What are the properties of the holy thistle and what is it for?

Since ancient times, humans have used countless plants as medicine to cure many diseases. Making the most of its properties and achieving very powerful effects. It is because of this that for this opportunity we will talk about: What are the properties of the holy thistle and what is it for?

What is holy thistle all about?

The holy thistle plant or also called blessed thistle, the latter being its common name in various regions, is a plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Which has the scientific name Cnicus benedictus.

This name comes from very old times and there is data on the use of this plant in monasteries. Likewise, there are documents that affirm its use in the Middle Ages. Since it was frequently used to treat some of the symptoms that corresponded to the bubonic plague. Disease that caused great damage in Asia and Europe in years like 1347 and 1353.

Other names of great popularity adopted by some regions, and which serve to denominate a plant like this, are spotted thistle, ardín and San Benito thistle. In reference to the holy thistle, what is it for, it is important to highlight that its medicinal uses are also observed in some parts of the Mediterranean, as well as in the Alps. These being the regions where it grows wild and where this plant is cultivated regularly.

It is a fairly small plant that can be up to 60 cm tall, its leaves are large and covered with hairs and it produces beautiful yellow flowers.

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How to grow holy thistle?

This plant comes from Asian regions, which was later imported until it is currently possible to find it in most of the coastal regions that correspond to the Mediterranean.

The flowers produced by this plant are very striking, it has small yellow spheres, which are surrounded by a kind of pink or magenta ornament. The fruit it produces is an achene that is cylindrical in shape and mine just under one centimeter.

The best way to grow blessed thistle is from its seeds, which germinate very quickly. They are normally sown in beds in the spring. In a few days the shoots are born and these are usually transplanted when they reach 5 cm.

A plant like this is found wild in dry, arid and rocky terrain. Although it is also found on the margins of crops, in vineyards, abandoned sites, roadsides and in olive groves.

When sowing the plants it is necessary to separate them at least 30 cm from each other. Then a rosette with leaves will appear and flowering will begin. During this stage, the plant is harvested, cutting it completely from the base. Once this is done, it is left to dry in the open air and in the shade. Keeping it then under the roof. The root is not normally used for medicine, but there are those who prefer to use it.

What are the properties of the holy thistle?

For those who are wondering what the holy thistle is for, it is important to note that the main use given to this plant is as a disinfectant for wounds.

Among the main active ingredients contained in blessed thistle are the sesquiterpenes of the germacranolide class, as in the case of benedictine and cnicin. Flavonoids such as kenferol, apigenol glycosides and luteol. It also contains essential oils, tannins, a large amount of mineral salts and alkaloids, more than anything in its fruits.

The cnicin contained in the holy thistle plant is known as a bitter-tasting substance that produces aperitif, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic effects, among others. Its essential oils have antifungal and bacteriostatic properties. Also highlighting the diuretic effects of its flavonoids

On the other hand, it has various compounds with a bitter taste that are being studied, since they probably generate diuretic, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic and antibiotic effects. Similarly, other properties attributed to holy thistle are cholagogue, astringent, fefrifuge and disinfectant effects.

It is of great importance that you do not confuse blessed thistle with milk thistle. Although they have very similar properties and belong to the same family, they are totally different plants.

What is holy thistle used for?

One of the most effective ways to take advantage of the benefits of this medicinal plant is through an infusion. But it is possible to find blessed thistle tinctures in specialized stores, where it is recommended to consume only 50 drops a day. Likewise, fillings and powders can also be made from this plant.

For those who want to know more about the holy thistle, what it is for, they should keep in mind that its benefits are used to treat various external and internal conditions. Where it is possible to point out its most frequent uses, such as:

relieve diarrhea

The most common use of this plant is as a treatment for diarrhea, but it is also quite effective against bacterial infections that affect the digestive system. Especially when it comes to the gut.

It is used to treat urinary infections

Due to the diuretic effects that blessed thistle generates, it is often used as a treatment for urinary infections, such as cystitis. Although it is also very efficient to cleanse the kidneys and bladder.

