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Skullcap Herb: Science-Backed Benefits of Native American Mint
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Skullcap Herb: Science-Backed Benefits of Native American Mint

Skullcap is a type of flowering plant belonging to the mint family. Different species of this plant grow in many places worldwide, lending to its use in different traditional medicine systems.

Native American medicine has traditionally used a species of skullcap herb (Scutellaria lateriflora) as a calming tonic for nervous disorders such as anxiety.1Phytochemical and biological analysis of skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L.): a medicinal plant with anxiolytic properties.

In the past few decades, research has begun to test some of these health claims. We’ve summarized it below.

In this guide:

Quick Glance
Oregon's Wild Harvest Skullcap Organic Supplement, 90 CountBest Overall: Oregon’s Wild Harvest – Skullcap Herb Capsules

“This is the go-to skullcap herb supplement. All organic and no filler.”
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Frontier Co-op Scullcap Leaf & Flower, Certified Organic, Kosher | 1 lb. Bulk Bag | Scutellaria laterifloraPure Herb: Frontier Co-Op – Organic Skullcap Herb Leaf/Flower

“This loose-leaf skullcap herb is great for making teas and tonics.”
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Herb Pharm Certified Organic Skullcap Liquid Extract for Nervous System Support, Organic Cane Alcohol, 4 OunceLiquid Extract: Herb Pharm – Organic Skullcap Liquid Extract

“For a quick and potent dose, this organic, Oregon-grown herbal extract is a great pick.”
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Skullcap Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract, Organic Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) Dried Herb Glycerite Natural Herbal Supplement, Hawaii Pharm, USA 32 fl.ozBulk Buy: HawaiiPharm – Alcohol-Free Skullcap Herb Extract

“If you’re buying in bulk, this liquid skullcap extract is an incredibly good deal.”
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Our Criteria:

  • Only Native American skullcap herb (Scutellaria lateriflora)
    • There are many species, but lateriflora is the most widely used.
  • All organic
    • Each curated pick is free of pesticides and other contaminants.
  • No filler or dilution
    • We select only full-strength supplements.

Top 4 Best Skullcap Herb Supplements

Best Overall

Oregon’s Wild Harvest – Skullcap Herb Capsules

  • Organic
  • Great price
  • No filler

Ingredients: Skullcap herb, gelatin capsules

If you’re simply looking for a top-notch skullcap herb supplement, this is it.

These gelatin capsules contain nothing but cut-and-sifted organic skullcap herb, harvested right at peak potency. You know exactly what you’re getting.

As a bonus, when looking at the price-per-milligram, this is one of the most inexpensive bottles of skullcap capsules we could find.

BOTTOM LINE

This is the go-to skullcap herb supplement. All organic and no filler.

Best Pure Herb

Frontier Co-Op – Organic Skullcap Herb Leaf and Flower

  • Organic
  • Pure leaf and flower
  • Great for tea

Ingredients: Skullcap leaf and flower

For those who prefer a more traditional tonic, this pure loose-leaf skullcap herb is great for making tea.

As discussed farther down, skullcap herb has been shown to possess anti-anxiety properties. That’s why many people like to drink skullcap tea to wind down and relax before bed.

This skullcap herb comes in a bulk 1-pound bag (453 grams) for a great price. Depending on your preferred strength, it’s enough to make up to 150 cups.

BOTTOM LINE

This loose-leaf skullcap herb is great for making teas and tonics.

Best Liquid Extract

Herb Pharm – Certified Organic Skullcap Liquid Extract

Sale
  • Strong extract
  • Organic, non-GMO
  • Oregon-grown

Ingredients: Skullcap herb, organic cane alcohol or vegetable glycerin, distilled water

Mixing a few drops of liquid extract into a drink is a quick and easy alternative to brewing your own tea. This liquid skullcap herbal extract, available in two solutions, is our top pick.

The organic, non-GMO skullcap herb is grown in southern Oregon, where it’s hand-picked in full bloom and extracted while fresh, never dried.

