This incredible nervine is my personal favourite from the herb world. Perhaps I’m a little biased, but this antispasmodic, hypotensive plant is my go-to herb when the Sandman misses my house…and what a rock-star it is! A perennial member of the mint family, Skullcap thrives in the moist woodlands of North America and was originally used in pagan handfasting ceremonies (marriage) when couples wanted to make vows beyond this life. The entire Skullcap plant, complete with rhizomes, is used to create tonics that act principally on the sympathetic nervous system to control nervous irritations.
The main active constituents found in Skullcap include the flavonoids baicalein, baicalin, scutellarein and wogonin. These are plant secondary metabolites that are not essential for plant growth, development or reproduction, but are mainly active in issues of survivability, potential fecundity and aesthetics of the plant. Just imagine how these indications translate to the human biological system!
The activity of Skullcap as an effective anxiolytic (anti-anxiety treatment) was further demonstrated in the work of Wolfson and Hoffmann in 2003. They uncovered that Skullcap demonstrated a positive interaction with GABA receptors due specifically to its flavonoid content. Similarly to Valerian (as we will see), these compounds were also shown to play a role in binding to the benzodiazepine site of the GABA-A receptor, resulting in a significant sedative effect without being habit-forming.
How much Skullcap you take makes a big difference to how well it will work for you. If you are going to try Skullcap to build a dream on, I recommend it in alcohol tincture form with the following dosages…
Half an hour before bed…
90 drops in tincture form
(Can take 30 drops throughout the day as needed – up to 3 times per day)
This article was written by Nakita Valerio, B.A, CSN, BMSA Technician. She has been working for Optimum Health Vitamins since 2007, during which she has gained a deep appreciation and understanding for the complexities of human nutrtition, and has spent hundreds of hours researching the topic. Her current position is online media assistant - a job she currently enjoys from Morocco!
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.