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(Among 2048 adult liver transplants recipients enrolled in the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients [SRTR] between 2003 and 2015, 625 were done for acute hepatic necrosis due to drug induced liver injury, half being due to acetaminophen and the 4th most frequent cause [n=21] being HDS products, but specific ingredients were not listed; skullcap is mentioned as a cause of acute liver failure as documented in the literature [Estes 2003]).
Skullcap is a flowering perennial plant native to North America (Scutellaria lateriflora) used for centuries by Native Americans to treat menstrual disorders, nervousness, digestive and kidney problems. The name skullcap refers to the flower’s resemblance to helmets worn by European soldiers. Skullcap was used formerly for nervous disorders, including hysteria, nervous tension, epilepsy and chorea. It is now used largely as a sedative and sleeping pill, often in combination with other herbs such as valerian. Skullcap extracts are prepared from the aerial parts of the Scutellaria lateriflora plant and contain large amounts of flavonoids, including scutellarin and baicalin, which are believed to be the active components accounting for its sedative and antispasmodic activity. It is thought that the flavonoid compounds may act as gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) agonists similar to the benzodiazepines. There are more than 200 species of Scutellaria which have different components and activities as well as potential toxicities. Skullcap is available as a powder to prepare in tea, as a liquid solution and in capsules. Scutellaria is listed as a component in many commercially available, over-the-counter herbal mixtures.
American skullcap is native to North America, but it is now widely cultivated in Europe and other areas of the world. It has been used for more than 200 years as a mild relaxant and as a therapy for anxiety, nervous tension, and convulsions. Studies show American skullcap has significant antioxidant effects, and may help protect against neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, anxiety, and depression. There's even some evidence to suggest that American skullcap may inhibit food allergic response. Today, other herbs (such as valerian) are more commonly used, although American skullcap may be combined with other calming herbs iPeredary O, Persinger MA. Herbal 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. Phytother Res. 2004;18:700-7055. American skullcap derives its name from the caplike appearance of the outer whorl of its small blue or purple flowers. It is a slender, heavily-branched plant that grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet and blooms each July. It grows wild in woods and meadows. (Source: www.mountsinai.org)