Skullcap is not a liar. No herb is. But you’re forgiven if you have trust issues with it. Actually, these issues are why we grow it ourselves. So we can keep an eye on it, and make sure it doesn’t get mixed up with bad company. Make sure our Skullcap supply is pure and never adulterated.
You see, Skullcap has a long history of adulteration. For more than 25 years, the American Botanical Council has tracked incidents of dried Skullcap getting sold mixed with a type of Germander. What’s worse, this Germander is considered a liver toxin. As a result, Skullcap has been falsely implicated in liver dysfunction cases.
Clearly, this is unacceptable. So we did something about it.
Let’s start with a little backstory.
Skullcap is a not-especially aromatic member of the mint family. It’s actually a touch bitter. It grows a couple feet high. Two, two and a half feet tall. It’s flowers come out in pairs, climbing one side of the stem. Take a look below and you’ll see Skullcap is pretty distinctive.
For generations, Skullcap has played a prominent role in herbalism. It’s an important nervine. Once upon a time, people used to call it a ‘restorative nerve tonic*.’ Nowadays, people seek out Skullcap for its mild calming effects*. When you’re feeling angry, irritated or burned out at work, you think of Skullcap.
That’s why we put our Certified-Organic Skullcap in our Good Mood, Nervous System Tonic, PMS Comfort and Brain & Memory formulas.
Clearly, we like Skullcap around here and don’t like seeing it adulterated.
So we did something about it.
Decades ago, we stopped buying Skullcap on the market entirely. Instead, we grow our Skullcap under our watchful eyes on our organic farm in Josephine County, Oregon. We harvest it when it’s flowering in the heat of the August sun.
Then, even though we’ve kept it close all summer, we bring it to our facility and put it through a cascade of tests. This includes high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), an analysis of the herb’s unique chemical signature. We even compare that signature with that of known contaminants to be entirely sure our Skullcap is what we say it is, and only what we say it is.
The thing is, Skullcap and Germander don’t look alike. If we were buying fresh, it’s unlikely we’d ever have an issue with adulterants. But we’re not willing to risk that mistake. We’d rather take every precaution: grow our whole supply, then test it vigorously. All so we can be sure of what we’re selling.
Because ultimately, people trust us to get this right. And that trust is worth every extra effort.