Cnicus benedictus

An old herbalist said, “Blessed thistle is an herb that should be in the garden of every home where there is a woman or a woman-to-be, because it is second to none for women’s complaints.

Dr. Christopher told us about a lady who had adopted three Navajo children. Some time later, she told him she was going to adopt a newborn baby and she wanted to nurse it. She was to get the baby in a couple of weeks. He advised her to go on the muscles diet, eat plenty of salads, drinks plenty of fresh vegetable and fruit juices and distilled water each day. In addition, drink no less than three cups of blessed thistle tea each day. A few weeks later, she brought the little Navajo baby in for him to see. She said, “Now that I'm nursing the baby, I feel like he's more mine. It feels like he's body of my blood.
The blessed thistle is about two feet in height with a yellow flower which blossoms from May to August. The flower head sits down into the upper leaves of each branch and is sometimes difficult to see. Along the wavy margins and tip of each leaf is a sharp spine that is a reddish color. Spines also cover the stock of the plant and the back vein of each leaf and every other conceivable part of the plant. The flower and upper leaves of the blessed thistle become so heavy that some plants lie on the ground.

When a farmer heard that this herb was called “blessed thistle,” he said , “I have called that thistle many different names but none of them was blessed.” However, if that farmer had needed a tonic, he could have gotten much good out of the thistle, or if he had a dry fever, he could have taken some thistle tea and it would have made him sweat.

If his wife had a baby and she had no milk or insufficient milk, he could have given her some thistle tea and it would have increased her milk supply. Thistle would help if she had a problem with her lungs, kidney, or was trying to detoxify the liver. It would also help if she had a headache or felt melancholy (there is even a thistle called melancholy thistle). The thistle has been used as a blood cleanser with a good effect on cancers and ulcers. It is said to be a good stomach tonic and for biliousness and dyspepsia, and an emetic it would help the stomach to rid itself of acids and foul foods. The thistle is an emmenagogue and will help to bring on menstruation, and help the young girl ease the problems of puberty.

The cotton, or Scotch thistle, has many of the same characteristics as the blessed thistle. It, however, is much larger, sometimes six feet, the leaves are very wide and the flower is purple. The spines and leaves are covered with down.
I heard of a young couple who got killed in an accident leaving a small infant who wouldn't take a bottle. The mother's teenaged sister was tending the baby and asked Dr. Christopher what she could do. He told her nurse the baby herself. She said she had never been married, nor had children. He told her to go on a mucusless diet, drink lots of juice and distilled water, eat lots of fruits and green vegetables, have a lot of faith and prayers, and trust in the blessed thistle. She started drinking lots of blessed thistle tea and very soon she started to nurse her little niece who she raised as her own child.

The thistle, like the burdock, can also be used as a food. The seeds can be ground and eaten, the stalk can be peeled and eaten or baked in pies, and the root can be scrubbed and sliced and eaten raw or cooked. So all in all, for such an inhospitable plant, the thistle is a very valuable friend for those people who are tuned in nature.

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