Feeling stressed? With the temperatures heating up, Skullcap is a good herb to know. American Skullcap, Scutellaria laterifolia, is a soothing, cooling nervine. It eases tension, relaxes the muscles, and acts as a general anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
Skullcap has a rejuvenating effect on the entire nervous system. It is often used in cases of nervous exhaustion, pre-menstrual tension, headaches, and depression. Skullcap helps in the process of breaking addictions; it is known for soothing the specific tension that comes from withdrawal. It is especially helpful for weaning off of sleeping pills.
Skullcap is a sedative and anti-spasmodic herb. It is very helpful in treating anxiety, nerves, and convulsions of various kinds. It has been known to help with epilepsy, seizures, panic attacks and hysterical states. It cools the brain and promotes mental clarity, allowing for a greater range of emotional flexibility, especially if one is prone to fits of anger.
All in all, Skullcap is an excellent stress-and-pain-relieving ally. It is a native herb, and it’s easy to grow. The leaves and flowers can be collected and dried for tea.
To Grow: Skullcap is a perennial herb that can be found in North American thickets, woodlands, and along stream banks. A member of the mint family, Skullcap will spread like a mint across the ground. Skullcap enjoys moist, fertile, well-drained soil and moderate watering. It prefers a range of partial shade to full sunlight. Skullcap seeds require a period of chilling before they will germinate, so place the seeds in a moist paper towel in a sealed plastic bag, and put them in the refrigerator for a week be-fore planting. Plant seeds close to the surface, and place in a sunny window. Keep the soil moist but not soaked. When the seedlings are 6-8 weeks old, they can be transplanted outside. Bury roots and a few centimeters of stem and tamp soil down. You can also try scattering your chilled seeds in the earth and see what happens.