Principal Proposed Uses
Blessed thistle has a long history of use in European herbal medicine. All parts of the above-ground plant are used medicinally. The herb was used primarily for digestive problems, including heartburn, gastritis, burping, constipation, and flatulence. Blessed thistle was also used for liver and gallbladder diseases. Blessed thistle is also a component of the famous herbal combination therapy Essiac, widely used (though without scientific support) as a treatment for cancer .
What is Blessed Thistle Used for Today?
Blessed thistle contains the bitter constituent cnicin. Bitter substances are widely believed to promote appetite, though this has not been proven.
Cnicin does appear to have antimicrobial properties, killing bacteria and fungi in the test tube. 1,2 These findings do not, however, indicate that blessed thistle can be used as an oral antibiotic. Antibiotics are substance