Also known as: blue skullcap, mad dog skullcap, and side-flowering skullcap
The Health Benefits of Skullcap
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), a plant in the mint family is administered as a sedative in herbal medicine to treat anxiety disorders. It is ingested in the form of tea or dietary supplement. Skullcap’s flavonoids (baicalin and baicalein) are purported to have anti-anxiety effects due to its interaction with the GABA-ergic system which is responsible for inhibiting neurotransmission [Awad et al. 2003]. The anti-anxiety benefit of skullcap has not gone unnoticed for it has been used as a nerve tonic for more than 200 years [Lohani et al. 2013].
In addition to skullcap's anti-anxiety benefit, it also has a therapeutic potential towards other mental disorders. Neuroinflammation is one of the most notable culprits responsible for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases such as anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, depression, and Parkinson's disease and extracts from skullcap can lower inflammation by decreasing oxidative stress [Lohani et al. 2013]. Besides Skullcap's antioxidant capability, the scientific literature also discusses its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-thrombic benefits[Awad et al. 2003].