Parts used medicinally: Aerial Parts
Skullcap is considered a sedative and a nerve tonic. Herbalists often use this herb for problems like insomnia, nervous tension and sometimes PMS.
What is Skullcap?
Skullcap is a herbaceous perineal that belongs to the mint family. It is native to North America and is characterized by bluish-purple flowers that gather in clusters to one side. The common name, skullcap, is indicative of the flower itself whose bottom calyx resembles a helmet worn by soldiers.
This herb is well-known for its wonderful calming properties. It has a long history of use as a nerve tonic for conditions like anxiety, stress and nervous tension. It is utilized for acute conditions where an immediate calming effect is necessary, for example when you are feeling nervous on the day of a job interview or an exam. It is also useful for more chronic stress conditions where there is a natural tendency or disposition to worry or be anxious. Many herbalists have found this herb useful for reducing the frequency and severity of panic attacks.
This herb can also be taken over longer periods of time to act as a tonic and restorative to the nervous system, especially one that has been under chronic stress. Skullcap is often used in conjunction with other calming/sedating herbs to increase its effects, but the wonderful benefit of skullcap is that it can sooth the nerves without causing too much drowsiness – perfect for those wanting to use it during the daytime.
Did You Know?
- Skullcap has traditional use as an anticonvulsive herb – helping to prevent seizures in conditions like epilepsy.
- It also helps to calm those with busy minds, who often have trouble falling asleep at night due to ruminating thoughts. Therefore it is often indicated in insomnia.
- Skullcap also has mild analgesic properties and was historically used for things like toothache and menstrual pain.
Skullcap & Me
- If you suffer from sleep trouble, try having a cup of skullcap tea to help relax your muscles and sooth your thoughts – getting you in a great space to relax & fall asleep.
- If you're feeling a little on edge, try a few drops of the skullcap tincture under the tongue or in some water.
If you are pregnant/breastfeeding or on drug medication, be sure to consult with a professional before trying these remedies.