Botanical Name: Cnicua benedictus | Family: Compositae
Common name(s): Blessed thistle, Holy thistle
- Annual; herbaceous | Zone 5-9 | 10-30 inches tall | Hairy leaves and stems. Stems are 5-sided. Yellow flowers with spider-web like hairs in them, April – September
- Full sun | Dry, stony, waste soil
Harvest aerial parts while in flower and seeds in the autumn.
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Infusion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoons of the dried herb. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day.
Tincture: 1-2ml 3x/day
External: Apply as a poultice to promote wound healing
Constituents: bitter glycoside (cnicin), essential oil, flavonoids, mucilage, tannin
Actions: Alterative, antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, bitter, diaphoretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, hemostatic, stomachic,tonic,stimulant, vulnerary
Uses: stomach and liver issues, appetite stimulant, diarrhea, indigestion, fever, jaundice, hepatitis, blood clots, bleeding, abnormal periods, lactation
Cautions: Large doses may cause vomiting, and it can be used for that purpose
Sweet, bitter, cool
- The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
- Holistic Herbal, David Hoffmann
- A Modern Herbal, M. Grieve
- Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs, Foster and Duke
- photo credit: henna lion blessed thistle via photopin (license)
This is another plant listed for reproductive issues in my herbal studies, but when I researched, only A Modern Herbal mentioned it as one of the best herb for lactation. And The Way of Herbs says since abnormal periods are usually accompanied by liver issues, so it is typically added to reproductive formulas. Seems like one of the major use for this herb outside of lactation is as an appetite stimulant.
Also, other thistles, particularly milk thistle, have similar actions.
PS The actions listed are all the ones mentioned across my sources. There are a lot of them!