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Skullcap

Skullcap

Description

This herb gets its name from the way it looks like a cap. It has purple or blue flowers. It is heavily branched and slender and can grow up to 4 feet tall. The flowers bloom in July. It can be found in meadows and woods wildly.

It originates in North America but is now grown in Europe and other parts. It has been used for several years as a medicinal herb to treat convulsions, tension, nervousness and anxiety.

Medicinal uses

The following are some of the uses of the herb:

  1. When the herb is taken as an infusion, it can be used to treat nervous conditions and convulsions.
  2. It can be used to treat insect bites and snake bites.
  3. It has been used for a variety of years to treat insomnia, neuralgia, palsy, rickets and rheumatism.
  4. It is also good for treating arthritis, neuritis, neuralgia, stress and pain.
  5. It can be used as a tonic when you want to promote meditation
  6. It can be used to break addictions to drugs such as alcohol or other drugs. It works very well to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal.

Dosage and administration

The herb is not recommended for children. The herb can be used to make tea and should be taken 3-4 times every day. If it is in liquid form, about 3-12 drops should be added to hot water everyday.

Parts used

For making medicine, the parts that are used are the leaves. They are usually harvested in June. The plant that is harvested is usually about 4 years old.

It is usually available as a liquid extract or as a powder.

Benefits

The following are some of the health benefits of using both the Chinese and the American skullcap:

  1. It can be effectively used to treat inflammation. The herb contains anti-inflammation properties and can be used to relieve some of the inflammation symptoms that can be triggered by diseases such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease ad Alzheimer’s.
  2. The herb has a long history of being used to treat cancer. Various studies have been done to see what kind of effect the herb has on cancer cells. The studies show that they induce a condition known as apoptosis where the cancer cells self destruct. However it is advised that people should not use the herb to self medicate themselves and treat cancer. It is important to seek the help of a practitioner who is knowledgeable on herbs.
  3. It is useful to people who are suffering from depression and stress. This is because it has calming properties which help a person to relax and remain calm. It has also been used for or long times to help in relaxation and to also treat anxiety. However more research is needed in order to substantiate the effects that the herb has been purported to have.

Side effects

The herb helps to treat diseases and strengthen the body’s immune system. Herbs however can have a possible interaction with other drugs or other herbs that you might be using ad it is therefore important that you seek medical advice before beginning to take the herbs. The following are some of the possible side effects of skullcap:

American skullcap

  1. The herb can cause liver problems. This is because it contains a group of plants known a germander.
  2. If the herb is taken in a higher does than is recommended, it may cause sezures, irregular heat beats, twitching, mental confusion, stupor, or giddiness.
  3. The herb is harmful to children and should not be used by nursing mothers or pregnant women.

Chinese skullcap

  1. The Chinese skullcap is not recommended for people who have diabetes. This is because it is known to lower the sugar levels in the blood. This might raise the dangers of developing hypoglycemia.
  1. Similar to the American skullcap, it should not be used by nusrsing or pregnant mothers.
  2. It should not be used by individuals that have spleen or stomach problems.

The American and the Chinese skullcap are known to cause a variety of problems when they interact with various drugs. When the herb is used with sedatives it could trigger serious complications. When it is also used with diabetes drugs, it could consequently lower the blood sugar levels.

 

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