Herbs > Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus)
Also know as Holy thistle or Holy Ghost herb, Blessed thistle looks very similar
to the common thistle and often seen as a stubborn weed, however, it is a useful healing herb.
It was regarded as a heal-all in medieval times,
believed to cure even the plague. The name
"blessed thistle" stems from the belief
that it repelled psychic attacks and hexes. It has an
unproved reputation as an aphrodisiac, and was also
used as birth control by the Quinault Indians.
Blessed thistle is extremely effective for
promoting breast milk in nursing mothers. Drink a
mild infusion of the herb about 30 minutes before
breast feeding for a one-off boost to the quantity of
milk produced. To make the infusion, boil 500ml of
water, remove from the heat and add 1 level
tablespoon of dried, ground blessed thistle. Allow to
steep for 30 minutes, strain and drink.
Alternatively, 2 capsules of powdered blessed thistle
taken three times daily throughout the breast-feeding
period will improve the amount of milk produced
It is effective
for other womens problem, including menstrual
cramps and hormone balance. It will also ease the
effects of menopause. Take as an infusion, as
In addition, this
infusion helps balance the stomach and stimulate the
appetite. It can also ease headaches and strengthen
the memory, as it increases the oxygen supply to the
Blessed thistle is
a powerful emetic, and so should be avoided in large
doses. However, this can be a useful application of
the herb - it will induce vomiting to hastily expel
poisons from the body. Make an infusion as described,
using double the amount of blessed thistle.
Large amounts of blessed thistle will cause vomiting.
Growing blessed thistle:
Blessed thistle is grown from seed, which
should be sown in the Spring. It is a very hardy
plant, but it prefers well-drained soil and full sun.
It should be harvested when it is flowering. Cut the
whole plant at ground level and dry hanging upside
down. The blessed thistle will regrow from the roots.
Horny Goat Weed
St Johns Wort