American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is a popular herb in traditional medicine systems and western Materia medica for anxiety and related disorders. It is reported to be one of the most widely used medicinal herbs, with anecdotal evidence for minimal side-effects and with no known toxicity. This article summarises the results of a pilot survey conducted amongst herbal medicine practitioners on their use of S. lateriflora.
An email survey was conducted amongst herbal medicine practitioners in the UK and Ireland. It aimed to gather information on the extent of, and indications for, current use of S. lateriflora, its perceived effectiveness and its safety. Herbal medicine practitioners were selected from the membership list of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). All members with identifiable email addresses were contacted (n = 377) and responses were received from 62 (a 16% response rate).
The results of the survey suggested that S. lateriflora is highly regarded among herbal medicine practitioners as an effective intervention for reducing anxiety and stress and is commonly prescribed for these conditions and related co-morbidities. The results were not conclusive as the response rate was low and respondents were only those with email access.