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Scutellaria laterifolia
Action: Antispasmodic, sedative, tonic.
Systems Affected: Nerves.
Preparation and Dosage (thrice daily): Dried flowering plant, dose 1-2 grams by infusion.

There are many species of Skullcap native to various parts of the world: the American Scutellaria laterifolia is the one used principally by Western herbalists. A widely-branched perennial growing to 75 centimeters or so in height, its use as a medicinal plant by the American Indians was adopted by the American settlers and then by Europeans. The generic name is from the Latin scutella (a little dish), a reference to the unusual calyx which is bell-shaped and lipped.
Skullcap acts as an anticonvulsive and sedative. It is regarded as specific for epilepsy, involuntary twitching, spasms, hysteria, hypertension, insomnia, nervous dyspepsia and even severe hiccoughs.
It is one of the most effective nervous system relaxants, and is sometimes used during convalescent debility for its calming yet tonic properties. It is used to best advantage when combined with other nervine and antispasmodic herbs such as Catnip, Chamomile, Cramp Bark, Hops, Lady's Slipper {Cypripedium pubescens), Lime Tree (Tilia cordata) flowers, Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) and Valerian.


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