The 4-ounce (120 mL) alcohol-free glycerite bottle contains roughly 1,800 drops, while the organic cane alcohol bottle contains roughly 2,400. In both cases, that’s 168 doses, according to the manufacturer.

BOTTOM LINE

For a quick and potent dose, this organic, Oregon-grown herbal extract is a great pick.

Best Bulk Buy

HawaiiPharm – Bulk Alcohol-Free Skullcap Herb Extract

  • Organic
  • Great bulk deal
  • Non-alcoholic extract

Ingredients: Organic skullcap herb, vegetable palm glycerin, Hawaiian water

Although we chose Herb Pharm’s liquid skullcap herbal extract as a top pick over Hawaii Pharm’s, we had to give this one an honorable mention.

That’s because Hawaii Pharm’s 32-ounce and 64-ounce bottles are insanely inexpensive per ounce. They’re often more than 50% cheaper than most other liquid extracts, making them a great option for anyone buying in bulk.

BOTTOM LINE

If you’re buying in bulk, this liquid skullcap extract is an incredibly good deal.


Benefits of Skullcap Herb

After centuries of use in Native American and Chinese traditional medicine, skullcap herb has become a popular supplement in the Western world.

Research has shown that there are at least 73 different chemical compounds within skullcap herb extract.2Volatile constituents of Scutellaria lateriflora L Many of these compounds are flavonoids, which have been shown to possess various antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic?anti-cancer effects.3Identification of phenolics in the fruit of emblica (Phyllanthus emblica L.) and their antioxidant activities4Flavonoids: an overview

Different flavanoids and other compounds found in different herbal supplements can have different effects. Here’s a summary of the research-backed benefits of skullcap herb.

  • Reduced Anxiety

Skullcap herb’s most common use within traditional Native American medicine is as an anxiety reducer.

In animal studies, researchers have found that skullcap herb does indeed reduce symptoms of anxiety.5Phytochemical and biological analysis of Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L.): A medicinal plant with anxiolytic properties

These researchers observed rats in open, unprotected areas and on narrow platforms elevated above the ground. They found that rats that were given skullcap herb expressed fewer anxiety-related behaviors than the control group.

However, the findings don’t stop with animals.

Early trials have found promising evidence that skullcap herb may reduce anxiety in humans.

One notable study examined the effects of skullcap herb on individuals with low anxiety scores. The researchers found that skullcap herb significantly improved mood scores and slightly impacted anxiety (though they noted that research with a more anxious group would be needed).6American Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora): A Randomised, Double‐Blind Placebo‐Controlled Crossover Study of its Effects on Mood in Healthy Volunteers

At a microscopic level, researchers currently think that skullcap herb’s anxiety-reducing effects may be due to two flavonoids found within the plant—namely, baicalin and baicalein.7Phytochemical and biological analysis of Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L.): A medicinal plant with anxiolytic properties

In the human body, these two compounds bind to transmitters in the brain responsible for reducing anxiety-related activity, mimicking a natural chemical called GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid).8The role of GABA in anxiety disorders.

In plain English, certain chemicals in skullcap herb mimic this calming chemical found naturally in the body.

Cup of herbal tea
Because of its calming and anxiety-reducing properties, many people like to drink herbal skullcap tea before bed.
  • Anti-Seizure Potential

Early research shows that skullcap herb may have a positive impact on seizures.

One study examined the effects of skullcap herb and two other herbs individually on chemical-induced seizures in rats. After being injected, the rats were given one of the three treatments via their water supply for 30 days.9Herbal treatment following post‐seizure induction in rat by lithium pilocarpine: Scutellaria lateriflora (Skullcap), Gelsemium sempervirens (Gelsemium) and Datura stramonium (Jimson Weed) may prevent development of spontaneous seizures

The rats that were given any of the three herbs had no seizures during the trial, while the control groups did. And when the herbal treatments were removed, the treated rats began to have seizures about as frequently as the control group.

The researchers noted that while skullcap herb hasn’t been shown to control epilepsy, it may be effective as a secondary treatment to reduce symptoms.

