Latin Name: Scuttilaria lateriflora (Lamiaceae/ Labiatae)

Common Names: Skullcap, Helmet flower, Hooded willow herb, Madweed, Blue pimpernel

Part(s) used: Leaf

Form(s) used: Infusion, tincture


– Infusion: 8-14 g, 1-2x/day
– Tincture: 1-2 ml, 2-3x/day

Herbal Actions

– Vital Stimulant
– Bitter
– Cooling
– Astringing and Restoring
– Dry
– Relaxing and Stabilizing

Clinical Actions

– Bitter (due to iridoids) and Nervine tonic
– Stomachic
– Sedative and Hypnotic
– Astringent due to tannin constituents;
– Antispasmodic
– Diaphoretic when taken as hot infusion

Constituents: Bitter principles (iridoids), Lamiaceae tannins (rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid), flavonoids, volatile oil, calcium/potassium/magnesium phosphate

Primary Uses: Provides relief to the Central Nervous System with minor cases of fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia due to sedative and hypnotic effects; aids digestion and minor cramps in GI tract; diaphoretic for feverish states when taken as a hot infusion; relieves minor cases of painful menstruation

Cautions, Contraindications, and Possible Adverse Effects: Skullcap should be used within 6 months of collecting because it deteriorates rapidly with age. There are fraudulent substitutions for Skullcap, such as Germander which is hepatotoxic, so handle herb with wariness. Aside from this, there are no reports of contraindications or side effects when herb is used correctly.

Written By: Sadie A. Garner, Clinical Herbalist


Resources Cited: Skenderi- p. 346, Holmes- p.507-509, Actions Database- p.104, CSCH Notes- Nervous System


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