Blessed Thistle also known as Holy thistle, St. Benedict thistle, and spotted thistle.
Parts Used: Root, aerial parts, and seeds.
Constituents: Bitter compound (cnicine), alkaloids, mucilage, tannin, small amount of essential oils.
Culinary: Boil the root as a vegetable
Medical: Blessed thistle has a very bitter taste. It is used as a digestive tonic because of this. It will stimulate the liver, increasing gastric and bile secretions. It is also thought to increase the flow of breast milk. When used as a poultice or compress it is thought to be a cure for chilblains. It is also said to stimulate sexual desire in females. Chilblains - An inflammation followed by itchy irritation on the hands, feet, or ears, resulting from exposure to moist cold. CAUTION: Strong infusions may be emetic and cause diarrhoea
Blessed Thistle is an annual plant so it must be replanted each year. It generally grows in wooded areas where it can get full sun. It's hardiness range seems to be unavailable in all sources that I am looking at, but the plant is common enough that people believe it to be a weed.
How to prepare: It can be used in an infusion (be careful with this..read caution), as a poltice, or in a tintacure.
- -Jasper 22:59, 15 November 2006 (PST)