A useful medicinal tincture (H.) is made from the Skullcap
(Scutellaria), which is a Labiate plant of frequent growth on the
banks of our rivers and ponds, having bright blue flowers, with
a tube longer than the calyx. This is the greater variety
(Galericulata). There is a lesser variety (Scutellaria minor),
which is  infrequent, and grows in bogs about the West of
England, with flowers of a dull purple colour. Ea
h kind gets its
name from the Latin scutella, a little cap, which the calyx
resembles, and is therefore called Hood Wort, or Helmet flower.
The upper lip of the calyx bulges outward about its middle, and
finally closes down like a lid over the fruit. When the seed is ripe
it opens again.
Provers of the tincture (H.) in toxic doses experienced giddiness,
stupor, and confusion of mind, twitchings of the limbs, intermission
of the pulse, and other symptoms indicative of the epileptiform
petit mal; for which morbid affection, and the disposition thereto,
the said tincture, of a diluted strength, in small doses, has been
The greater Skullcap contains, in common with most other plants of
the same order, a volatile oil, tannin, fat, some bitter principle,
sugar, and cellulose.
If a decoction of the plant is made with two ounces of the herb to
eight ounces of water, and is taken for some weeks continuously in
recent epilepsy, or when the disease has only functional causes, it
will often prove very beneficial. Likewise, this decoction, in
common with an extract of the herb, has been given curatively for
intermittent fever and ague, as well as for some depressed, and
disordered states of the nervous system.
A dried extract of the lesser Skullcap (Lateriflora) is made by
chemists, and given in doses of from one to three grains as a pill to
relieve severe hiccough, and as a nervine stimulant; also for the
sleeplessness of an exhausted brain.