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New Study Shows Skullcap Herb Repairs Brain Injury

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

skullcap

Story at-a-glance -

  • American and Chinese skullcap come from the same family but are used to treat different conditions; researchers found scutellarin, a flavonoid found in both varieties, reduced cell death following traumatic brain injury and improved neurobehavioral function
  • Researchers discovered it was the upregulation of Nrf2 from scutellarin, and the increase in downstream proteins that triggered the effect, as Nrf2 is important in the expression of antioxidants and crucial in the initiation of healing
  • Other studies demonstrated the protective effect skullcap has on the cardiovascular system, liver and kidneys, and its usefulness in the treatment of allergies, asthma and eczema
  • Skullcap may trigger side effects or interact with supplements or medications, and should therefore be used under a physician’s supervision. It is easily grown in the garden and may be steeped to make a delicious and calming tea

The skullcap herb, not to be confused with the deadly autumn skullcap mushroom, comes in two varieties: the American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis). Although they come from the same family and have medical uses, they are not interchangeable.

The American skullcap is found in North America but is also grown in Europe in other areas of the world. Many of the studies done on skullcap have used Chinese skullcap, native to China and parts of Russia. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for the treatment of infections, headaches, inflammation and allergies.


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