Natural Order—Labiatae. Linnean System, Class 14, Didynamia; Order 1st, Gymnospermia.
This plant may be found growing wild in various parts of England, and is a very useful herb. It can also be cultivated. The stems grow erect, from 1 to 3 feet high, are four-square, of a green or brownish colour. The leaves are opposite each other on either side of the stem, of a dark green colour, lanceolate, crenate, wrinkled and cordate at the base. The flowers are axillary, purplish-blue, and each contain four stamens—two long and two short—with one pistil. It flowers in July and August. It grows on stony banks of rivers and lakes, in pits, ponds, canal sides, and swampy places.
Medicinal Properties: Nervine, Antispasmodic, Tonic, and slightly Astringent.
Scullcap has proved to be one of the finest nervines, and whenever a nervine influence is required, it may be used with confidence. It can be given alone, in powder, or infusion. The dose of the powder is from one-half to one teaspoonful, two or three times a day; of the infusion, one wineglassful three times a day.
It is excellent in St. Vitus' Dance.
Small, repeated doses are useful for children suffering from rickets, and more especially in convulsions and fits. It is also a grand remedy for persons suffering with cramp.
This herb is useful for either males or females suffering from general weakness; it also lessens excessive sexual desire by imparting a natural tone to the nervous system.
The following is a valuable recipe for nervous headache, restlessness, hysteria, and other nervous affections:—
Scullcap, Powder ... ½ oz.
Gt. Wild Valerian, Powder ... ½ oz.
Mix and thoroughly stir one teaspoonful into a cupful of boiling water, and when cool take in one dose. Repeat two or three times a day.
Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.