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ScutellariaScutellaria lateriflora & Scutellaria incana
Mad-dog & Hoary Skullcap
A tea made from this herb is excellent for preventing nightmares and as a restorative after spiritual or magical assault or recovery from exorcism or other trials. In some traditional medicines, skullcap is combined with vervain. I would recommend this combination as a restorative for any spiritual work. Although this is a mint, which is often of Venus, skullcap, because of its effectiveness on the nervous system, is of Mercury. In Hoodoo, skullcap is used in charms for faithfulness (consider it also, then, for honoring Hera) and for attracting gifts of money. A nice herb to grow that does not call attention to itself of yell "witch!" in your garden but still has excellent magical uses.

The tea is drunk as a nervine and sedative, calming anxiety and relieving stress. Mad-dog and Hoary skullcap varieties have both served as traditional medicinal plants. This magic herb can grow all over North America. Likes most mints, it favors water and can grow in swampy areas--or find it a place beneath your garden hose faucet, where it can make use of the drippings. This bitter mint has been used to ease the anxiety of withdrawing from addictive substances, for migraine, PMS, difficult sleep, and grief. Good tea for workaholics at the end of the day, for restoring health after a bout with the flu, for people recovering from stroke, for folks in the aftermath of a seizure, or for those who have endured a spiritual or magical assault. Typical amount used for a tea is 1/2-1 teaspoon in one cup of boiling water, allowed to steep for 15 minutes; then drink 1/2-1 cup. Or make a traditional tincture of 1 part herb to 5 parts brandy; a dose is then 30-50 drops in water. An excellent addition to dream teas or against nightmares. Nice to combine with hops, passionflower, and/or wild lettuce for insomnia, with vervain for anxiety, and passionflower for hyperactivity or with valerian (although skullcap does not leave a hangover as valerian can). Some people smoke this, but I am not sure how that would affect anything. Rarely grazed on by mammals or fowl, but ring-necked pheasant like the seeds. Scutellaria laterifloria is called "mad-dog" because it was once believed to be a treatment for rabies. Scutellaria incana, "Hoary" or "Downy" skullcap, which gets its name from the tiny white hairs that grow on its square stem, is taller and showier than the Mad-dog, with larger flowers that attract many pollinators, including hummingbirds and bees. Both skullcap varieties are pollinated primarily by bumblebees. Also known as Quaker bonnet, madweed.

How to grow Skullcap. This seed needs cold stratification to germinate. You can do this by wetting and wringing out a paper towel, sprinkle the seeds on it, fold closed and press gently, put in a thin plastic baggie and leave the top open. Then put that in either the fridge for 3 months or more dependably, outdoors in a protected area, like a shed or an unheated garage. Check in spring for germination and then shift seeds into seed-starting soil. Mad-dog skullcap gets 6-26"/15-90cm tall. Space 15"/38cm apart.  It likes wet areas and can grow in full sun or up to 70% shade. Hoary skullcap gets 12-36"/6-90cm tall. Space 18"/45cm apart. Prefers partial sun with moderate to dry conditions, though it also tolerates moist conditions. Overall, skullcap, a perennial, is fairly easy to grow in a garden and can grow from deeply cold zone 3 to hot zone 9. For greatest potency, harvest the flowering tops in their third summer and dry for later use. Mad-dog flowers are quite small, something like those of hyssop, and Hoary flowers are slightly larger. General growing info. Top

 

Scutellaria lateriflora
Mad-dog Skullcap
50 seeds $3.75

Scutellaria incana
Hoary Skullcap
50 seeds $3.75




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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Restorative after magical assault or trial
Faithfulness
Money Spells
Mercury Herb

© 2011, 2018 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission