Skullcap is a plant which is used to treat a host of medical conditions. The extract of the skullcap plant are beneficial in treatment of a wide range of medical conditions including atherosclerosis, anxiety and epilepsy. However, the use of skullcap plant extract is associated with certain side effects and precautionary measures are required.
Though skullcap extract are associated with a host of medical benefits, however, invariably skullcap products don’t always contain the components that are essential. Often the germander and teucrium of the plant are unwanted but are often included in the extracts.Further, there are certain products that contain other species of skullcap plant which have different chemicals and are not considered beneficial. This is associated with several side effects with the use of skullcap extracts.
Benefits Of Chinese Skullcap Extract
Skullcap plant is native to North America but is now widely cultivated across the globe for its various health benefits. Some of the important health benefits of skullcap extracts include,
- Skullcap extracts have been used over the centuries as a mild relaxant. It is beneficial in treating convulsions and muscle spasms.
- Studies have shown that skullcap extract can also be beneficial in the management of anxiety and nervous tension; however these studies have not been critically evaluated.
- Skullcap is also used as a part of traditional Chinese medicine for the management of allergies, inflammation and different forms of infections. It has strong anti fungal and anti viral properties which makes it beneficial in the management of common cold and flu.
- Further, there are claims that skullcap have strong anti cancer properties. These claims are based on tests and animal studies that have been conducted in China.
- Further Chinese skullcap is also known to be beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels in diabetic patients and in the treatment of hypertension.
Unfortunately, there is very limited or insufficient research conducted to support these claims. The benefits of skullcap continue to remain elusive.
Side Effects Of Skullcap Herbs
Skullcap extract has been used over the centuries for various health complaints. However certain precautionary measures and side effects of the use of the extract have been recorded in the past. This is either attributed to impurities in the extract or interaction with other drugs. Here are some side effects of skullcap extract,
- Occasionally, the skullcap extract may be contaminated with germander which is known to cause liver problems. This makes it imperative to purchase skullcap extracts from reliable sources.
- High dosages of skullcap extract have been liked with irregular heartbeats, mental confusion, giddiness and stupor and twitching.
- The use of American Skullcap extract is not recommended in pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Skullcap extract is also to be avoided in individual who suffer from gastro-intestinal and spleen problems.
- High doses of Chinese skullcap are associated with sudden fall in blood sugar levels which is linked with the possibility of hypoglycemia.
Further skullcap extracts are known to enhance the effect of sedative drugs which are used for treatment of insomnia, epilepsy, etc. Further the extract can interact with alcohol and result in side effects like confusion, twitching and loss of consciousness.
Skullcap dosage needs to be modulated in individuals already on anti-diabetic drugs, as skullcap is known to amplify the effects of these drugs and result in a risk of developing hypoglycemia.