Herbal Supplements
Blessed Thistle Administration and Precautions

All the people know perfectly that pharmaceutical drugs may cause some side effects. On the other hand, herbal remedies are usually treated as absolutely safe options for the relieving of many diseases symptoms. It is, however, a common misconception, because the truth is that even natural means can produce adverse reactions, and even the most popular and widely used herbs can be contraindicated for some people.

Blessed thistle has been used for many years to enhance appetite and digestion and promote stomach acids secretion. It is also considered to be a potent antibacterial and antiviral agent. Externally it can be used for skin wounds healing.

Recommended doses of blessed thistle range from 1,5 to 6 grams a day depending on the remedy preparation. One can make tea from the herb (2 grams of dried flowering tops soaked in 150 ml of boiling water) and drink it three times a day. A tincture is made of 2 oz of dried blessed thistle and alcohol (vodka, gin, or brandy) enough to cover the flowers (about 1 pt). The remedy should be kept in a dark place for three to five weeks and taken 1-2 ml three times a day when ready.

Although blessed thistle has a rich history of traditional use, it is still not for everyone. Evidence says that it can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to such plants as daisy, ragwort, chamomile, etc. (Compositae family). Skin and eye irritation are also common in spite of the fact that the plant is used for the promotion of skin wounds healing.

A documented side effect of blessed thistle is vomiting, especially if large doses are taken (5 grams and more), or if the remedy is very concentrated. Other common adverse reactions are stomach and intestines lining irritation. Bleeding is also possible. The risk of these side effects is greater in persons suffering from gastrointestinal disorders, as gastrointestinal reflux disease, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Concentrated tinctures and teas made of blessed thistle may cause burns in the mouth and esophagus.

There is no strong evidence, but it is suggested that long-term use of this herb may result in liver and kidney diseases.

Blessed thistle has traditionally been used for promoting abortion and menstrual bleeding; therefore, pregnant women should not use this herb. Along with its ability to work as abortifacient, blessed thistle is also said to possess breast milk stimulating properties; thus it has been used to increase milk production in breastfeeding women. On the other hand, we have little scientific data on the possible ways the remedy can affect a nursing infant; that is why the use of the herb is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers.

Supplying the safety information on blessed thistle it is necessary to mention about the possible food and drug interactions. Thus, the herb may interact with such plants as Ginkgo biloba, daisy, dandelion, bitter weed, chrysanthemum, blanket flower, coltsfoot, dwarf sunflower, goldenrod, marigold, prairie sage, ragweed, garlic, or herbal preparations containing them.

Accordingly, blessed thistle may alter the effectiveness of a number of pharmaceutical drugs. Among them are:

-         anticoagulants or blood-thinners, such as warfarin or heparin;

-         aspirin;

-         non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen;

-         histamine H2 antagonists;

-         antibiotics.

Initiating to start the treatment with blessed thistle, one must take into account the existence of the other health disorders, since they can be worsened by the herbal therapy. To be on the safe side, one should seek for advice of an experienced herbalist and, probably, professional health-care provider.

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More About Blessed Thistle...

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Blessed Thistle has been known as a cure-all, especially in  Renaissance Europe. It was even ...

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