A perennial, with a fibrous, yellow rootstock producing a branching stem, 1-3 feet high, Leaves are opposite, ovate to lance-shaped and toothed. The axillary, pale purple or blue, 2-lipped, hooded flowers are in I-sided racemes from the leaf axils. Found in eastern and central U.S. in rich woods, and moist thickets. It is a antispasmodic, diuretic, sedative & tonic. Scutellarin, a flavonoid compound in the plant, as been confirmed to have sedative and antispasmodic qualities. It is known as mad-dog skullcap because the tea was once used as a folk remedy for rabies. Steep 1 teaspoon of the dried plant in 1 cup of water for 30 minutes Take 3-4 times a day.
Origin(s): Africa, China, United States.
Latin Name(s): Scutellaria lateriflora.
Also known as: Blue Skullcap, mad dog skullcap, blue pimpernel, american skullcap, virginia skullcap.
Plant Part(s) Used: Herb.
GMO Status: Non-GMO.
Additives: Free of any additives or preservatives.
Applications / Preparations: Can be put into capsules, teas or infused as an herbal extract. For cosmetic use can be infused in oil for salves, balms, ointments, skin & hair products.
Storage: Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life: It is very difficult to pin down an exact expiration date for most single herbs as they do not really expire, they lose potency or strength over time but will still have value. Unlike synthetic material or drugs, herbs can contain many constituents that contribute to their medicinal effects. Even if when we know what the active constituents are, there are often many of them in a single herb, each with different rates of degradation. Some herbs lose their effect more easily. Other herbs that possess more stable compounds such as alkaloids or steroids will last much longer.
A huge part of the degradation rate of herbs depends also on the storage conditions of the herb, & even on the quality of the herb before storage – how it was grown, harvested, dried & processed. If the product is left in hot places or open to sunlight then it will degrade much quicker than if it was stored in cool, dry place & sealed tightly.
A good rule of thumb is that herbs should be stored no longer than 2-3 years but many herbs will have great strength much longer than that. To determine if a an herb is still good you can check the appearance & aroma. Herbs that are no longer acceptable will have lost much of its vibrant color & will instead appear dull & faded. The bigger key though is to smell the raw materials to see if the potent aroma is still present.
Warning: None known.