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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) Effects on Serotonin (5-HT) Release and Receptors

First, SKULLCAP is not some diabolical, toxic or poisonous herb - and it's not one to make you into some 'fierce warrior' simply because of the name..the name skullcap describes the name and it's cultural  / wiccan uses. Skullcap is a GABA-A Agonist (1) ; via multiple components. GABA-A activation reduces serotonin release (2)  - so indirectly, skullcap very very slightly inhibits/decreases serotonin. Serotonin provokes anxiety and agitation via multiple receptors; mainly 5-HT2A and 5-HT7 receptors (3) (4). Skullcaps's anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and anti-aggressive properties are likely a result of it's serotonin 5-HT(7) blockade (5) . 

However, the GABA-A - ergic activities probably account for it's sedative effects. As 5-HT7 blockade is not shown to improve ONSET to sleep nor quality of sleep (6) (7).





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