7 Health Benefits of Blessed Thistle

blessed-thistleBlessed thistle (Cnicus benedictus; also known as Holy Thistle or St. Benedict’s Thistle) is a small, annual herb native to the Mediterranean and naturalized in North America. Often referred to as a noxious weed today, blessed thistle has been used as an herbal remedy since the Middle Ages.

The leaves, stems and blossoms of blessed thistle have been used over the centuries in various bitter tonic beverages, in teas and in capsules. In this post, we’ll cover a few of the health benefits of blessed thistle to help you decide if it may be right for you.

Digestion Improvement

Blessed thistle is often used to help stimulate the body’s secretion of gastric acid and the flow of bile, which can improve digestion. It can also be used to address flatulence and indigestion. In addition, it can stimulate appetite, which makes it helpful in treating anorexia.

Breast Milk Supply Boost

Blessed thistle is thought to be a galactagogue, taken to help increase breast milk production. It seems to work optimally when used along with fenugreek, alfalfa, fennel, stinging nettle or goat’s rue.

Female Remedy

Blessed thistle is well known as a remedy for women. It can help alleviate many PMS symptoms, including painful menstruation and PMS-related headaches.

Antimicrobial Action

Two compounds found in blessed thistle, polyacetylene and cnicin, can help your body battle bacterial infections. Some studies have shown these compounds to be effective against Bacillus subtilis, Brucella species, Escherichia coli, Proteus species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus faecalis.

Anti-Inflammatory Qualities

Blessed thistle has been shown to lessen or totally halt inflammation. However, if you have inflammatory bowel problems, you should consult your health practitioner before taking blessed thistle.

Liver Detoxification

As mentioned above, blessed thistle can stimulate the bile production, which assists with detoxification of the liver.

Astringent Like Properties

Blessed thistle can help prevent or at the very least slow down bleeding due to its astringent-like qualities. Because of these properties, blessed thistle is used to create natural remedies for skin ulcers and boils.

blessed-thistle-capsulesWhere to Buy Blessed Thistle

Your local health food store will carry blessed thistle supplements and tea. This month, Healthy Planet has Nature’s Way Blessed Thistle Capsules on sale for just $10.92 – that’s 5% off the regular price!

Sources

http://www.naturalalternativeremedy.com/blessed-thistle-benefits/

http://www.herballegacy.com/Card_Medicinal.html

http://breastfeeding.about.com/od/milksupplyproblems/a/Blessed-Thistle-And-Increasing-Breast-Milk-Supply.htm

http://www.wisegeekhealth.com/what-is-blessed-thistle.htm#didyouknowout

http://www.treelite.com/articles/articles/blessed-thistle-%28cnicus-benedictus%29.html

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/nutrition-research/learning-center/plant-profiler/cnicus-benedictus.html

Image courtesy of By H. Zell (Own work) GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.


About the Author:

author

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering and founder of Green Moms Media, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family’s life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who’s willing to listen. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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