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Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

Last Updated on May 19, 2021 by MyFormulary

Alternate Title

  • Scutellaria lateriflora

Related Terms

  • American skullcap, flavanone glucuronides, flavone glucuronides, ikonnikoside I, lateriflorin, mad-dog skullcap, ou-gon (Chinese), Scutellaria lateriflora, scutellarin, skullcap.
  • Note: Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) should not be confused with Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria barbata), although they have similar scientific and common names.

Background

  • Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is native to the United States.
  • Traditionally, scullcap has been used as a relaxant, and it is well-known for its antispasmodic actions. Native Americans traditionally used scullcap extracts as sedatives and diuretics.
  • Although early evidence suggests that it may have antidepressant or anti-anxiety properties, there is not enough available evidence in humans to support the use of scullcap for any medical condition.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for scullcap in adults.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for scullcap in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid in individuals with known allergies or sensitivity to scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), its constituents, or members of the Lamiaceae family.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Little information is available on the adverse effects associated with scullcap.
    • Scullcap may cause liver damage and should be used cautiously in patients with liver disorders.
    • In a case report, a man who was taking a traditional Japanese herb medicine, otsu-ji-to, developed pneumonia. The authors concluded that the pneumonitis had been induced by ou-gon (scullcap). However, it is unclear which species of scullcap ou-gon refers to.
    • Based on secondary sources, high doses of scullcap may cause giddiness, stupor, confusion, and other symptoms suggestive of epilepsy.
    • Use cautiously in patients who are taking antidepressants, hypnotic agents, or anti-anxiety agents, as scullcap may increase their effects.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Scullcap is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Scullcap may have antidepressants effects and should be used cautiously with antidepressants.
    • Scullcap may have antispasmodic effects.
    • Scullcap may cause liver damage and should be used cautiously in patients with liver disorders.
    • Scullcap may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Scullcap may have antidepressants effects and should be used cautiously with antidepressants.
    • Scullcap may have antispasmodic effects.
    • Scullcap may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements. Scullcap may cause liver damage and should be used cautiously in patients with liver disorders.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Bruseth, S and Enge, A. [Scullcap–liver damage. Mistletoe hepatitis]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 8-10-1992;112(18):2389-2390.
    View Abstract
  • Gafner, S, Bergeron, C, Batcha, LL, et al. Inhibition of [3H]-LSD binding to 5-HT7 receptors by flavonoids from Scutellaria lateriflora. J Nat Prod 2003;66(4):535-537.
    View Abstract
  • Takeshita, K, Saisho, Y, Kitamura, K, et al. Pneumonitis induced by ou-gon (scullcap). Intern.Med. 2001;40(8):764-768.
    View Abstract
  • Wolfson, P and Hoffmann, DL. An investigation into the efficacy of Scutellaria lateriflora in healthy volunteers. Altern Ther Health Med 2003;9(2):74-78.
    View Abstract
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