Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Scutellaria laterifolia

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Scutella , a saucer or shallow dish; alluding to the fruiting calyx.


Traditional name

American: Virginian skull-cap, mad - dog skull cap, hoodwort, mad  -  weed, mad  -  dog weed, blue pimpernel; English: Helmet flower, Skullcap; French: Scutellaire;  German: Helmkrut.

Used parts

Whole plant excluding root.


Classification for Kingdom Plantae Down to Species Scutellaria lateriflora
Up to the kingdom
"Subkingdom","Tracheobionta","Vascular plants"
"Superdivision","Spermatophyta","Seed plants"
"Division","Magnoliophyta","Flowering plants"
"Family","Lamiaceae","Mint family"
"Genus","Scutellaria L.","skullcap"
"Species","Scutellaria lateriflora L.","blue skullcap"


Original proving

Introduced into Homoeopathic Practice, in 1864, by Dr. E. M. Hale and proved by Gorde

Proving, from the  University Bulletin , under the auspices of Dr. George Royal, in the Homoeopathic Recorder, November, 1897, Vol. XII, No. 11, page 495.

Description of the substance

First described
Linnaeus, Species Plantarum.2:598. (1753)
Scutellaria “laterifolia” is an unknown combination, but is the term in the Complete Repertory and the American Pharmacopoeia.

Scutellaria is indigenous to North America, where it ranges from Canada to Florida and westward to British Columbia, Oregon, and New Mexico; it habits the borders of wet places, and flowers during July and August.

A perennial, smooth herb with erect, freely branched stem attaining a length of 80cm. Leaves: opposite lanceo - ovate or ovate - oblong, prominently petiolate, the lamina with acute apex, rounded or sub - cordate base and coarsely serrate margin. Inflorescence axillary and terminal 1 - sided raceme of blue or rarely white or pink, bilobate flowers. Fruit: consists of 4 brown nutlets, enclosed by a persistent calyx having the shape of a Quaker's bonnet.

Macroscopical: Occurs either in the whole, crushed, chopped or pressed condition. When entire stem quadrangular, 50 - 80cm in length and 1.4mm thick, varying in colour from base upward from purplish - brown to brown to yellowish - green, longitudinally furrowed, with distinct nodes and nearly glabrous, except on inflorescence axis. Fracture short. Leaves: opposite, from 2.7cm in length, long petiolate, ovate lanceolate or ovate - oblong; apex acute or acuminate; base, acute or obtuse; margin coarsely serrate, venation pinnate - reticulate, the veins of the first order anastomosing near the margin; upper surface dark green, nearly glabrous; lower surface pale green with few appressed non - glandular hairs and many glandular hairs. Flowers: in axillary, terminal 1 - sided racemes; calyx light green, hairy, companulate - bilobate and toothed; corolla blue, rarely pink or white, tubular bilobate; stamens 4, hairy, the anthers of the 2 lower stamens I - celled, those of the 2 upper ones 2 - celled and cordate; ovary deeply four - lobed; style 2 - cleft. Fruit: composed of 4 ellipsoidal tuberculate, brown nutlets about 1mm in length, enclosed within a persistent helmet - shaped calyx. Subterranean portion consisting of a stoloniferous shoot giving rise to numerous fibrous and branched, slender roots. Odour slight but characteristic; taste (p
owder) slightly bitter and some - what aromatic.
     Microscopical: Powder: dusky green - yellow. Numerous 1 - 3 celled non - glandular hairs with walls having short centrifugal projections, the basal cell large and cylindrical, the apical cell narrowly tapering and often recurved; the nearly spheroidal, smooth pollen grains from 15.25U in diameter; narrow scalariform, reticulate and spiral tracheids, the wavy walled epidermal cells and elliptical stomata, the latter about 20U in length. (Pharmacopea on ReferenceWorks)

(Millspaugh Medicinal Plants) This common perennial herb grows to a height of from 1 to 2 feet.  Root  fibrous;  stem  4 - sided, smooth, except upon the softly pubescent angles, upright, and much branched or simple.  Leaves  opposite, ovate - lanceolate or ovate - oblong, pointed, closely serrate, and rounded or somewhat cordate at the base;  petioles  about one - fourth the length of the blade.  Inflorescence  in opposite, axillary, unilateral, leafy racemes;  leaves , first pair similar to those of the stem, the rest gradually reduced to bracts;  flowers  small, blue, single, in the axils of the floral leaves.  Calyx  in anthesis campanulate, 2 - lipped;  lips  entire.  Corolla  bilabiate, erect;  tube  elongated, curved upward, dilated at the throat, and naked within;  lips  short, equal in length, the upper arched and having two lateral divisions connected with its basal sides, the lower spreading, convex, notched at the apex.  Stamens  4, parallel, ascending under the upper lip, the superior pair shorter;  anthers  approximated in pairs, ciliate, those of the lower pair 1 - celled by abortion, the upper 2 - celled and cordate.  Style  2 - forked, the upper arm wanting or very small.  Fruiting calyx  closed, the upper lip with a helmet - like, and at length concave and enlarged, appendage on the back, the whole splitting at maturity, the upper lip usually falling away.  Nutlets  4, wingless, depressed, tubercular, and situated upon a slightly elevated and bent gyno - base, inclining the fruit to the upper sepal;  seed  transverse;  embryo  curved;  radicle  short, incumbent upon one of the cotyledons.