Skullcap was and is used extensively by the great Cherokee peoples, and other Native American tribes as a medicine, and a mystical tool for inducing visions during ceremonies and spiritual practices. The foliage is used and steeped into a tea, rather than a decoction, which is typically prepared when dealing with roots and barks.[1 (Rain 1990 146)] Long before the modern scientific inquiry into Skullcap and many other botanicals, these wise individuals had already discovered the medicinal qualities of these plants. Today, a branch of chemistry known as phytochemistry teaches us that these botanicals produce miraculous and mindbogglingly sophisticated pharmacological alkaloids. Don't just mindlessly believe people that claim there is no scientific evidence to support these holistic medicines.
Native Americans make a tea out of Skullcap and use it as a sedative, for headaches, fevers, abdominal cramps, insomnia, high blood pressure, coughs, heart palpitations, and allergies.[1 (Rain 1990 146)] Modern herbalist use it as an anti-inflammatory, abortifacient, anti-spasmodic, astringent, emmenagogue, febrifuge, nervine, sedative, and tonic. It's also used as a natural remedy for ADD, throat infections, nervousness, insomnia, and many other ailments. While it's traditionally prepared in the form of a tea, it can also be made into a tincture. A tincture has a very long shelf life, and also has an optimal potency not attainable via the typical tea. They are made using high proof alcohol like everclear, which is capable of extracting alkaloids that water can not.
Essential oils can also be captured from skullcap by means of steam distillation. Although the foliage is typically used, all parts of the plant are useful. This is a general rule of thumb when dealing with medicinal plants. All parts of various plants usually have different medicinal applications, because of the different alkaloid content that can be found in different parts of the herbs. It's more cost effective to buy quality organic herbs in bulk and create your own medicines than it is to just buy a tincture or extract. Plus when you make it yourself, you know the quality that's gone into it.
My experiences with this herb have shown me that it does have psychoactive properties which are mild yet very real. These psychoactive properties are why I believe the Native Americans used it ceremonially to "inducing visions". It's not as intense as something like Kratom, the popular opiate-like herb, yet obviously active. I believe there is much more to it than the average person discovers, and through intuition and observation one can really get to know the plant. For use as a natural narcotic, I conclude that it shows great promise when used in infusions intended to induce euphoria. For use in medicinal applications, it's a generally healing herb. I also find it to be a very pleasurable herbal muscle relaxer, much like Indian Warrior.
Skullcap contains many naturally recurring alkaloids. It contains pehnolics in the leaves, stems and even roots like baicalin, baicalein, wogonin, and oroxylin A.[4,5] The herb also contains 5,6,7-trihydroxy-2'- methoxyflavone and its 7-O-glucuronide. Each one of these phytochemicals has their own unique medicinal properties. They are what gives the plant its therapeutic qualities. You would be blown away by what researchers have discovered about alkaloids like these. Yet, there are still those individuals who religiously preach that there is no scientific evidence behind plant based medicine, and refuse to actually do the research.
Shamans have discovered that the color of a plants flowers can be used to identify its qualities.[7 (Heaven, Charing 2006 12)] Both the color blue and purple are neighbors, with similar qualities. These colors are soothing, and calming to the nerves. The flowers of Skullcap are purple, while the plant is generally soothing. Do you see this organic synchronization that I'm pointing out? This is why Buddhist and Shamans use color visualization techniques when meditating. There is science behind color psychology too. It's a very fascinating subject to research and I highly suggest looking into it further.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article on Skullcap. If you like it, please share it on your social media networks, and comment in the comment section found below the references. I've cited my sources further down the page underneath the legal disclaimer. There is also a menu down there where you can navigate through this website furher. Thank you! :)
INFORMATION PROVIDED ON OUR WEBSITE IS FOR BOTANICAL/CULTURAL RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY! ANY REFERENCES ABOUT THE USE OR EFFECTS OF THESE NATURAL HEALING HERBS IS BASED ON TRADITIONAL USE OR SHAMANIC PRACTICES. ALL PRODUCTS ARE SOLD FOR ETHNOBOTANICAL RESEARCH (Consult your healthcare provider)! Not evaluated or approved by the FDA. Not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any ailments, conditions, diseases, etc.
 Rain, M. S. (1990). Earthway. New York: Pocket Books.
 Nishikawa, K., et al. (1999). Phenolics in tissue cultures of Scutellaria. Natural Medicines 53(4), 209-13.
 Li J, Ding Y, Li XC, Ferreira D, Khan S, Smillie T, Khan IA (2009). "Scuteflorins A and B, dihydropyranocoumarins from Scutellaria lateriflora". J. Nat. Prod. 72 (6): 9837. doi:10.1021/np900068t. PMID 19555121.
6 Analysis of Scutellaria lateriflora and its adulterant Teucrium canadense by HPLC-UV and HPLC-UV/MS, Tom's of Maine, PO Box 710, Kennebunk, ME 04043. USA.
 Heaven, R., & Charing, H. G. (2006). Plant spirit Shamanism: Traditional techniques for healing the soul. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books.
 Clark, L. A. (1975). The ancient art of color therapy: Updated, including gem therapy, auras, and amulets. Old Greenwich, CT: Devin-Adair.