• Blessed Thistle Herb

    Synonyms: Carbenia Benedicta, Carduus Benedictus, Cnisus, Holy Thistle, Spotted Thistle, St. Benedict Thistle

    Family: Compositae or Asteraceae

    Genus species: Cnicus benedictus

    Type: Annual thistle-like herb

    Part Used: Aerial parts with flowers

    Location: Eastern Europe, Italy, Mediterranean region, southern Europe, Spain

    Actions: Anthelmintic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antihemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antipyretic, antitumor, appetite stimulant, astringent, bacteriostatic, bitter, blood purifier, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic (large doses), diuretic, emetic (large doses), emmenagogue, expectorant, galactogogue, liver alterative, peripheral vasodilator, stomachic, Topically: Antiseptic, vulnerary

    Indications: Amenorrhea, anorexia, arthritis, atonic dyspepsia, bronchitis, dysuria, fever, flatulent indigestion, jaundice, mastitis, migraine, painful menstruation, PMS, pneumonitis, respiratory allergies, Topically: Chilblain, gangrenous ulcer, indolent ulcer, wounds

    Chemicals & Nutrients: Calcium, Carbohydrates (76%), Fats (1%), Fiber (10%), Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein (12%), Sodium, Tannins (8%), Tin

    Preparation & Dosages: (3x/day)

    Dried Flowering Tops: 1.5-3 g or by infusion

    Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, dose 1.5-3 ml

    Contraindications: Diverticulitis, diverticulosis, duodenal ulcer, esophageal refulx, gastrointestinal disease, hypersensitivity to members of the Compositae family, lactation, pregnancy, spastic colitis, stomach ulcer, ulcerative colitis.

    Drug Interactions: Due to the diuretic action of this herb the following drug interactions are possible: increased risk of toxicity with anti-inflammatory analgesics; if hypokalemia occurs possible antagonism with antiarrhythmics and potentiation of muscle relaxants; antagonizes antidiabetic (hypoglycemic) drugs; may potentiate and/or interfere with antihypertensives; may potentiate lithium therapy; when taken with corticosteroids there is a risk for hypokalemia; may potentiate other diuretics and increase the risk of hypokalemia.

    Side Effects: (Possible adverse effects and/or overdose effects) Allergic reactions, stomach irritation, vomiting.

    Warning: Tannins are incompatible with alkalies, gelatin, heavy metals, iron, lime water, metallic salts, strong oxidizing agents and zinc sulfate. Tannins precipitate proteins. Tannins may cause bowel irritation, kidney irritation, liver damage, irritation of the stomach and gastrointestinal pain. Long-term and/or excessive use of herbs containing high concentrations of tannins is not recommended. A correlation has been made between esophogeal or nasal cancer in humans and regular consumption of certain herbs with high tannin concentrations (Lewis, W.H. and M.P.F. Elvin-Lewis. 1977. Medical Botany. Plants Affecting Man's Health. New York: John Wiley & Sons.)

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