American Skullcap, Mad-Dog weed, Toque Bleue, Mad Weed and Quaker Bonnet are all names referring to Skullcap, a plant known for its various uses. Its common name is Scutellaria, a genus of flowering plants in the mint family. Skullcap’s leaves and flowers can either be smoked, brewed as tea or extracted to provide several medical benefits..
Effects of Skullcap
The chemicals present in Skullcap plant have anxiolytic properties known to cause sedation and a relief from anxiety. Additionally, some users describe the effects of smoking skullcap as being similar to those of marijuana. The easy to roll leaf when mixed with passionflower enters the bloodstream quickly and relieves spiralling thoughts aside from giving a sense of deep calmness and relaxation.
Benefits of Skullcap
Apart from treating insomnia, Skullcap also boosts mood and reduces anxiety. Research proves that Skullcap enhances mood by stimulating gamma-aminobutyric acid(GABA), a neurotransmitter used to calm nerves. For this reason, the plant is medicated since the traditional times as a sedative and also recommended for treating withdrawal symptoms from drugs. Due to its herbal nature, it has no negative effects on energy, like other pharmaceutical sedatives.
Studies confirm that Skullcap has anticonvulsant benefits with a potential for therapeutic use in humans. By combining skullcap with Gelsemium and Jimson weed, it produces amazing antiseizure effects, and immediately stops seizures. Furthermore, the plant has antibacterial and antiviral effects and is thereby used in fighting XDRAB, a bacterium causing pneumonia. Skullcap is also used in reducing damages caused by heart attacks and fights Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Usage and Dosage of Skullcap
Skullcap can be smoked in the right quantities to give awesome effects. The herb has a calming effect and a medium smoke with a neutral flavour. When dried, the plant can also be used to make Skullcap tea, loaded with beneficial flavonoids. Simply pour a cup of boiling water into a teaspoon of the dried herb and enjoy up to two cups daily. Besides, Skullcap can be used as a supplement and is present in many commercially available herbal mixtures.
Despite no record of a universally accepted skullcap dosage, the recommended daily dosage ranges from 1-2 grams daily. However, several factors are put into consideration, including the type and form of the herb as well as personal details such as health conditions and age. Most skullcap products have a recommended dosage that you should follow, to avoid unforeseen side effects. Skullcap may cause side effects such as irregular heartbeats drowsiness, confusion, tics and anxiety in some people. Before using the product, visit a qualified doctor or pharmacist for further recommendations on the preferred dosage.
Excemptions from Skullcap
During surgery, Skullcap may slow down the central nervous system and anaesthesia may increase this effect. Therefore, avoid taking skullcap in any form 2 weeks before surgery. In addition, Skullcap is not recommended for use by children and pregnant or breastfeeding women, as there is little research on its potential effects.It also has the potential of interacting with some common medications such as blood thinners, cytochrome P450, pain killers, cholesterol medications and substrate drugs.