Blessed Thistle - Cnicus benedictus
It is chiefly used now for nursing mothers – the warm infusion scarcely ever failing to procure a proper supply of milk. It is considered one of the best medicines, which can be used for this purpose. A cold infusion is tonic; a warm infusion diaphoretic and emmenagogue; and, if strong, emetic. Used as a tonic in loss of appetite, dyspepsia, and intermittent diseases. It is also valuable at the first stages of a fever and inflammatory condition. Colds may be broken up with it, and it acts well in menstrual suppression from cold.
Blessed thistle has a strong affinity for the liver, similar to its cousin Milk Thistle. It is also useful for ‘intermittent fever’ (chills alternating with fever), especially in conditions of influenza, malaria or poisonings. These chills are often related to ‘liver chills’ where they run through the autonomic nervous system, which regulates the gallbladder and digestive tract. Because of this factor many herbalists have added this herb to bitters concoctions used for biliousness, indigestion, gallstones and even jaundice.
Blessed thistle is also known to work on the veins as a venous tonic. It can be employed for venous drainage of obstruction of the uterus, prostate or pelvic area. It is also know to increase circulation in the brain, improving memory, concentration, headaches (especially of liver/gallbladder origin), and depression. The mild to moderate assistance to circulation also help detoxifying of the blood, lymph and tissue.