The fresh green herb of Scutellaria lateriflora, Linné (Nat. Ord. Labiatae). Common in damp situations throughout the United States. Dose, 5 to 30 grains.
Common Names: Scullcap, Skullcap, Madweed.
Principal Constituents.—A volatile and a fixed oil and an unnamed, bitter, crystallizable glucoside.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Scutellaria. Dose, 5 to 30 drops.
Specific Indications.—Nervousness attending or following illness, or from mental or physical exhaustion, or teething; nervousness with muscular excitation; tremors; subsultus tendinum; hysteria, with inability to control muscular action; functional heart disorders of a purely nervous type, with intermittent pulse.
Action and Therapy.—Scutellaria is calmative to the nervous and muscular systems and possesses feeble tonic properties. By controlling nervous irritability and muscular incoordination it gives rest and permits sleep. It may be exhibited to advantage during acute and chronic illness to maintain nervous balance, control muscular twitching and tremors, and is sometimes effectual in subsultus tendinum during grave prostrating fevers. Too much, however, must not be expected from it in the latter condition; nor can it be expected to aid much in delirium tremens, and not at all in epilepsy and paralysis agitans, in both of which it has been injudiciously advised. It appears to be most useful in chorea when reinforced by the addition of macrotys and valerian; in restlessness following prolonged sickness; and in functional heart disorders of a purely nervous character, with intermittent pulse whether accompanied or not by hysterical excitement. When insomnia is due to worry, or nervous irritability or even exhaustion, relief may be expected from it. It once had a great reputation as a cure for hydrophobia, based upon the reports of New Jersey physicians, a claim which time has totally failed to sustain.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.