Using a different set of seizure-inducing chemicals, another group of researchers came to similar findings. In their study, skullcap herb similarly demonstrated anti-seizure properties.10Characterization of chemical ingredients and anticonvulsant activity of American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

The researchers mostly attributed skullcap herb’s anti-seizure properties a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids. These natural chemicals also seem to be responsible for the herb’s anxiety-reducing effects, as discussed above.

Thus far, the potential for skullcap herb’s anti-seizure effects in humans is promising. However, more research is needed.

closeup of skullcap herb flower
Early research has demonstrated skullcap herb’s anti-seizure potential.
  • Powerful Antioxidant and Antimicrobial

Research has shown that skullcap herb is a powerful antioxidant.11Antioxidant activity of the phenolic compounds of hawthorn, pine and skullcap

Antioxidants help with reducing numbers of the body’s free-roaming oxidants, also called free radicals.12Oxidative stress: oxidants and antioxidants Free radicals are highly reactive molecules, and can cause chemical chain reactions in different systems throughout the body.13Biology of disease: free radicals and tissue injury.

Although free radicals occur naturally within the body, having too many of them (a condition called oxidative stress) can be damaging.

Risks of oxidative stress:14Free radicals, antioxidants, and nutrition15Anti-oxidative and DNA Protecting Effects of Flavonoids-rich Scutellaria Lateriflora

  • Neurodegeneration (death of neurons in the brain)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Vascular disease
  • Cancer
  • And many other diseases and conditions

Antioxidants, such as compounds found in skullcap herb, can help reduce the risk of conditions like these by eliminating free radicals and thus reducing oxidative stress.

In fact, one study of 12 different herbal extracts found that skullcap herb was one of the most powerful antioxidants among those tested, second only to licorice root.16Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of some Chinese plant extracts

The same study found that skullcap herb was the most effective of the 12 herbs against E. coli, tied with the Chinese herb goldthread. This suggests that skullcap herb may also be an effective antimicrobial.

The research thus far shows that skullcap herb may be useful for reducing oxidative stress and fighting off foreign agents like bacteria and fungi.

image of skullcap herb flower and stem
Skullcap herb is a powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial.

Skullcap Herb Dosage

There is currently not enough research to recommend any specific skullcap herb dosage.

Most skullcap herb supplements will list the dosage recommended by the brand. This will vary based on whether you’re supplementing skullcap herb in the form of capsules, extracts, or tea.

The curated skullcap herb supplements above list their recommended dosages on the packaging.


Summary

Skullcap herb, once limited to ancient medicinal traditions, has become a popular herbal supplement in the Western world.

While this herb has traditionally been used to treat a wide variety of conditions, modern research has begun to verify its beneficial potential against anxiety, epileptic symptoms, free radicals, and foreign bodies like bacteria and fungi.

Summary: Best Skullcap Herb Supplements
Oregon's Wild Harvest Skullcap Organic Supplement, 90 CountBest Overall: Oregon’s Wild Harvest – Skullcap Herb Capsules

“This is the go-to skullcap herb supplement. All organic and no filler.”
Check Price
Frontier Co-op Scullcap Leaf & Flower, Certified Organic, Kosher | 1 lb. Bulk Bag | Scutellaria laterifloraPure Herb: Frontier Co-Op – Organic Skullcap Herb Leaf/Flower

“This loose-leaf skullcap herb is great for making teas and tonics.”
Check Price
Herb Pharm Certified Organic Skullcap Liquid Extract for Nervous System Support, Organic Cane Alcohol, 4 OunceLiquid Extract: Herb Pharm – Organic Skullcap Liquid Extract

“For a quick and potent dose, this organic, Oregon-grown herbal extract is a great pick.”
Check Price
Skullcap Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract, Organic Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) Dried Herb Glycerite Natural Herbal Supplement, Hawaii Pharm, USA 32 fl.ozBulk Buy: HawaiiPharm – Alcohol-Free Skullcap Herb Extract

“If you’re buying in bulk, this liquid skullcap extract is an incredibly good deal.”
Check Price