Botanical name

Scutellaria lateriflora

Common Names

Blue skullcap, mad dog skullcap, virginia skullcap


Lamiaceae (Labiatae)


A gentle soothing square stemmed member of the mint family. Native to North America, but grows easily in Britain on our herb farm.

Part supplied

The dried herb.

Food Use

Nutritionally, scullcap is high in both Vitamin C (102.5mg/100g) and zinc (8.6mg/100g). Skullcap makes a tasty, nutritious, calming tea either on its own or combined with mint or green tea to add additional flavour.

A warm infusion is useful for painful periods, helping to soothe any pain or cramps.


Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

Medicinal Use

Muscle relaxant, relieves tension, supports the nerves, excellent remedy for long term stress. Combines well with passionflower for exhaustion. Combined with boneset or echinacea it effectively treats colds and fevers.

Key actions: Mild sedative, nervine tonic, spasmolytic. 

In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat insomnia, epilepsy, neuralgia, as well as anxiety and nervous tension. 

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.


Infusion: About half a teaspoon to 1 of herb to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Tincture: Take 1 to 2 ml (1:5 tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Fluid extract: 1:1 Take 2 to 4 ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Dried Herb: Maximum of 6 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.

Other Uses

Cosmetic Use

None known.

Other Uses

None known.



This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Lamiaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.


Scullcap has a long history of use during pregnancy, childbirth and lactation. No current research or genotoxicity studies have highlighted any reasons why this herb should not be used, in moderation, in pregnancy.

Side effects

None are expected as long as the correct species of plant is used. There are over 350 species of scullcap and while many are genetically similar, they often have distinct different medicinal uses. Scullcap has often been contaminated with germander (Teucrium spp.) that can cause liver damage and has been implicated in reports of ‘scullcap poisoning’.  Much has been done in the herbal industry by bodies such as the American Botanical Council to develop testing methods for correct identification to resolve this safety threat.

Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.

Interactions with drugs

Scullcap can potentiate the effects of sedative drugs and this should be taken into consideration in concomitant prescribing.

Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.

More Information


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Look in our recipes section for more uses of this herb.


Read the latest PubMed research on this herb.

Skullcap Scutellaria lateriflora

Add to BagScutellaria lateriflora Skullcap herb 100g £26.99

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