©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Skullcap quiets nervous tension and eases muscle tension and spasms and induces sleep.

Skullcap gets its name from its blue flowers, which have two "lips" and are reminiscent of the skullcaps worn in medieval times. Several species of skullcap grow in Europe and Asia. The herb also is found throughout the United States and southern Canada.

As it was named after a covering, it isn't suprising that skullcap is often used as a herbal remedy to protect against rabies symptoms and relieve tension, lower blood pressure and more.

Uses for Skullcap

Skullcap is sometimes called "mad dog," in reference to its historical use in treating the symptoms of rabies, which can result from the bite of a rabid dog. Skullcap quiets nervous tension and eases muscle tension and spasms. Skullcap also induces sleep without strongly sedating or stupefying. Skullcap may help to lower elevated blood pressure.

Skullcap has been used for abnormally tense or twitching muscles, as occurs with rabies, Parkinson's disease, St. Vitus dance (acute chorea, a nervous system disease characterized by involuntary movements of the limbs), and epilepsy.

Skullcap has also been found to have an anti-inflammatory action. Guinea pig studies have shown that skullcap also inhibits release of acetylcholine and histamine, two substances released by cells that cause inflammation.

In the next section, we'll look at how to prepare skullcap for use in herbal remedies.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.