skull cap is a member of the mint family partial to rich woodland soils and dappled sunlight.
it is one of my favorite plants to forage. there is less than one week a year when it is in perfect condition.
this remedy is astoundingly useful and versatile. i have great respect for it.
i tincture the top half of the plants fresh in vodka and let them steep for several months.
they're perennials so the lower half of the plant lives to see another season.
the great late herbalist michael moore writes of skull cap:
"a sure treatment for almost any nervous system malfunction of mild or chronic nature,
from insomnia to fear to nervous or sick headaches,
and as a basic palliative restorative when pasturing out from stress."
another famous herbalist, william lesassier, calls skull cap "the perfect nervine."
i couldn't agree more.
it is most excellent for sensitive people who are easily over stimulated
and for those who are stuck in their head or tend towards a strong inner life.
this puts a lot of stress and tension on the nervous system, which can unpleasantly manifest in a number of ways.
i consider skull cap specific for spasms of any kind
and find it works promptly for even serious and long standing issues.
i like to use this remedy for people that are stuck in sympathetic 'fight or flight' mode.
they often breathe very shallowly, appear alert and chronically tense. they often have trouble with relaxing, digestion and sleep,
which are all governed by the parasympathetic nervous system.
things can go haywire from there and appear complicated, but the root is simple and resolvable.
step one is always getting people to start sleeping,
in these cases i use a tea blend at first
either KO'd (skull cap based) or The Hermit (reishi based)
often with a specific tincture on the side.
once they're back in shape we use skull cap or ashwagandha to help the system stay steady.
i like to use skull cap alone or in a formula for:
spasmodic disorders of all kinds
imbalances that effect the head (especially stress related)
certain female imbalances
chronic stress, insomnia + anxiety. (sympathetic excess)
recovering from addiction
weening yourself off of difficult meds (i use skull cap tincture and reishi tea. sometimes ghost pipe)
having a couple doses at night before bed helps the body clean up the stress chemicals after a difficult day.
for anxiety or spasming:
take 5-10 drops of tincture and see how you feel
repeat in 15-20 mins if you're not where you need to be
if you're really in a pickle you can take a full dropper no problem.
it's always good to have a glass of water after you take tincture.
tinctures work through the waters of the body so they work quickly.
skull cap is extremely safe. if you take too much you'll just fall asleep.
if digestive tension/spasm is your thing try sipping hot water and get yourself some ginger candies.
but you can always message me
for people who sleep restlessly:
one dropperful before bed with some water to follow.
if your mind won't turn off you should consider count sheep tea.
passion flower turns your thoughts off and is pleasantly calming.
for people who wake up in the middle of the night:
just take a dropperful and have some water. you should fall back asleep.
if you wake up between 1-3 and really have a lot of trouble,
consider the daily detox tincture or i can help you find a tea if you prefer.
it's a minor liver imbalance that very commonly causes this issue.
it's easy to take care of.
SOME DEEPER READING FOR UNDERSTANDING SPECIFIC USES OF SKULL CAP
there are times when i prefer the tea to tincture to bring about desired effects in a timely fashion.
chronic insomnia is one of those situations, peek my night time blend ko'd. i also often use the hermit.
for people that have true sleep troubles, tinctured skull cap won't do what you want it to.
i prefer the tincture for anxiety, tension and spasms for which it is prompt and reliable even at low doses.
skull cap will help with spasms, tension and anxiety. if there is dark, clotting and/or heavy bleeding you need a decongestant and or an astringent.
i have very good tinctures and teas for all kinds of cycle issues. i have a whole female support section in my shop and there are good descriptions up.
these kinds of issues are most directly remedied by just sending me a message describing your situation
especially if it's a really significant issue
skull cap was historically used for rabies and throughout herbal literature and internet research people love to talk about that.
if skull cap does have antiviral actions, they are very quiet and not as direct or reliable as you would want them to be.
medicinal mushrooms are far superior in this regard and would be lovely alongside skull cap.
occasionally remedies like boneset could be useful in early stages. elderberry or elderberry + mullein are great choices.
people get worked up about this, but there is no evidence that i have found anywhere that the skull cap actually saved people from rabies.
and if you know anything about rabies, it is a two week death sentence round trip and a bad way to go.
i think it was used to keep a person sedated on their way out.
i've read renowned herbalists with the same line of thinking, who have many more years of experience than i do,
saying they also have never found evidence that skull cap was actually curative in these instances.
plants and mushrooms no doubt do amazing things, but it's important to understand how we understood the mindbody in terms of health and wellness throughout the evolution of medicine. viruses weren't discovered until nearly the 20th century. that's not to say that we needed to know what viruses 'were' to find effective solutions for them in every instance, but i haven't seen any clinical evidence nor found any studies to support clear antiviral actions for skull cap.
skull cap is excellent for opening the pores in fevers to induce diaphoresis.
it's excellent for spasm, hysteria and convulsions.
it's good for 'stuck energy' feelings that can happen for a lot of different reasons,
namely tension disrupting proper flow or blood, bile, digesting food, waste etc.
and these things certainly tend to happen in fevers of diverse origins.
so you can see how skull cap could be very useful in say a serious fever caused by a virus
*skull cap is known to be neuroprotective* (plenty of concrete research)
and will defend the integrity of the nervous system against pathogens of diverse origins.
skull cap is not a specific for viruses, but it may have limited effects in that realm.
to be clear, this doesn't mean that natural antivirals don't exist.
i just wouldn't choose skull cap as your front line.
i consult for free so you can have the most safe, minimal and effective remedies to suit your specific needs and resolve root issues.
please feel free to message me with questions and inquiries.