Blessed Thistle (Cnicus Benedictus)
The blessed thistle was widely cultivated in the middle ages, when it was seen as a cure-all for all manner of diseases including the plague. The plant is praised for its medicinal powers in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and was recommended in early herbal treatises as a remedy for migraine and other headaches. Although less widely used nowadays, it is still seen to have a wide range of applications.
Despite its past popularity, Blessed Thistle is now considered genuinely useful only for digestive problems. It works by stimulating the production of saliva and digestive juices.
The whole plant is astringent, bitter, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic in large doses, emmenagogue, galactogogue, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. A warm infusion of the plant is said to be one of the most effective means of improving the milk supply of a nursing mother. An infusion of the whole plant has also been used as a contraceptive and is often used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder problems. The plant is also used internally in the treatment of anorexia, poor appetite associated with depression, dyspepsia, flatulant colic etc.
The whole plant was infused overnight in cold water and the liquid drunk three times daily in the treatment of VD. Men were required to run after each dose in order to encourage sweating. The treatment often caused nausea and vomiting - excessive doses of the plant cause vomiting. The plant is used externally in the treatment of wounds and ulcers.
Nature's Herbs blessed thistle herb is grown on organic farms without chemical pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers.