Skullcap is one of those herbs that can be useful for almost anyone, yet it isn’t in common use. People today are constantly moving, and society rewards the busy with more work. I often meet people who say they are busy like it is an achievement. “I am so busy I can barely function! My nervous system is a mess, and I can’t sleep, I haven’t had a bowel movement in days, and I am running off of caffeine and sugar, but I feel so alive!” This statement is one I hear pretty often. Add that to the fact that we spend countless hours a week on our electronic devices, bombarding our nervous system and brain with artificial light, constant movement, and constant news bombarding us, which also causes stress and, I would argue, nervous system depletion. Enter nervous system trophorestoratives.
A trophorestorative is an herb, food, or substance that can help nourish, build, and improve optimal function of a body system. Our American skullcap, Scutellaria lateriflora, has this action on the nervous system. Its nutrient and energetic profiles help to regenerate, nourish, and restore the nervous system, giving it what it needs to function at its prime.
Skullcap is an excellent nervous system tonic, but it has gotten a bad name due to cross contamination. Throughout the years, skullcap has been adulterated with Teucrium chamaedrys, European germander, which has led to multiple reports of liver damage and liver failure. Each report of skullcap toxicity to the liver was found to be in cases where the skullcap was adulterated with either European or American germander. Because of this, be sure to source your skullcap from a trusted source like Mountain Rose 3
Herbs, Zach Woods Herb Farm, or your local, ethical, herbalist/wildcrafter.
It should also be noted, that although we are discussing S. lateriflora here, Chinese skullcap root is a traditional medicine documented as far back as 5000 years. There are also many native species across the world, which are used in different ways. This isn’t one of those herbs where the actions are generally similar across the board. If you choose to work with your local skullcap, do your research and be sure of your species, learn traditional uses of that particular species, and approach these new medicinal friends with respect.
I hope you’ll enjoy a nice hot cup of herbal tea while reading about all the benefits of our friend, Skullcap.