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Skullcap (Scutellaria) Health Benefits, Usage, and Side Effects All Backed by Science

Skullcap (Scutellaria) Health Benefits, Usage, and Side Effects All Backed by Science

What are the Benefits of Skullcap?

  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Has antiviral and antibacterial effects
  • Reduces anxiety and improves mood
  • Promotes sleep
  • Decreases heart disease risk
  • Helps in detoxification
  • May have anticancer qualities

Skullcap is not a hat you put on during winter. It is actually an herb known to be medicinal. In fact, it has been part of traditional Chinese medicine.

Now, let us find more about the impressive benefits of skullcap.

One of the health benefits of skullcap is its ability to reduce inflammation. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is used as a home remedy for inflammatory bowel diseases and arthritis.

Moreover, this quality allows skullcap to protect cells from damage.

Skullcap was among the herbs observed in a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Researchers focused on their effectiveness in protecting neuronal cells. (1)

The result showed that this skullcap is as effective as ginkgo Biloba, Korean rhubarb, and Chinese cinnamon. They follow turmeric and ginger extracts.

In addition to anti-inflammatory effects, this herb is antiviral and antibacterial.

One study published in the Science Bulletin focused on the flavones extracted from skullcap root. It showed that these flavones have medicinal properties. They provide antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, hepatoprotection, and neuroprotection benefits. (1)

For its pharmaceutical effects, skullcap is used to treat different conditions. They include respiratory infections, inflammation, dysentery, hypertension, and diarrhoea.

Skullcap may also reduce anxiety symptoms and boost your mood.

One study reported about 43 people who took skullcap treatment daily for two weeks. The result showed more significant improvements in mood than those in the placebo group. (1)

Research explained how American skullcap lowers anxiety and brightens the mood. It stimulates the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This helps in calming the nerves. (1)

Furthermore, skullcap does not only help you with anxiety and mood problems. It can help improve sleep conditions too.

This herb is good for people struggling with sleeping problems like insomnia.

Let us check out one research about insomnia herbal medicine. It included passion flower, lemon balm, and skullcap. (1)

Taking skullcap tincture or tea before bedtime could be helpful. It can help you get good sleep by keeping you relaxed.

If you are worried about getting heart disease, skullcap supplementation may help.

Research studied the cardioprotective effects of baicalein. This is the flavone that can be taken from the skullcap’s roots. The study suggested that the herb may support heart health. (1)

Baicalein’s cardioprotective qualities may avoid heart conditions, like myocardial infarction.

In case you want to detoxify your body, skullcap tea can be good for you too.

The herb is linked to enhanced antioxidant activities in the liver. As a result, your liver’s efficiency can be increased. This can lead to lowered toxin levels in the blood and body. (1)

Also, skullcap may help kill cancer cells.

According to research, Chinese skullcap extract can be deadly to some cancer cells. They include prostate cancer and brain tumour cells. It can also prevent the growth of myeloma and lymphoma cells.

The anticancer effects of skullcap are attributed to its flavones, particularly baicalein. This could be the result of its scavenging on free radicals, which inhibits viral infections.

According to a study in the Beijing Science Bulletin, this flavone did not cause mutations. This is a breakthrough since a lot of anticancer medications now cause this problem. (1)

A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine also supported this. It showed that skullcap extract helped in the prevention and spread of cancer cells. (1)

Truly, skullcap is a promising herb. However, we have to wait for further studies to cement its effectiveness.

What is Skullcap?

Skullcap got its name because its blue flower resembles a medieval helmet. Its colour ranges from pink to blue. It is characterised by a slender stem, with branches that can reach up to four feet high.

This herb is part of the Lamiaceae family. There are actually two kinds of this herb, the Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) and American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora).

Some other names for skullcap are mad weed, hooded willow herb, blue pimpernel, and helmet flower.

How Does Skullcap Work?

The health benefits of skullcap are linked to its flavones, like baicalein, and phenolic compounds. They affect the body in several ways. Basically, these chemicals in skullcap work by preventing inflammation.

No wonder, it was a traditional medicine used by the native Americans for different conditions.

How Do I Take Skullcap?

If you want to supplement with skullcap, you have to be mindful of the proper dosages. Usually, its doses range between 1 to 2 grams a day.

Nevertheless, the dosages could depend on the form and type of the herb. Therefore, pay close attention to the details of the product you plan to take.

You can also drink skullcap tea. It can be blended with lemon balm or other herbs. It is easy to find this tea since it is available online and in health food stores. However, it may be a less effective supplement since it is less concentrated.

There are also tinctures which contain skullcap and other calming medicinal plants. The doses for such depend on the ingredients and concentration.

Can I Take Skullcap Along with Vitamins and Medicines?

Before deciding to supplement with skullcap, find out about its interactions first. You may be taking medications, and it might affect the effectiveness of the drugs.

Among the drugs skullcap can interact with are pain killers and blood thinners. You should also avoid using it with cytochrome P450 substrate drugs and cholesterol-reducing medications.

Is Skullcap Safe?

Skullcap may have health benefits, but it can have side effects as well.

Some of the side effects known are drowsiness, irregular heartbeat, mental confusion, anxiety, and tics.

Worse cases include liver damage and failure in some individuals. That is why if you have a condition that affects liver function, you better avoid skullcap.

Chinese skullcap is also linked to lung complications.

Due to lacking research, skullcap is not recommended for pregnant, or nursing women, or children.

To ensure your safety while enjoying skullcap benefits, seek medical advice. It is highly recommended that you consult your physician first.

How Will Skullcap Benefit Me?

Skullcap can help you achieve wellness in many ways. Its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties are noteworthy.

If you to try skullcap supplementation, then only trust a reliable brand. Contact us now.

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