Botanical Name: Centaurea benedicta
- English: Holy thistle, Lady’s thistle
- Also, known as: Carduus, St. Benedict’s thistle, Cardin, Blessed cardus, Bitter thistle, Spotted thistle
Parts Used: Plant
Blessed thistle leaves, stems, and flowers have been traditionally used in bitter tonic drinks and in other preparation taken by mouth to enhance appetite and digestion. Being indigenous to Asia and Europe, Blessed thistle is specially raised across the globe including the USA. This is an annual plant and grows up to 2-3 feet in height. The straight stems are a brown color and covered with fuzz. The leaves are lanceolate. The plant blossoms from the end of spring through summer, when it's covered with multiple yellow flowers, appearing at the top of the plant. The leaves have a very bitter and slightly nauseous taste and a feeble odor. Cold water extracts only a portion of their properties, but boiling water acts on them fully and forms an intensely bitter decoction. By treatment with acids, they yield a neutral principle called niacin, which is crystallized, without odor, soluble in alcohol, sparingly soluble in boiling water, with a bitter character, resembling a solution.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice tray or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.