Will Skullcap Root Extract Help You Feel Less Anxious?
Do you have an important business meeting tomorrow and you are nervous about it? That is normal, but if you are feeling anxious and thinking too much about small things, that might indicate you have anxiety problems.
That affects your overall qualify of life and leads to increased stress levels, poor mood, and maybe even depression.
Natural remedies and formulas can help deal with anxiety.
Many supplements include herbal ingredients with anxiolytic properties, such as skullcap root extract.
You might not be that familiar with this plant, so allow us to introduce you to it. We will also discuss what the science says about the skullcap root's potential to assist in managing anxiety.
An Overview of the Skullcap Plant
Skullcap is an intriguing name for a herb, but that is not how the scientists call this plant. They use the term Scuttelaria, which describes an entire genus of mint herbs.
It is interesting to note that the Chinese Skullcap has been a part of their traditional medicine for centuries. Practitioners of Chinese medicine used the herb for various applications, including its neuroprotective effect and the capability to assist GI-related problems.
The scientific name of the Skullcap means a "small dish." The term served to describe the flowers, which have the shape of a helmet or a fish. Apart from the Chinese, you will also find an American skullcap, which is a plant that belongs to the same family.
Since it is so popular in traditional medicine, scientists have expressed interest in a skullcap. Keep reading to discover what do the studies have to say about the effectiveness of this herb for human health and well-being!
Skullcap and its Correlation to GABA and Anxiety
It is important to note that medications that aim at having an anxiolytic effect usually target interaction with GABA. GABA is an abbreviation for a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid. Numerous studies confirm that modulating this transmitter can deliver anxiolytic properties to the user.
Research Study 1 (Skullcap and Anxiolytic Properties)
According to this comprehensive search conducted in 2017, Skullcap deserved a position among phytomedicines that have anxiolytic properties.
The reviewers included multiple online databases to find evidence related to the use of phytomedicines on the GABA system. Skullcap was one of the plants capable of interaction.
The list of other herbs included ashwagandha, lemon balm, passionflower, ginkgo biloba, valerian, etc.
The article published in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment magazine described the correlation between GABA and anxiety disorders. The idea is that anxiety comes as a consequence of a disturbed relation of an emotional response. Since GABA is a neurotransmitter, it plays a crucial role in modulating our brain's responses to various emotions. Therefore, it is capable of modifying how we will react to various events. The idea is that natural herbs provide anxiolytic properties by interacting with GABA, which has been confirmed in this study.
Research Study 2 (Skullcap and Anxiolytic Properties)
It was in 2003 when the Phytomedicine published a detailed analysis of Skullcap and its anxiolytic characteristics. The article explains a study conducted on rats and the open-field test conducted on the animals.
The researchers used 21 adult rats randomly given either a placebo or skullcap root extract. They decided to give the rats the extract an hour before the testing started.
The scientists tested the rats by putting them in an elevated-maze test in pairs.
The conclusion indicates that behavioral trials confirmed the potential that Skullcap has in reducing anxiety levels.
More than 15 years ago, the researchers agreed that skullcap root extract could become one of the phytomedicines used in treating anxiety. Today, the popularity of this plant is already higher than ever before, at least in the Western world. The traditional Chinese medicine ensured this plant has been popular in that country and region for a long time now.
Research Study 3 (Skullcap for Anxiety & Mood)
When it comes to human studies, we found one conducted in 2014. The study is interesting because the volunteers were 43 healthy adults. Most of them (81%) reported only a mild anxiousness. The researchers used the Beck Anxiety Inventory to measure anxiety ratings.
A part of the participants consumed 350 milligrams of Skullcap three times per day for 14 days. The rest consumed a placebo. When it comes to anxiety, the difference in two weeks wasn't impressive, but that is probably because the level of anxiousness was mild.
However, the intriguing discovery was related to the mood of the participants.
Most of them reported that their mood is a lot better than before, while their energy and cognition performance remained optimal.
That is an indicator skullcap can promote a positive mood and help you feel better when you need it.
Research Study 4 (Skullcap for Anxiety & Mood)
Another study published in the British Journal of Wellbeing discusses the potential of American Skullcap for anxiety. The researchers acknowledge the herb has been used in ancient medicine and is looking into its effectiveness in today's world.
They explain the preliminary research shows that Skullcap can be a safe and effective alternative or adjunctive to anxiolytic treatments and medications.
Research Study 5 (Skullcap for Anxiety & Mood)
In 2013, a study was published on the topic of the effectiveness of flavonoids found in the Skullcap. The research indicates that oxidative stress can contribute to both depression and anxiety, as well as a variety of other problems.
Skullcap contains antioxidative compounds called flavonoids. These flavonoids protect the cells from harmful environmental factors.
The conclusion is that American Skullcap can help in dealing with mental disorders if they are caused by oxidative stress.
As you can see, skullcap root extract can be useful in assisting in dealing with anxiety and stress.