Skullcap is a safe effective herb for anxiety. Skullcap (scutellaria) is a perennial that makes pretty blue flowers. There are two types, Chinese and American. This post talks about American Skullcap. The name is derived from the Latin word scutella which means small dish (the skullcap flowers do look like little dishes).
Native Americans use skullcap for stress back in the day
As with so many herbs, Native American tribes have been using Skullcap for hundreds of years. The used it for menstrual and other female reproductive issues mostly. But in the 19th century, herbalists discovered that Skullcap was also good for the nerves.
They actually used Skullcap for hysteria, convulsions and for serious mental issues such as schizophrenia, too. Skullcap was actually also known as “mad dog” for a while because it was thought to be good for rabies.
Big pharma strikes again
Unfortunately, in the early 20th century when the pharmaceutical companies were trying to get a foothold into the sedative market, they managed to discredit Skullcap for anxiety by using the exaggerated “good for rabies” claim.
They basically spread propaganda about how Skullcap was not a treatment for rabies and that all the claims about it uses were false or exaggerated. This included using it to treat anxiety.
Most likely, Skullcap did help with some of the side effects of rabies such as aggressiveness, irritability and muscle spasms. But, the pharmaceutical companies weren’t going to mention that.
One of my faves for anxiety
I don’t know about all that other stuff, but I do know that it is a must in my house for anxiety. It’s part of my panic formula and we use it when we have trouble sleeping.
I don’t know why, but just saying the word Skullcap kind of calms and assures me. Could it be because of the religious association? Maybe.
My way of using skullcap
My dosage: 4 dropperfuls – A dropperful is whatever amount comes up into the dropper when you squeeze the top. This is less than what I took for panic attacks. I take this amount as needed throughout the day with no problems. This is a very safe herb.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have purchased and used all of the herbs below, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.
As always I prefer a tincture of Skullcap. Gaia, my favorite brand for herbs in capsule form, does not make a Skullcap only capsule. They have an anxiety blend in capsule form that includes some other good for anxiety herbs. They do have a Skullcap only tincture, though.
If you want a Skullcap only capsule Nature’s Way makes one that is vegetarian and gluten free.
If you prefer tea, Buddha makes a good one. The tea is slightly bitter, but nowhere near as bad as Valerian or Kava, for instance.
Whether for anxiety, insomnia or muscle tension, Skullcap should be a must have in everyone’s herbal medicine cabinet.
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“If you’re going through hell, keep going” Winston Churchill