BLESSED THISTLE

LATIN NAME:  Cnicus benedictus

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:  During the Middle Ages, blessed thistle was used to treat bubonic plague.  Modern herbalists consider the aboveground parts of this annual plant a remedy for a range of problems.  A component of blessed thistle is the chemical cnicin, an anti-inflammatory agent that also stops bleeding.  In addition extracts from the plant contain more than a dozen antibacterial compounds.  Blessed thistle is also used to induce vomiting in individuals who have taken poisons, and to regulate menstrual cycles.  This bitter herb, sometimes known as St. Benedict’s thistle, is used in the liqueur Benedictine.

SPECIAL INFORMATION: 

WARNING:  Use recommended amounts and only under a doctor’s supervision.  Blessed thistle is a strong emetic and induces vomiting very effectively.

During pregnancy, avoid blessed thistle and any compounds that include the herb.

Avoid using blessed thistle if you have an ulcer, because blessed thistle stimulates gastric activity.

TARGET AILMENTS:  Take internally for:

Poor digestion, fever, headache, colic, gas, diarrhea.

Apply externally for:

Cuts and wounds, fever, shingles.

SIDE EFFECTS/Not serious:  

Overdoses can cause vomiting.

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