Skullcap may sound like a scary name for a deadly plant, but it’s actually an adorable flowering medicinal plant in the mint family, that’s used as a natural supplement due to its many wonderful healing properties.

What is Skullcap?

Skullcap is a perennial herb that grows in moist, shady areas. It has blue or purple flowers and a long, slender root. The leaves and flowers of skullcap are used to make medicine.

This flowering plant is also known as scutellaria lateriflora, is native to North America, and has been used for centuries by Native Americans to treat a variety of health conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.

The Benefits of Skullcap for Anxiety, Insomnia, and More
Skullcap was first introduced to European settlers in the early 1600s and quickly became a popular medicinal herb used for treating a variety of health conditions, including fever, coughs, and headaches.

In more recent years interest in skullcap has been revived, and it is now being used by many people as a natural remedy for anxiety, insomnia, and other health issues.

How Does Skullcap Work and What Are the Benefits of Skullcap?

Skullcap contains several active compounds, including flavonoids, terpenes, and alkaloids. These compounds have a variety of pharmacological effects, including antispasmodic, anti-anxiety, sedative, and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds work by binding to receptors in the brain and nervous system.

The benefits of skullcap are fantastic and provide an array of health perks.

With that said, let’s discover the benefits of skullcap and we’ll also tell you why it can work as one of the best teas to help you sleep. Skullcap has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including:

Skullcap For Anxiety

Evidence has shown that skullcap can boost mood and reduce anxiety symptoms. Skullcap is thought to work by increasing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps to calm the nervous system. GABA is the body's natural way to relax and reduce anxiety. Similarly, many pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications work by enhancing GABA activity.

One study found that in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study of 43 healthy participants, scutellaria lateriflora (American skullcap) significantly enhanced global mood without a reduction in energy or cognition.

Skullcap For Sleep and Insomnia

Skullcap’s capabilities to calm nerves and anxiousness are the reason why skullcap is one of the best teas to help you sleep.

The compounds that have sedative and calming effects in skullcap help to promote relaxation and sleep. Skullcap helps you with sleep quality and getting to sleep quickly, the same way it helps with anxiety, by increasing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is the body's natural way to relax and fall asleep.

So, if you're looking for a natural way to improve your sleep, you should consider trying skullcap tea or tincture before bed to help you relax and catch some well-resting ZZ’s.

All you need to do to make skullcap tea is steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried skullcap in hot water for 5-7 minutes. Add a splash of honey or lemon to balance any bitterness and voila. However, to get the best benefits of skullcap for sleep we recommend a making sleep tea blend that includes skullcap along with other sleep-enhancing herbs such as lemon balm, valerian root, chamomile, and passionflowerAll these herbs are amazing for sleep inducement and quality rest. A warm cup of tea combining these powerful herbs can be soothing for sleep promotion, anxiety reduction, or simply relaxation.

Or even better, you can let us here at Wise Ape Tea do the work for you.

We’ve perfected an amazing adaptogenic super-herbs combo to support your nightly zen and daily relaxation. 

herbal tea blend for sleep

Our adaptogenic tea blend Orange Dreamiscle includes skullcap and this relaxing elixir is designed to calm the mind, reduce stress, and help you sink into a restorative night's sleep.

Skullcap For Stress

Through that same process of stimulating the production of GABA (that neurotransmitter that helps calm the nervous system), skullcap may also help to calm the nervous system when it’s overwhelmed.

Another way skullcap can contribute to stress relief is through its ability to ease anxiety and improve sleep. As we all probably already know from experience, stress, anxiety, and sleep are all closely linked. When we are stressed, it can be difficult to fall asleep, and when we don't get enough sleep, we are more likely to feel stressed and anxious. Consequently, by improving our anxiety and sleep quality we ultimately reduce our stress levels.

Scientific evidence has supported the use of skullcap for stress relief in multiple studies. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that skullcap extract was effective in reducing anxiety in rats and the extract caused an anxiolytic-like activity in the rats.

Skullcap For Inflammation

There is significant evidence proving that skullcap may help with inflammation and have indicated its powerful antiviral and antibacterial effects. For this reason, skullcap is often used as a home remedy for those who suffer from arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.

A 2011 study found that skullcap extract was effective in reducing inflammation in rats with arthritis. The study participants who took skullcap had significantly reduced levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

Another study (test-tube study) of over 30 Chinese herbs found that only S. barbata extract (Chinese skullcap) had 100% antibacterial activity against Acinetobacter baumannii (XDRAB), a bacterium that is a leading cause of pneumonia in hospitalized patients. The extract was also more effective than colistin, a common antibiotic.

Skullcap is thought to help reduce inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines, repairing damaged cells and tissues, and reducing oxidative stress. It contains several active ingredients, such as baicalin, wogonin, and scutellarin that help work in these processes to reduce inflammation.

The Incredible Benefits of Skullcap

Whether you’re looking to improve falling asleep, staying asleep, anxiety, or managing an inflammatory condition, skullcap is an amazing herb for natural improvement and an amazing remedy. The benefits of skullcap are endless and incredible.

If you are looking for a natural way to improve your health and sleep, skullcap may be a great option for you.

How to Take Skullcap?

Despite being a member of the mint family, skullcap doesn’t taste like mint. Instead, it has a bitter, earthy taste. The taste of skullcap is like that of other bitter herbs, such as dandelion root and burdock root. Some people find the taste to be unpleasant, and they may choose to have skullcap in a blend or add sweeteners to make it more palatable.

Skullcap can be taken in several forms, including capsules, tinctures, and teas. Tea is probably the most popular way to enjoy skullcap, especially for those looking for improved sleep. You’ll often find skullcap combined with other calming herbs for flavor enhancements and for extra powerful soothing for sleep promotion, anxiety reduction, and health perks.

For an ultimate flavorful, anxiety-reducing, relaxing herbal elixir… let us here at Wise Ape Tea do the work for you.

herbal tea blend for sleep

We’ve perfected an amazing adaptogenic super-herbs combo to support your nightly zen and daily relaxation. Our adaptogenic tea blend Orange Dreamiscle includes skullcap and is designed to calm the mind, reduce stress, and help you sink into a restorative night's sleep.

(Is Skullcap Safe? Skullcap is generally considered to be safe for most people when taken in moderation. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking skullcap if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any other medications.)

What is your FAVORITE Benefit Of Skullcap?

Let us know your thoughts on Instagram at @WiseApeCo and/or use the hashtag #WiseApeTribe and we’ll share it!

This informative article is written, by Sophia McKenzie. Sophia is head content creator and writer, for several premium websites, where her expertise lies in health, nutrition, and wellness. Her content focuses on providing and sharing doable solutions to help people truly thrive and live their happiest, healthiest, fulfilled lives.