Increase breast milk

Another of the answers related to the holy thistle, what is it for, is its use in lactation. Especially when it comes to new mothers and women who are breastfeeding. Being a quite effective plant to increase and at the same time stimulate the production of breast milk.

improves appetite

The bitter components that this plant possesses are ideal for stimulating the appetite. Making it an excellent alternative to treat problems that have to do with loss of appetite. Since this is one of the side effects of many retroviral treatments, or also cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

People who suffer from an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia, can take advantage of the properties offered by this plant. Effectively stimulating the appetite, improving health and finally gaining weight if necessary.

Inflammation and wounds on the skin

This is one of the oldest uses of holy thistle. Since it seems to be very effective for disinfecting and at the same time cleaning wounds such as first degree burns, cuts, grazes and scrapes. Where its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties play an important role.

In many cases, it is usually used in an infusion to eliminate pimples, boils, skin ulcers, and it also works as an acne treatment. And although it is rare, it is possible to make compresses from this plant by crushing it, in order to treat various skin diseases.

Effective for gases

Another answer to the holy thistle, what is it for, is its effectiveness against gases. Due to the carminative properties that this plant possesses, it is considered a fairly effective treatment for the elimination of flatulence and gases that come from the large intestine.

Improves liver functions

Its properties improve the functioning of the liver, while favoring the functioning of the pancreas. For cases like these, tinctures prepared from the freshest leaves of blessed thistle are the most common and efficient way. However, there is also the possibility of preparing an infusion with this plant.

combat cough

It is also another of the uses of this plant that has been applied since ancient times, it is as a treatment for lung and respiratory conditions. Even more so when it comes to relieving cold or flu symptoms, such as fever and cough.

Works to treat fluid retention

As already mentioned, this is a plant that stands out for its very effective diuretic properties. Promoting cleaning, while at the same time eliminates the liquids that are accumulated within the body.

Contraindications when using the plant

According to the person’s body and the condition they have, there are some contraindications of holy thistle that must be taken into account:

Although there is not much evidence, it is important that pregnant women avoid the consumption and use of this plant. On the other hand, due to its high content of tannins, its consumption is not recommended in case of having a gastric problem. Likewise, it is important to keep in mind that the substances of this plant could irritate the digestive mucosa and the stomach in general.

Similarly, the consumption of blessed thistle could generate acidity in the stomach, although it does not cause major discomfort, caution is necessary. Since due to this factor, those people who regularly use antacids could present limits in their effects.

It is also not recommended to take infusions of this plant or consume it for very long periods of time. Doses greater than 5 grams per day could be harmful. Causing serious perforations in the esophagus, stomach and other organs.

How to prepare home remedies with holy thistle?

Depending on the condition or health problem that is suffered, it is possible to prepare some home remedies using the holy thistle plant.

– This is a plant that gives off a liquid similar to yellow latex, at the moment a part of it is cut. A few drops of this latex are usually placed in the eye to relieve cloudiness. Likewise, it is also used to completely eliminate styes. And it is possible to use it on wounds, to help them heal much faster.

– The infusions of this plant are very efficient. Using 4 petals of the flower of this plant for an infusion will serve as an excellent remedy for asthma. Like to treat hysteria, whooping cough and seizures.

– Place in infusion at least seven seeds of the plant preferably fresh. Doing this will serve as a treatment for fluid retention, relieve choking symptoms in children, and calm asthma.

– If at any time you have headaches, a good alternative to relieve them is to place crushed holy thistle leaves on your temples.

– It is also ideal for treating hair loss, and for this you have to use the root of the plant to wash your head.

– The use of lavages using the decoction of the root of the plant, serve to cure conjunctivitis and also to relieve other types of inflammation that appear in the eyes.

– Cooking the leaves of the holy thistle seems to work very well as a disinfectant. The ideal is to use this decoction to wash the wounds that are infected.

– For the treatment of scabies, caracas and ringworm, the seeds of the plant are ground and applied as an ointment. It is important that the kneading…