It has an upright habit, growing 60 to 80 centimeters in maximum height. It is a wetland-loving species and grows near marshes, meadows, and other wet habitat. The blue flowers are just under a centimeter long. 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.
Traditional uses and researchEdit
Scutellaria lateriflora contains flavonoids. Other skullcaps used for similar purposes include common skullcap (S. galericulata), western skullcap (S. canescens), and southern skullcap (S. cordifolia). Its extracts are used in herbal medicine intended to be a mild sedative and sleep promoter. Skullcap products have been analyzed, with some adulterated by Teucrium canadense or T. chamaedrys, also known as germander, which contains potentially hepatotoxic diterpenes.
β-Elemene in the herb is under preliminary research in vitro, but studies in humans have not confirmed any efficacy. Diterpenes isolated from S. barbata had cytotoxic activity against three human cancer cell lines in vitro.
The principal phenolics in the leaves, stems, and roots of some Scutellaria species are baicalin, baicalein, wogonin, and oroxylin A. Baicalin has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in a rat model of thermal hyperalgesia. Another study identifies 5,6,7-trihydroxy-2'- methoxyflavone and its 7-O-glucuronide. A number of the flavones found in S. lateriflora have been reported to selectively bind with high affinity to central benzodiazepine receptor sites, leading to the view that the flavones exert anxiolytic and other benzodiazepine effects in rats.
The flavonoids are found throughout the plant but are more concentrated in the leaves, and the concentrations are found to decrease slightly as the plant matures. The dried leaf is reported to contain about 50 milligrams of flavonoid per gram. The flavonoids are readily extracted using hot water.
- Scutellaria lateriflora. NatureServe. 2012.
- mad dog, n. -compounds Oxford English Dictionary - mad dog because it was a supposed cure for hydrophobia
- Jepson Manual Treatment
- Washington Burke Museum
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- "The Antiinflammatory and Analgesic Effects of Baicalin in Carrageenan-Evoked Thermal Hyperalgesia". Anesth Analg. 97: 1724–1729. 2003. doi:10.1213/01.ane.0000087066.71572.3f.
- "Scutellaria lateriflora Using Accelerated Solvent Extraction and Supercritical Fluid Extraction versus Standard Hot Water or 70% Ethanol Extraction". J. Agric. Food Chem. 53 (8): 3076–3080. doi:10.1021/jf048408t.
- Analysis of Scutellaria lateriflora and its adulterant Teucrium canadense by HPLC-UV and HPLC-UV/MS, Tom's of Maine, PO Box 710, Kennebunk, ME 04043. USA.
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