Scullcap - A sacrament for healing the nerves

Family: Labiatae (Mint family).

Botanical Name: Scuttellaria laterifoli. Synonyms: Mad dogweed, blue pimpernel, hoodwort.

Geographical Location: East coast of United States from Connecticut south to Florida and as far west as Texas. Also found in Europe.

Habitat: Indigenous herb, growing in damp places, meadows, ditches, and alongside ponds. Flowers in July and August.

Botanical Description: A perennial with a big porous, yellow rootstock that produces a branching stem growing from 1 to 3 feet in height. The leaves grow in opposite pairs up the stem and have sawlike points on the edge and a point at the end. The flowers grow from axils at the stem and are two-lipped; pale purple or blue in color.


Ancient herbalists named this herb scullcap because blossoms resembled the human skull. It has also been known as mad dogweed and madweed because it cured hydrophobia. The herbalist's guide for determining the use of a herb such as scullcap was termed "the doctrine of signatures." They took into consideration the shape and color of the plant's leaves and flowers and used them as clues to which organs of the body would respond to medicines prepared with these herbs.

1. Red is the color of the blood. It was concluded that plants bearing red flowers would act on the blood. As research now indicates, red-flowered plants are rich in iron for the hemoglobin of the blood. An example is red clover.

2. Blue is a soothing sedative color. Plants with blue flowers are rich in potassium and phosphorus, minerals that are helpful to the brain and nerves. Examples are scullcap, valerian, and vervain.

3. Yellow suggests bile; so herbs with yellow blossoms were given for digestive, liver, and gall bladder disorders. Yellow-flowered plants have an abundance of sodium, the mineral associated with digestion and liver secretions. Examples are dandelion, celandine, and barberry (Oregon grape), all with yellow roots, all proven remedies for stomach, liver, gall bladder, and intestinal disorders.

Herbal literature describes scullcap as being one of the finest nervines ever discovered.


The active ingredients include scutellarin, a volatile oil; a bitter glycoside; tannins; fat; sugar; and cellulose.

Primary Effects

Scullcap is a great tranquillizer. If it is smoked, the effects are similar to those of marijuana. It is most soothing to the mind and nerves and should be considered in all fear states, when there is mental confusion and inability to concentrate.


Steep 1 ounce of scullcap in a pint of very hot water for twenty minutes. Drink 3 to 4 cups for the most pronounced effects.

Ritual Use

Tantric yoga techniques have traditionally been used for self-development, using the male-female concept as a source of energy. There are a number of techniques in this system that can be used to physically heal ailments that range from urinary infections to mental disorders. The ritual described below is a healing exercise that only works if the visualization required is strong.

• 2. Face each other, man and woman, naked, and in a comfortable sitting position.

• 3. The woman sits with her hands in her lap. The man places his right hand on the top of her head, his left hand over her stomach.

• 4. The man then visualizes a large white ball of light originating over his head. This white ball then descends down into his head, through his right hand, down the woman's body, and out through his left hand. This energy is then visualized as circulating up his body, through his right hand, and down her body, again, forming a circular path.

• 5. The woman visualizes this energy going down her body. She then directs it to the place that needs healing, chosen before the ritual. When she feels the energy in that place, she chants AUM once.

• 6. When the woman has finished chanting, the couple repeats the ritual, reversing roles. The man does not chant AUM until he feels more energy at his chosen site for healing than he gave her; when he does, he then chants AUM once.

• 7. When the man is finished chanting, he repeats this ritual back to the woman, again with her chanting AUM only when she feels more energy than she did the first time.

• 8. This ritual is continued four to five times until each falls back exhausted. A slower form of lovemaking may occur at this time.

If this exercise is repeated each night for one week, the possibilities for healing are limitless.

Note of Caution: It is not recommended that scullcap be used in combination with any pharmaceutical tranquillizers. It is strong in itself, and the chemistry has yet to be identified.

Scullcap is good for eliminating headaches and easing fitful sleeping.

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