Blessed ThistleCnicus benedictus
Blessed thistle has a long history of use in European herbal medicine. All parts of the above-ground plant are used medicinally. The herb was used primarily for digestive problems, including heartburn, gastritis, burping, constipation, and flatulence. Blessed thistle was also used for liver and gallbladder diseases. Blessed thistle is also a component of the famous herbal combination therapy Essiac, widely used (though without scientific support) as a treatment for
What is Blessed Thistle Used for Today?
Blessed thistle has been approved by Germany’s Commission E
Blessed thistle contains the bitter constituent cnicin. Bitter substances are widely believed to promote appetite, though this has not been proven.
Cnicin does appear to have antimicrobial properties, killing bacteria and fungi in the test tube.
Although comprehensive safety studies have not been performed, blessed thistle is believed to be safe. However, cross-reactions are possible among people allergic to plants in the daisy family.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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