and Precautions
Generally, skullcap is considered safe. However, it is important to note that an excessive use of the herb may result in confusion, stupor, nausea, irregular heartbeat, twitching, dizziness, giddiness, and even seizures in some serious cases. Also, if you are pregnant, it is advisable not to use this herb as it may result in a miscarriage.
Always check with your doctor before using skullcap.
The Bottom Line
Like we stated earlier, skullcap helps in treating symptoms of withdrawal from tranquilizers and barbiturates tranquilizers. The medicinal infusions of the herb have been used to regulate menstruation, as well as treat throat infections, the after-effects of coughs, headaches caused by stress, and neuralgia. Skullcap has also become popular as an alternative treatment for attention deficit disorder (ADD). The herb is even considered effective as a treatment for the symptoms associated with mild Tourette’s syndrome. Skullcap is also effective as a herbal remedy for hiccups.
In addition to these, American skullcap may help treat asthma and act as a remedy for hangovers. In fact, skullcap is believed to contain anti-histamine properties that can help relieve asthma and allergies such as hay fever. It is also an antioxidant that can help lower the risk of heart-related diseases and reduce the chances of a damage after a heart attack. Skullcap can also serve as an herbal treatment for hepatitis.