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Invisibledblaney
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Registered: 10/03/04
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WARNING: Skullcap
    #3828504 - 02/24/05 06:43 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

This is a warning for all those considering using the herb Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora).

A friend of a friend (literally), is a Ph.D pharmaceutical scientist, suffers from anxiety, and is prescribed a low dose of valium daily. He was having trouble sleeping (apparently even with the Valium), and so decided to experiment with herbal remedies. He made an extract of the skullcap herb (method and solvents unknown). After dosing just one time, he fell into a comatose state. Currently he is in an Intensive Care Unit of a renowned hospital where he has been for over a week and a half. He is unable to regain full consciousness, although he is reportedly able to respond to basic commands. A team of specialists has been called in, and as of yet has been unable to determine what precisely the problem is. Within a few days they will be conducting a spinal tap to see if there are any abnormalities.

This guy was a professional. Although we do not yet know if what happened was a result of a drug combination/interaction, a contaminant from the extraction, a misidentified plant, or dosage related, I urge you all in the strongest words possible to refrain from using this herb at least until more is determined.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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Invisiblegdman
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: dblaney]
    #3828576 - 02/24/05 07:02 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I have never heard of a reaction like this, my thoughts are with him and his familly though.


--------------------


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Offlineesin
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: dblaney]
    #3828586 - 02/24/05 07:07 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Weird. I thought skullcap was only mildly active, if at all. I guess i was very wrong.

Hope he gets better soon!


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Offlinepassitbobbie
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: esin]
    #3828605 - 02/24/05 07:12 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I've heard no such contraindictions with skullcap. Please update with more data.


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Invisibledblaney
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: passitbobbie]
    #3828996 - 02/24/05 08:33 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Okay, apparently he is out of the ICU and is improving, although very slowly. After doing some research of my own, I would make an educated guess that the chemical baicalein in Skullcap, which affects GABA similar to benzodiazepines, interacted with his daily dose of Valium to create a situation mimicking a benzodiazepine overdose. He probably took too much skullcap.

This might be part of the case or I might be entirely wrong. That's my theory nonetheless.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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Offlinetheocean06
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: dblaney]
    #3828999 - 02/24/05 08:34 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I don't know why that would happen, but I hope the guy is alright.


--------------------


The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.            - Hendrix :bow:


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Offlinepassitbobbie
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: dblaney]
    #3829047 - 02/24/05 08:45 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I have not heard of this chem: baicalein. I have heard of scutellerian being in skullcap but perhaps thats just a marketing gimmick?

Hope he feels better


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Invisibledblaney
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: passitbobbie]
    #3829138 - 02/24/05 08:59 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

http://www.nativeamericanbotanics.com/docs_infosheet_skullcap.pdf

I think scutellerian is in there. Most chemicals found in plants that we have never encountered are named after the plants they are found in.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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OfflineOrangeVWCamper
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: dblaney]
    #3832191 - 02/25/05 10:47 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Interesting about the GABA reaction with the baicalein and the possible interaction with the valium.

Hope your FOAF gets well and back to normal soon.


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Offlinemr_minds_eye
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: dblaney]
    #3833655 - 02/25/05 05:49 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Just thought that I would add that I have used skullcap tea plenty of times for insomnia and have had no bad reactions and is one of the only herbs that I have used that can help me sleep.


--------------------
Our quest for discovery fuels our creativity in all fields, not just science. If we reached the end of the line, the human spirit would shrivel and die. But I don't think we will ever stand still: we shall increase in complexity, if not in depth, and shall always be the center on an expanding horizon of possibilities.
-Stephen Hawking


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OfflineFluxburn
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: mr_minds_eye]
    #3844971 - 02/28/05 01:52 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Ouch, good luck on the speedy recovery and hopefully the case is reported with the levels of toxins in the body for medical knowledge. At least we can think of the postives from this dire situation, a life lost of someone with such knowledge would be a waste to society.


--------------------
ABSTRACT ART (Mine) http://nathanbelomy.com


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Offlinepod3
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- [Re: Fluxburn]
    #3852393 - 03/01/05 04:06 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

-


Edited by pod3 (10/26/06 01:37 PM)


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InvisibleWorld Spirit
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: dblaney]
    #3852667 - 03/01/05 04:52 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I have read that Skullcap is supposed to be harvested during a specific season, otherwise (like other types of herbs) the herb is not to be touched.
Extracts in general (unless you call tea an extract) can be too strong for many types of plants and herbs. They are best taken in small doses initially to see how an individual reacts.
If someone does decide to experiment with an herb they should read about it thoroughly from multiple sources.
Combinations are another issue. What food/drink was consumed near the same time? How much was taken? What time of the day/night was the extract ingested? What was the method of ingestion? What was on his mind before and after ingestion? (Set and setting play a role in EVERY experience in life).

Use caution, brothers and sisters, with all things.

