Scutellaria lateriflora L.

Last updated: 08 Nov 2016

Scientific Name

Scutellaria lateriflora L.


Cassida lateriflora (L.) Moench, Scutellaria lateriflora f. albiflora Fernald, Scutellaria lateriflora var. albiflora Farw., Scutellaria lateriflora var. axillaris Jenn., Scutellaria lateriflora f. lateriflora, Scutellaria lateriflora f. rhodantha Fernald, Scutellaria polybotrya Bernh. [1]

Vernacular Name

No documentation.

Geographical Distributions

Scutellaria lateriflora is native to almost all moist climates of North America, including some of the northernmost territories of the continent. [2]

Botanical Description

S. lateriflora is a member of Lamiaceae family. [1] It is an erect perennial herb that grows to 1 m in height. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

Aerial parts of S. lateriflora has been reported to contain dihydropyranocoumarins (e.g. scuteflorins A and B), decursin, chrysin, oroxylin A, 5,7-dihydroxy-8,2’-dimethoxyflavone, dihydrochrysin, dihydrooroxylin A, lupenol, scutellaric acid, pomolic acid, ursolic acid, beta-sitosterol, daucosterol, and palmitic acid. [3]

S. lateriflora has been reported to contain flavonoid compounds (e.g. baicalin, baicalein and wogonin). [4]

Plant Part Used

Leaves and roots [5][6]

Traditional Use

Traditionally, an infusion of the roots of S. lateriflora has been given by Native American tribal healers to women who were experiencing difficulties during menstruation. Some Native American tribes used S. lateriflora in order to ease nervous disorders and certain spasmic disorders. [5]

Not only was the infusion used to reduce discomfort associated with menstruation, but to stimulate menstruation if the menstrual cycle is irregular. Additionally, Native American practitioners believed that an infusion of the roots of S. lateriflora may assist in the process of childbirth, having used it to expel the afterbirth. The Iroquois used an infusion of the root to protect against smallpox and ease throat disorders. [6]

Preclinical Data


Antioxidant activity

S. lateriflora extract has been demonstrated to exhibit antioxidant activity that protect the tubular epithelium and antifibrotics that induce apoptosis of pro-fibrotic myofibroblasts, in vitro and in vivo. Results obtained show that several of the herbs examined in three different studies, including S. lateriflora, demonstrated strong antioxidant activity in epithelial cells. [7][8][9]

Anxiolytic activity

S. alteriflora extract has been reported to exhibit anxiolytic activity when administrated orally in rats. Significant increases in the number of entries into the center of an "open-field arena"; number of unprotected head dips, number of entries and the length of time spent on the open arms of the Elevated Plus-Maze were found. [10]

Anticonvulsant activity

S. lateriflora has been demonstrated to exhibit anticonvulsant activity in rat models of acute seizures induced by pilocarpine and pentylenetetrazol. The results from this study indicate that phenolic compounds, especially flavonoids, are the predominant constituent in S. lateriflora that has anticonvulsant effect. [11][12]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Scutellaria lateriflora L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Nov 08]. Available from:
  2. Scullcap. [homepage on the Internet]. c2009 [updated 2016 Nov 03; cited 2016 Nov 08]. Available from:
  3. Li J, Ding Y, Li XC, et al. Scuteflorins A and B, dihydropyranocoumarins from Scutellaria lateriflora. J Nat Prod. 2009;72(6):983-987.
  4. Gao J, Sanchez-Medina A, Pendry BA, Hughes MJ, Webb GP, Corcoran O. Validation of a HPLC method for flavonoid biomarkers in skullcap (Scutellaria) and its use to illustrate wide variability in the quality of commercial tinctures. J Pharm Sci. 2008;11(1):77-87.
  5. Grifin J. Mother nature’s herbal: A complete guide for experiencing the beauty, knowledge & synergy of everything that grows. Woodbury, Minnesota: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2012; p. 32.
  6. Moerman D. Native American ethnobotany.  Portland, Oregon: Timber Press; 2000.
  7. Lin L, Harnly J, Upton R. Germander (Teucrium canadense and T. chamaedrys), a potential hepatotoxic adulterant. Phytochem Anal. 2009;20(4):298-306.
  8. Wojcikowski K, Wohlmuth H, Johnson DW, Rolfe M, Gobe G. An in vitro investigation of herbs traditionally used for kidney and urinary system disorders: Potential therapeutic and toxic effects. Nephrology (Carlton). 2009;14(1):70-79.
  9. Wojcikowski K, Stevenson Lm Leach D, Wohlmuth H, Gobe G. Antioxdiant capacity of 55 medicinal herbs used to treat the urinary system: A comparison using a sequential three-solvent extraction process. J Altern Complement Med. 2007;13(1):103-109.
  10. Awad R, Arnason JT, Trudeau V, et al. Phytochemical an biological analysis of skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L.): A medicinal plant with anxiolytic properties. Phytomedicine. 2003;10(8):640-649.
  11. Zhang Z, Lian XY, Stringer JL. Characterization of chemical ingredients and anticonvulsant activity of American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora). Phytomedicine. 2009;16(5):485-493.
  12. Peredery O, Persinger MA. Herbal treatment following post-seizure induction in rat by lithium pilocarpine: Scutellaria lateriflora (Skullcap), Gelsemium sempervirens (Gelsemium) and Datura stramonium (Jimson weed) may prevent development of spontaneous seizures. Phytother Res. 2004;18(9):700-705.