Q: Hello Susun, I read your article in Sage Woman #65 on Herbal Adventures: Gifts form the land. My husband suffers from migraines and i was wondering what the whole recipe is for the tincture using skullcap and hoW to make it. I have at the present time 1 ounce of skullcap that I purchased today and would like to know the exact amount of vodka and proof to make this.
Thanks you in advance,
A: Hello K., thank you for writing. I help Susun with her correspondence since it is difficult for her to get to all her email. Skullcap tincture is traditionally made from the fresh plant, flowering tops while it is in flower. I am really not sure how effective a tincture of the dried plant would be. In case you choose to try anyway, tinctures of dried roots and berries (though I know this is not that) are approximately one ounce of herb to 5 ounces of 100 proof vodka. They are mixed in a jar and put in a cool dark place, labeled, to sit a minimum of 6 weeks before straining to use. Again though I am not sure how well this would work with dried skullcap. In case you have access to it flowering (not likely this time of year), you would cut of the flowering tops, stems, leaves and all, and fill a jar with it before covering with the 100 proof vodka. It is a wonderful herb to work with. I do hope it proves to be a good ally for your husband!
Q: Hi Karen Joy, Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. I'm going to try it with the dried and see how it works. Is there some where that you know of that I might possibly find seeds so that I may grow my own possibly indoors or does it have to be grown outside? I live in western New York about 26 miles west of Rochester. All help is greatly appreciated.
A: It likely grows in woods around you, but again nothing to find this time of year. I got my live plants from Richter's in Canada. They may have the seeds as well. I tend to favor plants growing in tune with the nature's cycles that surrounds them, so am not sure how it would fare grown inside. You have to use so little at a time, you could buy a bottle of the tincture, and meanwhile buy the plants or seeds, and have them ready to harvest mid-summer to make your own!
Q: Hi Again, Thanks so much for website. Now I know where to get some. This is a great help.I didn't know that you could buy the tincture already made up. Is there a special place that sells it like this? I am sorry if I sound like a idiot but this is all new to me. Is there a book that can tell me exactly how much fresh skullcap to use once I get the plants and alcholol to use . I want to make this right . Blessings, K.
A: I am so glad I can help. You can find a list of herbal suppliers in our links pages... I will let you look through to see which carries this tincture :) I do know Red Moon does, and am sure many others do too.
A book that got me started on learning herbs, one by one, and how and when to harvest and prepare them is Healing Wise by Susun Weed. Though skullcap is not one of the seven herbs that are featured, you will learn lots. You can also read here to learn more. I recommend reading this whole thing, especially of course...
Skullcap tincture: Pain-relief, headache remedy
Pick Scutellaria lateriflora flowering tops when there are seeds as well as flowers. Fill, don't stuff, a jar with the blossoms and leaves. Fill jar to the top with alcohol. Cap tightly. Label.
Your fresh skullcap tincture is ready to use in six weeks.
When you see the plant in flower, some are just starting, some are in full bloom and some have gone to seed. I know "flowering tops" may sound too vague, but when you see it flower up and down the stem, it will be clear. Just cut on the stem below the lowest flower or seedhead. Let me know if I can help further.