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Skullcap has been used by the Chinese to treat a litany of ailments, including diarrhea and hepatitis, for over 2000 years. Traditional Chinese medicine also utilizes this herb to ward off petty evil. Native Americans have long relied on skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) to treat women's reproductive issues and alleviate the symptoms of rabies. This mint relative grows in temperate regions all over the world. Blue skullcap, the most useful variety, contains the most concentrated level of flavonoids and phenolics. Scutella means "small dish" in Latin and describes the herb's shape. There are many health benefits of skullcap.

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Helps Control Anxiety

In 2002, 'Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine' reported that skullcap effectively tackles anxiety and restlessness. Skullcap helps improve your mood without causing a head change or resulting in an inability to concentrate. There are 295 active compounds in this family of plant, like diterpenes and flavonoids to help people who struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. People used to call it Mad Dog because many folks believed it could cure rabies. It has antispasmodic effects that can help with the symptoms of the disease, but it cannot cure it.

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Pain Management

Skullcap is a gentle palliative herb that can be used to ease pain caused by chronic stress or inflammation. The plant has many analgesic characteristics that can benefit people who are prone to feeling hot or struggle with fidgeting. The medicine can also be applied topically to bruises, cuts, and other wounds to help stimulate blood flow and decrease the time necessary for healing.

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Antispasmodic Capabilities

Skullcap can be smoked, mixed with tea, or taken as a tincture to help ease nervous system disorders. It's worth noting that the herb has to be consumed in large quantities over a significant amount of time to be effective with spasms, seizures, and other involuntary muscle movements. Scullcap may help conditions like ADHD and seizures, but only on the recommendation, and with the guidance, of a medical professional and herbalist.

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Insomnia

If you're not getting enough sleep, it can lead to a multitude of problems such as irritability, lack of concentration, and a weakened immune system. Skullcap tea is useful for people who find their brains prefer to sort out the world's problems rather than go to sleep. The plant is a calming nervine that can aid in quieting a hyper mind and even restless legs. Skullcap tea seems to work better than tinctures to promote a good night's rest. It's often combined with things like hops and lemon balm to distract from the slightly bitter taste of skullcap.

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Powerful Antioxidant

Skullcap helps calm the mind, provides support for people with nervous system disorders, and can help you get quality shut-eye. This magnificent herb can also minimize free radicals born from oxidative stress, detoxify your liver, and even protect the health of your kidneys. Native Americans used skullcap to protect and cleanse the renal system. More research is necessary to prove the effectiveness of this fantastic herb, but the wealth of antioxidants should be enough reason to have a cup of tea.

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May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Scutellaria baicalensis is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese medicine. Studies on rats have produced intriguing results regarding the prevention and cure of Alzheimer's and other cognitive diseases. The rat study showed skullcap protects the hippocampal neurons from damage and may even reverse the harm done to neurons and the memory.

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Fights Withdrawal Symptoms

Individuals who are in the process of battling addiction to drugs or alcohol may find skullcap eases the side effects of withdrawal. After the addictive substance has been out of the system for a week to ten days, skullcap can reduce the occurrence of muscle pain, twitching, irritability, stomach discomfort, sleeplessness, and the shakes. Skullcap may also help decrease cravings.

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Aids Menstruation

Native Americans used skullcap for centuries as a way to signify a girl's transition into womanhood. Today, experts recognize the plant as a powerful emmenagogue that can help induce menstrual flow. The abundance of flavonoids like baicalin and scutellarin offers antispasmodic and sedative properties that relax the muscles in the female reproductive system and increase blood flow.

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Aids in the Battle Against Cancer

Chinese skullcap has proven to be a useful ally in the battle against cancer. The plant can cause cancer cells to die suddenly (apoptosis). Most researchers attribute this benefit to the potent, antioxidant flavone characteristics of the herb. Skullcap, in combination with a holistic treatment plan, may delay the spread of the disease and inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.

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Skullcap Precautions

Herbal remedies require consultations from medical professionals. Skullcap, like many other plants, has complex interactions with medical conditions and diseases. In rare cases, the plant can cause silliness, nausea, or seizures. It's unusual, but skullcap may cause liver damage or hepatoxicity. People with diabetes and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking skullcap due to its potential drawbacks. Also, if you have a stomach or spleen ailment, you shouldn't take the herb. Always consult your general practitioner before ingesting any herb or supplement.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.