Scutellaria Sp. - Skullcap

Family: (Mint family)

"Perennial herb or shrub, generally hairy, occasionally glandular, from rhizomes or tubers. Stem: erect, branched or not. Leaf: basal and cauline; proximal generally petioled; distal cauline ± sessile. Inflorescence: flower 1–2 per leaf axil, or appearing as a bracted raceme. Flower: calyx 2-lipped, lips ± equal, enclosing nutlets, back of upper lip dome-like or transversely ridged, generally concave-depressed behind ridge; corolla 2-lipped, white to violet-blue, upper lip < lower, ± entire, hood-like, lower lip 3-lobed; stamens 4, pairs ± equal, enclosed by upper corolla lip, anthers ciliate, lower 2 1-chambered; disk below ovary generally green-yellow. Fruit: generally ovoid, generally minutely papillate, brown or black.
± 300 species: generally temperate worldwide. (Latin: tray, from calyx dome or ridge) [Olmstead 1990 Contr Univ Michigan Herb 17:223–265] Salazaria occasionally treated as separate genus." [Jepson]

In Chinese herbal medicine, the roots of S. baicalensis Georgi have been used traditionally as a remedy for inflammation, suppurative dermatitis, allergic diseases, hyperlipidaemia and atherosclerosis.[TNS]


Local Species;

  1. Scutellaria galericulata - marsh skullcap [E-flora]
  2. Scutellaria lateriflora - blue skullcap [E-flora]

Marsh Skullcap - Scutellaria galericulata

Identification
"Scutellaria galericulata is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade." [PFAF]

"General: Perennial herb from slender rhizome; stems mostly erect, 20-80 cm tall, simple or branched, 4-angled, with stiff downward pointing hairs especially along the angles but sometimes glabrous or glandular." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Leaves: Usually only stem leaves, opposite, lanceolate to oblong egg-shaped, 2-5 cm long, 6-20 mm wide, pinnately veined, tips pointed, bases blunt to somewhat notched, glabrous above, minutely hairy beneath, margins entire to blunt-toothed; stalks 1-5 mm long." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Flowers: Solitary in axils of slightly reduced leaves; stalks 2-4 mm long; corollas tubular, blue, 15-20 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip entire, shorter than lower and hood-like, the lower lip 3-lobed, the broad central lobe papillate, not hairy, marked with white; calyces 3.5-4.5 mm long, 2-lipped, upper lip with a scooped-out ridge across the back." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Fruits: Nutlets, 4 clustered together, almost spherical, brown. [IFBC-E-flora]


Habitat / Range
"Wet to moist edges of lakes and streams, roadside ditches, and open wet forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to TX, NM, AZ and CA; Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]

Origin Status: Native [E-flora]


Hazards

"This plant should be used with some caution since in excess it causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching[238]." [PFAF]


Medicinal Uses


Lore
(Scutellaria galericulata) The common name is descriptive, and indicates its signature. According to this doctrine, the plant would be used to treat headrelated ailments, anything from insomnia to madness. Other names given to it are equally descriptive, as for instance, Helmet-flower, or Hoodwort (Grieve. 1931). It is one of the herbs traditionally held to cure barrenness (Conway). [????]


Comments

S. galericulata; 1 tsp. infused in boiled,hot water for 15 minutes is one of the best herbal tranquilizers I've used. [PFAF User Comment]


Cultivation:
Succeeds in a sunny position in any ordinary garden soil that does not dry out during the growing season[200]." [PFAF]

Propagation
"Seed - sow in situ outdoors in late spring. If there is only a small quantity of seed it is better to sow it in a pot in a cold frame in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the spring. Division in spring just before new growth begins. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Basal cuttings in early summer in a frame. Very easy. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer." [PFAF]


Synonyms


Blue Skullcap - Scutellaria lateriflora

Other Names: Virginian Skullcap

Description

"Scutellaria lateriflora is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF]

Origin Status: Native [E-flora]
"General: Perennial herb from a slender rhizome; stems single, 20-80 cm tall, 4-angled, glabrous or sparsely hairy with ascending to upcurled hairs, not glandular." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Leaves: Usually only stem leaves, opposite, narrowly egg-shaped to egg-shaped, 3-8 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide, thin, pinnately veined, tips pointed, bases broadly rounded or slightly lobed, mostly glabrous; a few hairs along the main veins beneath, margins toothed; stalks 0.5-2.5 cm long." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Flowers: Inflorescence of 2-12 cm long racemes, in leaf axils or at the ends of branches; bracts to 8 mm long; corollas tubular, blue, 6-8 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip entire, shorter than lower and hood-like, the lower lip 3-lobed, with inner surface glabrous or sparsely soft-hairy; calyces 1.5-2.5 mm long, 2-lipped, upper lip with a scooped-out ridge across the back." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Fruits: Nutlets, 4 clustered together, almost spherical, brown. " [IFBC-E-flora]
"Characteristics: The herb has a bitter, slightly astringent taste"[PDR]

