Health Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada
Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Skullcap

Help on accessing alternative formats, such as Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (PPT) files, can be obtained in the alternate format help section.

Date: 2008-01-18


Scutellaria lateriflora (USDA 2008)

Proper Name(s)

Scutellaria lateriflora L. (Lamiaceae) ( USDA 2008 )

Common Name(s)

Source Material

Herb top ( Barnes et al. 2007 )

Route Of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

Those suited to the allowable route(s) of administration. This monograph is not intended to include food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:



Preparation: Dry, Powder, Decoction & Infusion + All Non-Standardised Extracts

Dose(s): 0.25 - 12 Grams per day, dried herb tops

See Appendix 1 for examples of appropriate dosage preparations and frequencies of use, according to cited references. The purpose of Appendix 1 is to provide guidance to industry.

Duration of use

No statement is required

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
  • Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist.
  • Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms worsen.
  • Consumption with alcohol, other drugs and/or natural health products with sedative properties is not recommended  (Brinker 2001, Gennaro 2000)
  • Sleep aid:
    Consult a health care practitioner if sleeplessness persists continuously for more than 3 weeks (chronic insomnia)  (Berardi et al. 2002, DiPiro et al. 2002)

Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding  (Barnes et al. 2007, Boon and Smith 2004)

Known Adverse Reaction(s):
Some people may experience drowsiness. Exercise caution if operating heavy machinery, driving a motor vehicle or involved in activities requiring mental alertness  (Bradley 2006, Tilgner 1999, Williamson et al. 1988, Ellingwood 1983[1919], Felter and Lloyd 1983[1898])

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).

References cited

  • Barnes J, Anderson LA, Philipson JD. 2007. Herbal Medicines, 3rd edition. London (GB): Pharmaceutical Press.
  • Berardi RR, DeSimone EM, Newton GD, Oszko MA, Popovich NG, Rollins CJ, Shimp LA, Tietze KJ, editors. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care, 13th edition. Washington (DC): American Pharmaceutical Association; 2002.
  • BHP 1983: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Cowling (GB): British Herbal Medical Association; 1983.
  • Boon H, Smith MJ. 2004. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs, 2nd edition. Toronto (ON): Robert Rose Inc.
  • Bradley PR, editor. British Herbal Compendium: A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plant Drugs, Volume 2. Bournemouth (UK): British Herbal Medicine Association; 2006.
  • Brinker F. 2001. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications.
  • Dipiro JT, Talbert RL, Yee GC, Matzke GR, Wells BG, Posey LM. Pharmacotherapy: a pathophysiologic approach, 5th edition. New York (NY): The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; 2002.
  • Ellingwood F. 1983. American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications [Reprint of 1919 original].
  • Felter HW, Lloyd JU. King's American Dispensatory, Volume 1, 18th edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications; 1983 [Reprint of 1898 original].
  • Gennaro AR, editor. Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, 20th edition. Washington (DC): Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2000
  • Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. 2000. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Austin(TX): American Herbal Products Association.
  • Mills S, Bone K. 2000. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto (ON): Churchill Livingstone.
  • Mills S, Bone K. 2005. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
  • Tilgner S. Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth. Creswell (OR): Wise Acre Press; 1999.
  • USDA 2008: ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville (MD). [Accessed 2008-01-21]. Available at
  • Williamson EM, Evans FJ, Wren RC. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Saffron Walden (GB): C.W. Daniel Company Limited; 1988.

References reviewed

McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, editors. 1997. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.

Appendix 1: Examples of appropriate dosage preparations and frequencies of use

Dried aerial parts:

  • 1-2 g, 3 times per day (Bradley 2006)
  • 3-6 g, per day (Mills and Bone 2005)
  • 0.5-2 g, 1-4 times per day (Boon and Smith 2004)
  • 1-2 g, per day (Williamson et al. 1988)
  • 1-2 g, 3 times per day (BHP 1983)


  • 2 g dried aerial parts, 3 times per day (Bradley 2006)
  • 3-6 g dried aerial parts, per day (Mills and Bone 2005)
  • 1-2 g dried aerial parts, 3 times per day (BHP 1983)


  • 2-4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:1, 25% ethanol, 2-4 ml) (Bradley 2006)
  • 6-12 g dried equivalent, per day
    (1:1, 6-12 ml) (Mills and Bone 2005)
  • 0.5-2 g dried equivalent, 1 to 4 times per day
    (1:1, 25 % alcohol, 0.5-2 ml) (Boon and Smith 2004)
  • 2-4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:1, 25% alcohol, 2-4 ml) (BHP 1983)


  • 0.4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:5, 45% ethanol, 2 ml) (Bradley 2006)
  • 0.6-1.2 g dried equivalent, per day
    (1:5, 3-6 ml) (Mills and Bone 2005)
  • 0.25-0.5 g dried equivalent, 1-4 times per day
    (1:8, 25% alcohol, 2-4 ml) (Boon and Smith 2004)
  • 0.2-0.4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:5, 45% alcohol, 1-2 ml) (BHP 1983)