The primary properties of this herb are considered to be alterative, anaphrodisiac,
anodyne, antibacterial, antispasmodic, astringent, bitter tonic, diuretic, febrifuge,
nervine, sedative, and yin tonic. It's primary known constituents include lignan,
tannin, essential oil, flavonoids ( scutellarin ), scutellonin, bitter
( scutellaine ) palmitic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid,
phenols, tannin, calcium, and B vitamins.
Skullcap has a checkered history for pain relief. Some cultures strongly recommended
it for the relief of headache and related pain, while other cultures overlooked
this application entirely. Many physicians of the 19th Century used Skullcap with
great reported success, to treat nervous diseases, convulsions, neuralgia, insomnia,
restlessness and even tetanus. These uses continue to persist even today, but little
scientific research has been carried out to understand Skullcap's true effects.
The calming effect of scullcap has been attributed to scutellarin. The herb has
been used for neuralgia, hiccoughs, insomnia and nervous disorders. Scullcap has
shown an anti-acetylcholine and antihistamine effect on isolated guinea pig ileum,
as well as inhibiting norepinepherine-induced contraction in guinea pig vas deferens.
Heart rate has been shown to be reduced.
A 70% methanol extract of the whole root of the species with flavonoid present showed
anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory action. It has been shown to inhibit arachidonates
in rat leukocytes. This could have great significance for many inflammatory diseases.