Scutellaria lateriflora

Scutellaria lateriflora, also known as Blue Skullcap, Hoodwort, Virginian Skullcap, Mad-dog Skullcap[1] is a hardy perennial herb native to North America. It is a member of the mint family. It has an upright habit, growing 60 to 80 centimeters in maximum height.[2][3] It is a wetland-loving species and grows near marshes, meadows, and other wet habitat. The blue flowers are just under a centimeter long.[2][3] Most of the flowers do not appear at the top of the main stem, but are produced along the length of side branches that grow from the leaf axils.

Medicinal uses

Scutellaria lateriflora is used in herbal medicine as a mild sedative and sleep promoter. Scutellaria as a genus has numerous medicinal uses and various species of skullcap are used in similar ways. The traditional uses of Blue Skullcap should not be confused with those of other Skullcaps as there are over 350 different species of Skullcap and they are not all used in the same way. Blue Skullcap is used like Common Skullcap (S. galericulata), Western Skullcap (S. canescens), andSouthern Skullcap (S. cordifolia), all of which are genetically similar.[4] Blue Skullcap and Common Skullcap are mainly known for their traditional use as an incense and herbal tea.

More than 295 compounds have been isolated,in Scutellaria among them flavonoids and diterpenes. Studies show that Scutellaria and its active principles possess wide pharmacological actions, such as antitumor, anti-angiogenesis, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, antibacterial and antiviral activities.[5]

Beta-Elemene found in the herb has anti-cancer properties[6]. In vitro, the herb showed significant cytotoxic activities against three human cancer cell lines.[7]Scutellaria baicalensis root is widely used in China as an adjuvant to orthodox chemotherapy of lung cancer.[8]

Scutellaria lindbergii exerts cytotoxic effects in different cancer cell lines[9

{Information courtesy Wikipedia}