Wednesday, January 2


This is one of my favourite weed friends. It is wonderful for cramps, such as during menstruation. For this reason I tend to see it as a woman’s ally. This friend is a gentle soother. If you’re feeling anxious, angry, or stressed - and don’t we all from time to time - you might just feel drawn to this little wonder. If you are experiencing muscle tenseness or twitches as well, it just might call out to you!

Also known as, Hoodwort, Helmet Flower, Mad-dog weed, and also spelt Skullcap.

She likes water this one, so you’ll find her near river banks, streams, lakes, and anywhere wild where there is moist but well-drained soil. It also likes plenty of sun and tolerates partial shade.

England has two species, Scutellaria galericulata, the useful one, and Scutellaria minor. While USA boasts over 30 species, but it’s Scutellaria lateriflora that’s the most useful to us.

It’s a perennial that grows to about 40cm high. It has an oniony smell. It has opposite, serrated, elongated oval-shaped leaves. The blue flowers grow in pairs. It flowers throughout the summer. I’ve found that cuttings are the easiest way to propagate.

As I mentioned, this plant is a gentle soother. Work with it to ease muscle spasms and cramps, nervous headaches and mental exhaustion. It’s food for the nerves. It helps calm you, so it’s useful for mild insomnia, anxiety, restlesness, and general mild stress.

Steep 1-2 tsp of the dried herb in a cup of just-off-the-boil water. Stand for 10 mins covered with a saucer, and then strain. Reheat or drink cold. Grieve’s recommends 1oz of powdered herb to 1pint of water.

Work with it topically as a poultice or a cool infusion to ease psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.

The fumes are toxic so don’t burn the dried plant as an incense.
Pregnant woman keep well away from it as it is a mild abortificant. But used for this property, it’s useful to complete expel the placenta.

Always ingest plants after responsible research, and at your own risk.

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