:heart:


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InvisibleWorld Spirit
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: World Spirit]
    #3852692 - 03/01/05 04:56 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

http://www.usadrug.com/IMCAccess/ConsHerbs/Skullcapch.shtml




Table of Contents > Herbs > Skullcap
Skullcap
Botanical Name: Scutellaria lateriflora
Common Names: Mad-dog skullcap, scullcap

Overview
Plant Description
Parts Used
Medicinal Uses and Indications
Available Forms
How to Take It
Precautions
Possible Interactions
Supporting Research


Overview

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is native to North America, but is now widely cultivated in Europe and other areas of the world. It has been used for over two hundred years as a mild relaxant and has long been hailed as an effective therapy for anxiety, nervous tension, and convulsions. Because of its calming effects on the nervous and musculoskeletal system, it was also at one time considered to be a remedy for rabies, thus it's name "mad dog weed."
Plant Description

Scutellaria lateriflora is one species of skullcap that is used in herbal preparations. The plant derives its name from the caplike appearance of the outer whorl of its small blue flowers. Skullcap is a slender, heavily branched plant that grows to a height of two to four feet and blooms each July.
Parts Used

The parts of the skullcap plant used for medicinal purposes are the leaves. These are harvested in June from a three- to four-year-old skullcap plant.
Medicinal Uses and Indications

While scientific studies have not been conducted on the medicinal properties of Scutellaria lateriflora, its current uses, based on traditional and clinical practice, include:

* Treatment of muscle spasms
* Calming of the nerves

It has also been used to treat symptoms associated with:

* Tension headache
* Anorexia nervosa
* Anxiety
* Fibromyalgia
* Restless leg syndrome and other causes of insomnia
* Mild Tourette's syndrome (a disorder characterized by multiple motor and vocal tics)
* Seizure disorders.

Chinese Skullcap
A closely related herb, Chinese skullcap (Scuterllaria baicalensis) has actually been the subject of a number of studies, including those on animals and people. It has anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine properties, which can help treat allergies such as hay fever (called allergic rhinitis), particularly when used with other herbs, including stinging nettle.

Cancer
Chinese skullcap is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat tumors. Early laboratory studies investigating this traditional use are emerging and showing preliminary promise for combating bladder, liver, and other types of cancers, at least in test tubes.

In terms of clinical studies on people, skullcap is also one of the eight herbs that make up PC-SPES, an alternative treatment for prostate cancer. (It is important to note, however, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] recently issued a warning to consumers that PC SPES may contain undeclared prescription drug ingredients that could cause dangerous side effects.)

Other
Chinese laboratory research has isolated an element present in skullcap that may prove useful in treating hepatitis B and has suggested that the antioxidant properties of Chinese skullcap may prove beneficial for preventing heart disease or limiting the damage following a heart attack. Much more research needs to be done in these areas before conclusions can be drawn.
Available Forms

Skullcap is available as a powder or liquid extract.
How to Take It

Pediatric

Although not common, skullcap may be used for calmative purposes in children and administered as a mild tea. Use either prepackaged tea bags, letting it steep for approximately 2 minutes or add 1 tsp of dried leaves to 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 2 minutes. (Shorter steeping time makes for milder strength teas).

The tea should be dosed according to the child's age and weight as follows:

* Children 1 to 2 years (24 lb [11 kg] or less): ? cup one to three times per day
* Children 3 to 6 years (25 to 48 lb [11 to 22 kg]): ? cup one to four times per day
* Children 7 to 11 years (49 to 95 lb [22 to 43 kg]): ? cup one to four times per day
* Children 12 and older (over 95 lb [43 kg]): 1 cup one to four times per day

Adult

The following are recommended adult doses for skullcap:

* Dried herb: 1 to 2 grams per day
* Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried herb. Steep 20 to 30 minutes. Drink 2 to 3 cups per day.
* Fluid extract (1:1 in 25% alcohol): 2 to 4 mL (40 to 120 drops), three times daily
* Tincture (1:5 in 45% alcohol): 2 to 5 mL (40 to 150 drops), three times per day

Precautions

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a practitioner knowledgeable in the field of botanical medicine.

There are mixed opinions as to the safety of skullcap because it has, in the past, been contaminated with Teucrium species, a group of plants known to cause liver problems. It is therefore important that skullcap be obtained from a reliable source.

Overdose of skullcap tincture produces giddiness, stupor, mental confusion, twitching, irregular heartbeat, and epileptic-like symptoms. Skullcap should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Possible Interactions

While there are no reports in the scientific literature to suggest that skullcap interacts with any conventional medications, it does possess sedative properties. Therefore, skullcap should be used with caution, if at all, by those who are taking benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications) such as diazepam or alprazolam, barbiturates (medications often prescribed for sleep disorders or seizures) such as pentobarbital, or other sedative medications (including antihistamines).
Supporting Research

Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, Ore: Eclectic Medical; 1998:163.

