While it sounds ominous, Chinese Skullcap is actually a very beneficial dietary supplement ingredient. Used particularly in traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese Skullcap is of the mint family, Lamiaceae, ranging in color from pink to blue. This medicinal plant got its name from its shape resembling that of a medieval helmet (draxe). Interesting, huh?
There are two types of Skullcap that are often confused with one another: Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) and American Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora). Adding to the shock factor, American Skullcap is infamously referred to as the “Mad Dog” herb since it was used in pre-industrialized America to treat rabies in both humans and animals (organicnewsroom). American Skullcap is the more commonly used herb, and was found to help treat a type of cancer called Fibrosarcoma. Researchers unveiled that the supplement “was able to significantly suppress the tumor cells,” and that further examination was needed to conclude if Skullcap can be used as an effective natural cancer treatment (organicnewsroom). If it can, think of how many lives would be positively affected?
Chinese Skullcap is very special in that it can affect many compounds. One study discovered that Chinese Skullcap, in “50% reduction, contained approximately 1 mg/g of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is known to exhibit many health benefits such as stimulating growth hormones, helping concentration, and in lowering anxiety” (organicnewsroom).
As shocking as the name of this herb sounds, American and Chinese Skullcap has the potential to help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, ease anxiety symptoms, lower fever caused by the flu, and reduce the risk of heart disease (draxe).
As discussed above, American Skullcap does show a promising future for cancer treatment. However, Chinese Skullcap does too! Studies have shown that Chinese Skullcap extract is toxic to cancer cells. This includes prostate cancer cells, brain tumor cells, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. Other research has shown that these extracts can also suppress growth of lymphoma and myeloma cells (draxe).
Like many herbal supplements, Chinese scutellaria has many anti-inflammatory properties, as many people who endure arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases use it. Chinese Skullcap also has benefits in those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease specifically because of its anti-inflammatory effects (draxe).
For more than two hundred years, American Skullcap has been used as a nerve stimulant to help treat anxiety. Research has shown that the plant contains “anxiolytic activity” in both humans and animals. This research also shows that bioactive compounds in medicinal plants such as Skullcap may neutralize and even remove completely toxic free radicals. This activity greatly reduces oxidative stress, making Skullcap a natural anxiety reliever (draxe).
Skullcap does have calming properties, but it can also help people who experience insomnia. It helps with restlessness, jaw clenching, and muscle tension. This supplement might be the ingredient your product needs to help customers get some much-needed sleep (draxe).
Epilepsy and Muscle Spasms
Research has found that Ayurveda treatments involving herbal medicine, including Skullcap, can help people who suffer from epilepsy and muscle spasms. In fact, a Laurentian University study done on animals showed that Skullcap may lower the risk, and even the frequency of, seizures (draxe).
From battling cancer to alleviating anxiety, are you interested in making a dietary supplement product to help your customers live healthier lives? If so, perhaps American or Chinese Skullcap is a viable ingredient in your custom formula. After that formula is finalized, visit makersnutrition.com and request a free quote!
Disclaimer: As with any dietary supplement, please consult with a licensed physician before taking any form of Skullcap. While Skullcap can be highly beneficial for many, it may not be safe to take under your circumstances.