FutureStarr

Blue skullcap

Blue skullcap

Blue skullcap

Most of the studies done on skullcap have examined Chinese skullcap. Native to China and parts of Russia, Chinese skullcap has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat allergies, infections, inflammation, cancer, and headaches. It may also have antifungal and antiviral effects. Animal studies suggest that Chinese skullcap may help reduce symptoms of diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), but scientists don't know if Chinese scullcap has the same effect in humans. In test tubes and animal studies, Chinese skullcap appears to have some cancer-fighting properties. More research is needed to determine any benefit.

Skullcap

The case history is entirely compatible with drug induced liver injury caused by one of the several botanicals that she was taking. Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) has been associated with cases of clinically apparent liver injury, but largely in association with other botanicals that have also been implicated in causing hepatotoxicity. Valerian has been reported to cause an acute hepatitis-like syndrome alone or in combination with skullcap, both of which have purported sedative qualities leading to their mixture in herbal preparations claimed to help sleep.(6 cases of severe hepatitis in patients taking herbal medications, including one on black cohosh alone and 5 taking multiple herbals including skullcap [n=3], valerian [n=2], chaparral [n=1] and greater celandine [n=1] for 1-14 weeks, presenting with jaundice [bilirubin 9.9-62.7 mg/dL, ALT 1293-3764 U/L, Alk P 80-219 U/L], 1 on black cohosh alone requiring liver transplantation, the other 5 resolving in 7-25 weeks; 3 were treated with prednisone for prolonged cholestasis).

The native Mad-Dog Skullcap is occasional to locally common in central and northern Illinois; in the southern portion of the state, it is usually less common (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist sedge meadows, openings in floodplain woodlands, soggy thickets, swamps, bogs, seeps and springs, edges of vernal pools and ponds, moist depressions in limestone glades, and shaded areas of cliffs. In wooded areas, this plant benefits from any disturbance that reduces the density of woody vegetation; it is typically found in partially shaded wetland areas. The flowers attract few insect visitors; however, Robertson (1929) observed a long-tongued bee, Melissodes bimaculata bimaculata, sucking nectar from them. The caterpillars of Prochoreutis inflatella (Chorentid Moth sp.) skeletonize the leaves of Mad-Dog Skullcap. Mammalian herbivores and geese won't eat the foliage of this plant because of its bitter taste and mildly toxic properties. The Ring-Necked Pheasant reportedly eats the seeds. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)

 

Related Articles