Cauffield JS, Forbes HJ. Dietary supplements used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Lippincotts Prim Care Pract. 1999; 3(3):290-304.

Darzynkiewicz Z, Traganos F, Wu JM, Chen S. Chinese herbal mixture PC-SPES in treatment of prostate cancer (Review). Int J Oncol. 2000;17:729-736.

Fisher C. Nettles - an aid to the treatment of allergic rhinitis. European Journal of Herbal Medicine. 1997;3(2):34-35.

Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press; 1999:349-351.

Gao Z, Huang K, Xu H. Protective effects of flavonoids in the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in HS-SY5Y cells. Pharmacol Res. 2001;43(2):173-178.

Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Christof J. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 2nd ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:678-679.

Huang RL, Chen CC, Huang HL, Chang CG, Chen CF, Chang C, Hsieh MT. Anti-hepatitis B virus effects of wogonin isolated from Scutellaria baicalensis. Planta Med. 2000;66(8):694-698.

Ikemoto S, Sugimura K, Yoshida N, et al. Antitumor effects of Scutellariae radix and its components baicalein, baicalin, and wogonin on bladder cancer cell lines. Urology. 2000;55(6):951-955.

Larrey D, Vial T, Pauwels A, et al. Hepatitis after germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) administration: another instance of herbal medicine toxicity. Ann Coll Physicians. 1992; 117: 129-132.

Miller LG, Murray WJ, eds. Herbal Medicinals: A Clinician's Guide. New York, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press; 1998.

Newall C, Anderson L, Phillipson J. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996: 239-240.

Shao ZH, Vanden Hoek TL, Qin Y, et al. Baicalein attenuates oxidant stress in cardiomyocytes. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002;282(3):H999-H1006.

Watanabe S, Kitade Y, Maski T, Nishioba M, Satoh K, Nishino H. Effects of lycopene and Sho-saiko-to on hepatocarcinogenesis in a rat model of sponstaneous liver cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2001;39(1):96-101

White L, Mavor S. Kids, Herbs, Health. Loveland, Colo: Interweave Press; 1998:22, 40-41.
Review Date: April 2002
Reviewed By: Participants in the review process include: Jacqueline A. Hart, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Harvard University and Senior Medical Editor Integrative Medicine, Boston, MA; Gary Kracoff, RPh (Pediatric Dosing section February 2001), Johnson Drugs, Natick, MA; Steven Ottariono, RPh (Pediatric Dosing section February 2001), Veteran's Administrative Hospital, Londonderry, NH; R. Lynn Shumake, PD, Director, Alternative Medicine Apothecary, Blue Mountain Apothecary & Healing Arts, University of Maryland Medical Center, Glenwood, MD; David Winston, Herbalist (January 2000), Herbalist and Alchemist, Inc., Washington, NJ. All interaction sections have also been reviewed by a team of experts including Joseph Lamb, MD (July 2000), The Integrative Medicine Works, Alexandria, VA;Enrico Liva, ND, RPh (August 2000), Vital Nutrients, Middletown, CT; Brian T Sanderoff, PD, BS in Pharmacy (March 2000), Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy; President, Your Prescription for Health, Owings Mills, MD; Ira Zunin, MD, MPH, MBA (July 2000), President and Chairman, Hawaii State Consortium for Integrative Medicine, Honolulu, HI.

Copyright ? 2004 A.D.A.M., Inc

The publisher does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents of this material. No claims or endorsements are made for any drugs or compounds currently marketed or in investigative use. This material is not intended as a guide to self-medication. The reader is advised to discuss the information provided here with a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or other authorized healthcare practitioner and to check product information (including package inserts) regarding dosage, precautions, warnings, interactions, and contraindications before administering any drug, herb, or supplement discussed herein.


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Invisibledblaney
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: World Spirit]
    #3852878 - 03/01/05 05:27 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Enter said:
Therefore, skullcap should be used with caution, if at all, by those who are taking benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications) such as diazepam or alprazolam, barbiturates (medications often prescribed for sleep disorders or seizures) such as pentobarbital, or other sedative medications




I haven't heard any more updates, but last I heard he is back home and slowly recovering. I think the main cause was either OD or his combination with Valium.

So be careful :sun:


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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InvisibleCorporal Kielbasa
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: esin]
    #3853009 - 03/01/05 05:56 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

mildly till extracted*


--------------------




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Offlinesputnik2
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Re: WARNING: Skullcap [Re: Corporal Kielbasa]
    #3899829 - 03/10/05 10:00 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

yes scullcap is a fine herb for relaxation I also have found.
as with any herbal extract do not combine them with any other drug especially prescription drugs as the results might be very bad. hope your friend is fine
peace MJB


--------------------
MJB botanicals
mjb-botanicals.com



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