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Skullcap ( scutellaria lateriflora) is a hardy perennial native to North America. Traditionally, it was used by indigenous people as a treatment for rabies and is also know  “mad dog skullcap”

Medicinal Value

In Europe and N. America, Skullcap lateriflora has a reputation and is used as a clamant for the nervous system. It is used to support exhausted nerves resulting from mental and physical exhaustion, and to support normal sleep patterns. There is some evidence that scuttelaria may be used to support the nerves during withdrawal from drugs including tobacco and alcohol.     However, Tibetan and Indigenous tribes historically have used it as an anti-viral, antibacterial, fever reducer and as a gentle soother for indigestion. Many Eclectic Medical texts mention its use to support the nerves during withdrawal from drugs. and it restores nutrition uptake to the nerves. Like most herbs in the mint family, it is cooling yet has bitter principles and other complex chemicals making it a balanced choice as a gentle nervine.

Ornamental Value

Skullcap, Official  (Scutellaria lateriflora)

between  8-24″ and produces tiny,  most often blue flowers. and is hardy between zones 4-8


It prefers partial shade to full sun. Water moderately, but make sure soil is well-drained. Prefers fertile soil.

Skullcap seeds will germinate at a high rate naturally, and does better with a short period of stratification (1 week or so). Seeds can be placed into refrigerator for one week, then started by lightly tamping seeds into soil in flats (1/4-3/8″ deep) or similar starting container. Transplant outdoors when first true leaves are developed.

Harvest & Keeping

All the above-ground parts of the plant may be harvested when in full bloom and easily made into tincture at the time of harvest. Some herbalists caution the compounds are delicate and the medicine is stronger when this herb is fresh. If making tinctures, do so quickly after harvesting the leaves and flowers

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