April 28, 2016

Skullcap

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What other names is Skullcap known by?

American Skullcap, Blue Pimpernel, Blue Skullcap, Escutelaria, Grande Toque, Helmet Flower, Hoodwort, Mad-Dog Herb, Mad-Dog Skullcap, Mad-Dog Weed, Mad Weed, Quaker Bonnet, Scullcap, Scutellaria, Scutellaire, Scutellaire de Virginie, Scutellaire Latériflore, Scutelluria, Scutellaria lateriflora, Toque Bleue, Toque Casquée, Toque des Marais.

What is Skullcap?

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.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • 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. However, it is not known if taking skullcap is effective for anxiety disorders or if extended use is beneficial.
  • Seizures.
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
  • Stroke.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of skullcap for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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