unadulterated scullcap (scutellaria lateriflora)

meandraJanuary 31, 2007

I am looking for a reliable source to buy scullcap (scutellaria lateriflora) extract. I used it in the past, and greatly benefited from it, but can't find the place where I bought it online. I don't want to buy it from any odd place, as apparently most of the stuff sold nowadays is adulterated with different species of the same plant, mostly imported from Europe, or another plant that looks similar (sorry, forgot the name), but with different--and toxic--properties. I am looking for the extract form in particular, as the nervine effect of scutellaria seems to deteriorate rapidly in time, which gets even worse if left unextracted. Any suggestions?

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The issue of adulteration was with Teucrium, or germander, which is toxic. Not sure how this happened, as it's hard to confuse the two plants. Two companies with excellent quality control are Gaia Herbs, and Herb Pharm. Their products are sold at most good health food stores.

Other native US species have the same properties, but Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) has some different uses.

I'll add that Scutellaria lateriflora is very easy to grow and prolific in the garden, so you could make your own extract for future use.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 12:46AM
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Thank you very much for replying my question. I will definitely check those companies out.

It's very tempting to hear that scullcap is easy to grow, but--alas--I live in a condo building, so a garden is out of reach. Which is a shame, as various sources are asking for $10 or more for 1 oz. tincture. And considering that each use consumes about 30-40 drops (depending on the case) at least twice a day, you can see things adding up real fast here. Naturally (punt intended :)) I am looking for a cheaper option. Do you think that growing them in containers might do? Do you know any reliable place where I can buy the seeds?

Thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 5:15PM
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i use a lot of skullcap, for its antidepressant and pain relieving properties. i found some s. parvula growing where i live years ago, and brought home some and planted it in my flowerbeds. i still have it and have used it for years with good results. i dry lots of it for teas, and tincture some in brandy every year. both are very helpful. there are many skullcaps, and most are likely to have similar properties. i feel a great deal safer using my own homegrown herbs, they are much less expensive and can't be taken away from us quite so easily as mass marketed ones.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 10:13PM
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vixenmoon(8a, Oregon)

Meandra, I just ordered some scullcap seeds from Richters. I've heard good things about them, but this is my first time ordering anything from them.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 2:45AM
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Meandra, my, it did take me awhile to get back to this thread....

Scutellaria would be easy to grow in pots, and good for personal use; the tea works well during growing season. You'd have to grow*a lot* to tincture, though.

Richter's is an excellent source of medicinal herb seeds and plants. Another is Horizon Herbs, Richo Cech's company. Richo is a master herbalist and herbal horticulturist, and has the best roster of medicinal herb seeds in the US. His two books are must-haves for anyone interested in medicinal herbs. Below is a link to his website, a wealth of herbal information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Horizon Herbs

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 9:01PM
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vixenmoon(8a, Oregon)

phylla... thanks for reminding me about Horizon Herbs. They're in the southern part of my state, and I always like supporting local businesses (and it makes for getting plants that will be sure to grow here much easier LOL)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 10:32PM
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You can buy Scuttelaria lateriflora extract, plant parts and Scuttelaria lateriflora seeds from Mountain Rose Herbs

Here is a link that might be useful: Mountain Rose Herbs

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 3:28PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Thanks for the links to buy herb seeds,
esp skullcap.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 10:11PM
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I planted lots of seeds, and yet only got three plants out of the deal. These seeds are not cheap, mainly shipping is nuts for little seeds. These seeds are tiny, yet one eby they want more to shipp them than it would cost.

Any one got spear seeds?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 7:01PM
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Hi,scutellaria is used largly for drug to cure Cold in China. Our company are specialized in the production of it.Now we are the largest manufacture of it.If you are still intrest please contact me.But if your order is just KGs,the trasport fee will be high.hehe.you can get other informatin about scutellaria from me.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 4:10AM
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>> Hi,scutellaria is used largly for drug to cure Cold in China

Well, there are two types of scutellaria, that are somewhat different - North American or common skullcap is most commonly used as a sedative/nervine, and Baikal skullcap from central Asia. But even the US type has a history as an antiviral.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 8:42PM
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apollog,Thank you.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 4:06AM
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Hello I am a central texas herbalist and noticed this post while doing research on native skullcaps. Adulteration is a big concern all over the herb market, that is why getting herbs from herbalists is your best bet.
I not only have the laterifolia skullcap, but I also harvest and use Scutellaria ovata and Scutellaria wrightii. I grow and wildcraft these native species with are very effective as calming herbs. The wrightii species is more bitter so I use it for pain and headaches as well as calming the digestive tract. I am sure if you search the web for local herbalists in your area someone will pop up. The best source for medicinal plants and seeds that I know of is horizon herbs. They even ship live plants.
Good Luck
Nicole Telkes, Registered Herbalist (AHG)

Here is a link that might be useful: Wildflower Herb School

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 1:21PM
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I obtained one tiny Virginia Skullcap (scutellaria lateriflora) plant several years ago and it has reseeded itself in my front garden ever since. Right now there are two clumps of it next to the sidewalk. It has somehow displaced grass and the other plants that were in that rather tough place. That area faces Northwest, and only gets full sun in the late afternoon.

Since the extract is apparently made from the leaves, if you are in Virginia or Pennsylvania or a similar zone (6 here) it might be possible and practical to grow it on a balcony in a pot or two, especially since it is clump forming and rather attractive. The flowes are tiny, but in attractive purple spikes about six inches long on my plants at present.

I suspect the seeds are most viable soon after ripening. I usually shake them off into similar situations, but no luck yet; my skullcap likes where it presently is. I would like to have much more of it in case of future need.

I have noticed that its leaves are superficially quite similar to those of white snakeroot, which is poisonous and seems to like similar locations, and to bee balm, even though the plants' flowers are all quite different. Snakeroot and bee balm also eventually get much taller, so the main risk is in the spring and early summer.

I acquired the snakeroot from the birds, apparently, as I live in a development and it is doubtful the seeds would have arrived in any other way. I initially thought it was a form of wild daisy; it is quite attractive toward the end of summer, but harmful in agricultural areas, where domestic animals can be sickened if they graze on it. Its presence has made me a bit reluctant to make tea from my bee balm as well, although I am trying to eliminate it from that portion of my garden. Unlike daisies, it likes growing in semishade.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:19PM
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Does anybody know if Scutteleria aplina has sedative properties at all and if it is toxic?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:52PM
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