Habitat & Range
"Moist to wet shorelines, forest openings, meadows and grasslands in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent throughout BC, more common in C and S BC; E to NF and S to GA, TX and CA." [IFBC-E-flora]
Alluvial thickets, meadows and swampy woods[43]." [PFAF]
"N. America - Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Florida and Ontario. " [PFAF]


Hazards

"Tincture overdose causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and seizures. Possible liver toxicity. may interfere with the immune response. Avoid during pregnancy [301].This plant should be used with some caution since in excess it causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching[238] It should not be given to pregnant women since it can induce a miscarriage[238]." [PFAF]
Rare case reports associate the ingestion of skullcap with hepatic toxicity. 18 However, the role of skullcap in producing hepatotoxicity is unclear because of the potential contamination of this herb with germander (Teucrium spp.) and the lack of hepatotoxic diterpene compounds in skullcap. There are few experimental data to support the hepatotoxicity of skullcap.[TNS]

"Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). Reports of hepatotoxicity may be due to adulteration with germander, a black eye in itself (AHP). “There is no evidence to indicate that Scutellaria is toxic when ingested at normal doses” (AHP). The FDA has suggested that overdose of the tincture causes confusion, convulsions, giddiness, pulsar irregularities, and twitching (LRNP, January 1993). The USP, in its proposed monograph of valerian, note that preparations containing skullcap “caused hepatosis” (the preparation, not necessarily the valerian). Reported fatality in Norway possibly Scutellaria, or possibly Teucrium, a frequent adulterant. CAN cautions that a mixed product (adulteration with Teucrium spp.) caused hepatotoxicity. Because of traditional use to eliminate afterbirth and promote menstruation, and potential hepatotoxicity, its use in pregnancy and lactation is to be avoided (CAN). Clinical trials with scutellarin in 634 cases of cerebral embolism, cerebral thrombosis, and stroke paralysis showed an overall effective rate of more than 88%, following intramuscular, intravenous, or oral administration (CAN)." [HMH Duke]

"No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages." [PDR]


Medicinal Uses
"A commonly used herbal medicine, Virginian skullcap is a very effective nervine that has traditionally been used in the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions. Its tonic and restorative properties help to support and nourish the nervous system, calming and relieving stress and anxiety[222, 238, 244, 254]. Very little research has been carried out on this species, despite its long use in American and British herbal medicine[244]. Research is sorely needed, and may reveal more uses for this valuable herb[254]." [PFAF]

"Unproven Uses: The drug was formerly used for hysteria and nervous tension, epilepsy, chorea, and other nervous disorders. It has also been used as a bitter tonic and febrifuge." [PDR]


Phytochemistry


Pharmacology

"Anaphrodisiac (f; CRC); Antibacterial (f; PED); Anticonvulsant (f; APA);Antioxidant (1; PH2); Antiinflammatory (1; PH2); Antipyretic (f; CRC; PH2); Antispasmodic (f; APA; CRC; PH2; SKY); Antiviral (1; WAM); Astringent (f; CRC); Bitter (1; PH2); Diaphoretic (f; CEB; CRC); Diuretic (f; CEB); Emetic (f; DEM); Emmenagogue (f; CRC); Hypotensive (f; DAW); Nephrotonic (f; CRC); Nervine (1; CRC; PNC; WAM); Sedative (f; APA; PH2; SKY; WAM); Tonic (f; APA; CRC; PED; PH2); Tranquilizer (f; APA)." [HMH Duke]

"Scullcap has sedative, antispasmodic (little research), antiinflammatory, and also lipid peroxidation inhibitor effects."[PDR]

Scullcap is stated to possess anticonvulsant and sedative properties.(G34, G64) Traditionally, it has been used for epilepsy, chorea, hysteria, nervous tension states, and specifically for grand mal epilepsy.(G7) [TNS]

Extracts of S. lateriflora are traditionally used as a nerve tonic, antispasmodic, diuretic, anticonvulsant, sedative, and tranquilizer. In traditional Chinese medicine, huang - qin (S. baicalensis Georgi) is an herbal treatment for fever, infl ammation, bacterial and viral infections, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, ulcers, neonatal jaundice, and cancer.[TNS]

Elimination
Based on animal studies, baicalin probably undergoes hepatobiliary excretion. 15 The plasma elimination half - lives of baicalein and wogonin conjugates were approximately 8 hours and 10 hours, respectively. 14 The kidneys excrete little free baicalin or wogonin in the urine.[TNS]


Cultivation
"Succeeds in a sunny position in any ordinary garden soil that does not dry out during the growing season[200]. Plants are not so long-lived when grown in rich soils[4]. Many of the plants grown under this name in gardens are in fact S. altissima[238]. It is important to ensure you have the correct plant if using it medicinally[238]." [PFAF]

Propagation
"Seed - sow in situ outdoors in late spring. If there is only a small quantity of seed it is better to sow it in a pot in a cold frame in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the spring. Division in spring just before new growth begins. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Basal cuttings in early summer in a frame. Very easy. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer." [PFAF]


References


Page last modified on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 0:34 AM