Authored by: Emily Cuthbert

Latin Name: Scutellaria lateriflora

Standardized Common Name: Skullcap 

Other Common Names: Blue skullcap

Family: Lamiaceae

Parts Used: Aerial parts


  • Taste (Rasa): Bitter
  • Potency/Action (Virya): Cooling
  • Post-digestion effect (Vipaka): Pungent
  • Doshas: PK- V+


  • Flavonoids
    • Flavones
      • Scutellarein glycosides
  • Tannins
    • Rosemarinic acid
  • Volatile oils
    • Limonene
    • Terpineol
    • Humulene
  • Minerals
  • Iridoid glycosides

Actions: The effects of Scutellaria lateriflora are light, cooling and overall, mild. Though mild in action, skullcap is efficient in aiding muscle tension in the neck and back caused from stress and anxiety. The effects work both long-term and as needed.

  • Relaxing nervine tonic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Astringent
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Flavonoids
  • Anxiolytic
  • Diaphoretic
  • Hypotensive
  • Anti-allergic

Indications: Muscle tension, exhaustion, cramping, anxiety, insomnia

Safety/Contraindications: No known indications, but may interfere with CNS depressants. Generally safe for long-term use.

Preparations and Doses:

  • Powdered Herb: 2 grams 4x daily
  • Tea: 1 oz/ 1 qt of water drunk throughout the day


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  • Marciano M, Vizniak NA. Evidence Informed Botanical Medicine. Canada: Professional Health Systems Inc.; 2015.
  • Skenderi G. Herbal Vade Mecum: 800 Herbs, Spices, Essential Oils, Lipids, Etc., Constituents, Properties, Uses, and Caution. Rutherford, NJ: Herbacy Press; 2004.
  • Tilgner S. Herbal Medicine: from the Heart of the Earth. Creswell, OR: Wise Acres; 2020.