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Skullcap or scientifically known as Scutellaria, is a plant used in herbal and medicinal products. It part of the mint family, and has about 350 species in its family. The skullcap plant is native to North America and is a bit different than most plants where, instead of growing its leaves at the end of its stem, it actually grows them along its stem. This was a very popular plant with the Native Americans, it was used in ceremonies when young girls would become women, they usually prepared the herb in a Native American tea or tonic, they believed in the plant so much they would also use it for stomach problems it was also believed that it was once used to treat rabies as well as schizophrenia.
Benefits of Skullcap
Skullcap has a wide variety of benefits, it comes in two different forms, Chinese and American, They are both used for different things. While the Chinese is mostly used for teas and beverages, the American is more of a medicinal drug, being mixed with other component used to treat anxiety, and help relax. Skullcap is also used as a sedative so it should be taken in moderate doses, and should not be taken with other anxiety medicine. The Chinese version is not used for the same symptoms but it is believed to have the same effects. In Chinese culture the herb is used to treat cancer as it is believed to make the cancer cell destroy itself. The Chinese also make a lotion of the herb using it as a anti-inflammatory cream, and to help with arthritis. Just recently the Chinese skullcap has also been used in medication to treat epilepsy, insomnia, and even hepatitis. The American Skullcap has been in trials to see how effective it is as a blood clot treatments or with hair loss. The Native American still use the skullcap to this day in many traditions which are mainly focused on young girls.
Some Skullcaps have no medicinal value but are highly regarded for their odors as they are used as incense and added to herbal teas. The skullcap has so many chemical compounds that it can be used for so many different things. The herb is even believed to have anticancer properties. Skullcap is currently classified as an alternative medicine, and is recommended to be taken as one of the best tasting teas. In Europe the herb is suggested for people suffering from epilepsy and fatigue, but should be taken in moderate doses. Another type of skullcap can be used to heal bug bites or stings, and to treat small cuts, or wounds, as well as skin infections, or urinary infections. There is also a chemical in skullcap that helps with bile flow. The teas have become very popular, and are very effective
photo credit: Baikal skullcap / Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi / 黄金花(コガネバナ) via photopin (license)