In Europe, Blessed Thistle gained a reputation as a
cure all, and was even believed to have fought off the black plague. The plant originated in southern Europe, but is now cultivated throughout the continent. 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. Blessed Thistle today is now considered very useful for digestive problems. The
herb works by stimulating the production of saliva and digestive juices.
Blessed thistle is also used for female type problems
including: painful menstruation and associated headache. The herb has
been used by nursing mothers to improve the flow of milk, however this has not been scientifically
established as of yet.
According to research on lab mice, all parts of the plant show an
ability to combat tumors. The active
ingredient cnicin, cools inflammation, fights bacteria, and helps to
reduce fluid retention. Some reports indicate that cnicin has as
much anti-inflammatory power as indomethacin.
Blessed Thistle is also known as:
- Cnicus benedictus,
- Holy Thistle,
- Spotted Thistle,
- St. Benedict Thistle