Herbs Guide

Blessed Thistle

Family Name: Asteraceae

Botanical Name(s): Cnicus benedictus L.

Popular Name(s): Bitter Thistle, Holy Thistle, Carbenia Benedicta, Spotted Thistle.

Parts Used: Dried leaves and upper stems

Habitat: Blessed thistle is found in Mediterranean region, western Asia, throughout Europe and in the eastern United States.

Description: Blessed thistle is an annual plant that grows up to 60 cm. The plant has hairy stems and leaves up to 30 cm long and 8 cm broad, with small spines on the margins. The flowers are yellow in colour.

Uses: Cnicin, the bitter substances found in Blessed thistle, has antiphlogistic and antibacterial activities. The herb is used for treating gastrointestinal problems and is also used in the treatment of internal cancers, diabetes, gout, as well as in rheumatism.