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iStock_000014147177Small skullcap@Tina – glad to hear you are relaxing with Bedtime herbal tea.

The skullcap plant has a long history of use in the herbal systems of North America, and more recently, Europe. It is one of the most commonly used herbs to support relaxation. This herb, a member of the mint family, is found in the rich woods and moist soils of eastern North America. And it’s widespread. You’ll find this little gem from Newfoundland to British Columbia, and farther south from Georgia to California.

The common names, Helmet flower, Hoodwort and Quaker Bonnet, give you an idea of what the flower looks like, and the aerial parts (leaf, stem and flower) are used in the tea. You may also see the herb name spelled scullcap.

Though it’s a mint, it has a bitter taste, and is not particularly aromatic.

The Cherokee and Iroquois nations used skullcap tea to stimulate delayed menstruation. It was also used by 19th century herbalists to relieve muscle tension and suppport healthy ligaments and tendons.

This familiar herb is safe, reliable and used for it’s sedative properties to help relieve common anxiety and promote sleep.  The Eclectics, the dominant herbal legacy in 1800s America, extensively wrote about and copiously employed skullcap for these purposes.


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The Tea Talk Blog is written by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Yogi herbalist with over 40 years experience.
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