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Herbs: Scutellaria lateriflora (Scullcap)

fascinating factoid per Drs Szabat & Ambrose: scutellaria inhibits expression of IL6, 6/2011

Family: Labiatae (MINT family)

Scutellaria lateriflora
the main herb discussed here
Common names: skullcap, mad dog
plant inconspicuous

Scutellaria baicailensis
Oriental herb similar but not the same
more showy purple flowers in rows (photo below)
more anti-inflammatory indications, also for allergies, asthma
mast cell inhibitor
bitter and cooling-->clears heat and dampness from the body
high in flavinoids: skullcapflavone, baicalein, bicalin, wogonin

Scutellaria incana
Common name: hoary skullcap
grows eastern US, entire Mississippi drainage to New York and Great Lakes region
three variants, two of which are confined to deeper south
the more wide ranging variant is Hyssop Skullcap
for sale as ornamental no findings yet of medicinal use

ACTIONS (laterifolia from here down)
sedative nervine: relaxing, calming, induces normal sleep, not overly sedating/stupefying
mild antispasmodic and antihypertensive
used mostly for anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, muscular pain and tension
"Mad dog" refers to historical use for the hydrophobia of rabies
also for St. Vitus' dance (Sydenham's chorea in rheumatic fever, after group A beta hemolytic strep infx)
also anti-inflammatory
in rats arachidonic acid pathway inhibited (possible mechanism for anti-inflam)
in guinea pigs shown to inhibit the release of acetylcholine and histamine

Part Used:
leave and young stems
harvest in late spring/early summer when flowering
use fresh for tincture, dried for teas & encapsulations

SEs
generally well tolerated
excessive use may stimulate instead of sedating
rare cases of nausea/diarrhea
rare reports of causing heptatitis but theory is that germander was sold as skullcap
germander more recognized to have toxic potential
germander = Teucrium genus, perennial herbs, shrubs or subshrubs of Med climate, family Lamiaceae

DOSING
3-6 cups infusion/day short term for extreme anxiety and nervousness
1-3 cups/day for less severe or long term use
cup = 1 TBS dry per cut hop water
tincture dose 20-100 drops 2-4 times a day

CONSTITUENTS
flavonoid glycosides: scutellarein and scutellarin (calmative)
volatile oil
bitter glycoside: yields scutellarein (by hydrolysis)
resins, tannin, lignin, sugar, cellulose

CIs
none

BAICALENSIS is beautiful:


Stansbury's CALMING TEA
1 TBL Skullcap
1 Tbl Passiflora
1 Tbl Chamomile
1 Tbl Lemon grass
Steep the combined herbs in four cups of hot water for 15 minutes.
Strain the herbs and drink the tea through the day.

Scutellaria Incana (not mentioned by Stansbury but it's out there on the web:


Personal notes:
I've been making a pot of this tea sometimes in the afternoon, a heaping TBS of scutellaria that I cover in boiling water and let sit until it is cool. It's available bulk/dried at Limbo on 39th. The flavor is mild; Suzanne will drink it. Calms us both down but must remember to drink it early enough to avoid overhydration at bedtime. Would be a fine foundation for an afternoon or evening tea with any of an assortment of pleasant flavors aside from the classics that Stansbury uses. Not as powerful as valerian, and not as strong tasting. If I drink two cups in the morning it slows me down overmuch; I definitely feel it.

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